Habits aren’t just a human phenomenon. All living beings are prone to habits, including animals and plants, too. Some habits develop over time while others seem ingrained in our nature from birth. For some reason, when we think of habits, we always instantly think of bad ones like smoking or biting our nails. However, the reality is that habits can be good too. Forming new habits is easier in the earlier stages of life when our brains and bodies are still developing and less so later on when as adults, it’s just as hard to form new habits as it is to break old ones.
Start Out Small
According to behavioural scientists, the reason why most of us struggle to form new habits is that we go about it in the wrong ways. Think of all the New Years’ resolutions you’ve made over the years and how many you’ve actually managed to stick to and follow through with. The reality is that we automatically set ourselves up for failure by setting goals that are unrealistic and unachievable. The way to counteract this is to instead make small changes that can easily be incorporated into our daily lives without causing much disruption. Click here to find out more about how tiny habits lead to bigger ones.
Do it Daily
It makes sense that starting small is the only way to make the big behavioural changes that lead to new habits. However, we also need to make these changes on a regular basis in order for them to stick and eventually turn into habits. Researchers state that people find it easier to form new habits when they make a conscious effort to perform the task every single day. This isn’t surprising when you consider that it can take up to 254 days for a habit to stick and become automatic! Habits may take a while to form, but we can speed up the process by doing them more often.