Learn about the easiest way to create new habits in today’s guide. Audio version available here.
Creating new habits can be really useful, and beneficial, but it can be hard to do. That’s what gets in the way of creating new good habits.
But here’s the thing, it doesn’t need to be hard, or complicated.
Want to learn about an easy way of creating new habits?
Then keep reading, because that is what today’s guide is all about.
What is a habit?
Let’s talk about the basics of habits.
What is a habit exactly?
It is something we do on a regular basis, usually without thinking. It is an automatic program if you will, one we follow through and execute day in and day out without even needing to actively think about it. This includes all the big and little things you do regularly, daily, things like brushing your teeth, taking care of your hair, having coffee, having a shower, etc etc.
Basically, anything and everything you do on a regular basis, repeatedly, is a habit.
But how do you create habits, how are they formed?
That’s what we will look at next.
How are habits created?
Creating new habits is where our brains come in. The incredible machine that is our brain automates anything that we do – if it is done repeatedly, and long enough.
Our brains do this to make life easier for us.
Here’s how: when you have to actively make decisions and think about something before doing it, it takes effort and willpower. Every time you have to think about doing something before you do it, you need to exercise your willpower, because you have to will yourself to do the thing.
Willpower is a great tool, but the thing about our willpower is that it has its limits.
And it gets affected by various variables like our mental state, our happiness levels, our energy levels, and so on.
So relying on your willpower can be problematic if the activity you want to practice is something you want or need to do every day.
That’s where habits come in.
When you turn a practice into a habit, you don’t really need to rely on actively using your willpower anymore, which means you will follow through on your practice without really thinking about it. When that happens, it massively increases the chances of you actually sticking with the practice and doing it every day.
Since you don’t have to actively use your willpower or have to “will yourself” to do the thing every time, the whole thing becomes much easier to do.
Here’s a demonstration: think about you brushing your teeth – do you need to really think about brushing your teeth every morning?
No, you don’t.
You wake up and then you brush your teeth. It’s an automated program for you – it happens without you needing to exercise your willpower. You don’t have to sit there every morning after waking up and think, yes I need to go brush my teeth now.
You just do it.
And that’s the beauty of habits – you don’t have to spend any mental energy or effort to execute your practice, you just do it.
That’s what habits such a great mental hack, that’s what makes habits so very useful.
Why do we struggle to create habits?
It is pretty clear that habits are a very nifty, very useful mental hack.
They make your life easier.
So why don’t we do it for all the good practices we want to adopt?
Why do we struggle to create more habits?
We don’t do it more often (or as often as we should) mainly because creating a new habit can be a challenging thing to do, largely due to the fact that despite our best intentions we often can’t or don’t stick to the practice long enough for it to become a habit.
Remember what I said earlier about how habits are created? The activity has to be done repeatedly and for a long enough duration for it to become automated. It isn’t always easy to do that.
Maybe you try really hard to stick to the new practice, but then you forget or something else happens, you miss a day or two, and then the whole thing becomes hard to keep doing. This makes creating habits a challenge and is the main reason why people struggle to create new good habits.
However, there is something you can do to make it easier for you to create new habits.
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The easiest way to create new habits?
Want to know how you can make it easy to create habits?
Well, here it is, the easiest way I know for creating new habits – it is to combine the practice you want to create into a habit with an existing habit.
Here’s why it works – when you combine the new practice with an existing habit, you use the existing habit as a trigger for the new practice, which makes it easier to keep doing the new thing as you don’t need to think a lot about doing it. By combining the two together, every time you practice the existing habit, you will be reminded of doing the new activity.
I touched on this concept in my talk on mindful toothbrushing – there I talked about how combining toothbrushing with mindfulness can make it easy to create a mindfulness habit. That is a great example of how you can create a new habit easily by combining it with an existing habit.
The principle extends to other habits too. To all habits really, because the way the habit creation process works is pretty much universal and applies to everything you do. So you can use this hack to make it easy to create a habit of working out, of going for a walk or a run, of meditation, of mindfulness, of working on your own project, and so on. You get the idea.
If you’ve been wanting to do something on a regular basis but have found it a challenge to keep doing it consistently, now you know what you can do about it – just make it into a habit and use this method to make the habit-creation process easy for yourself!This Is The Easiest Way To Create New Habits #habits #lifehacking #personalgrowth Click To Tweet
How to get started
Now you know that habits can be a great tool to make your life easy, and better.
But how can you get started?
- Think about the thing you’ve been wanting to create a habit out of. Maybe you have been wanting to create a meditation or journaling habit, or a habit of you writing or working out every day.
- Once you’ve decided on the thing you want to turn into a habit, decide which of your existing habits you can combine it with (easily). So say for example you want to create a morning meditation habit – you can then combine it with your morning coffee, or toothbrushing. This is how it would look like: you wake up, have your morning cup of coffee, and either before making your coffee or after having your coffee, you meditate.
- Do it every day for at least 4 weeks (ideally 6), and in time it will become automated, it will become a habit! So after some time, you won’t really need to actively think about meditating, you will just get up and have your coffee and meditate. Once meditation becomes a habit, it will become as effortless as having your coffee. The same applies to anything else that you want to create into a habit. Just combine the new practice with an existing habit and you will make the whole process of creating the new habit a whole lot easier.
Habits are a great tool, but they can be challenging to create, However, by using the method you learned about today, you can make the process of creating new habits a lot easier (and more effective), and in the process improve your life.
Combining a new practice with an existing habit is an easy way to create a new habit – in fact, as far as I know, it is the easiest way to create new habits. That said, if you know of an easier way, do share it, I would love to know.
As it stands though, this method is by far the easiest way for creating new habits, and it has the potential to have a major positive impact on your life, so give it a shot.
I really hope you try it out.
What do you think about today’s guide on the easiest way to create new habits? What do you want to create a new habit of first, and what existing habit will you combine it with?
Share your thoughts, tips and ideas in the comments section below.
One tiny request
Before you go, a tiny request – if you found this guide useful &/or enjoyable, please share it with others. That is the best way for us to reach others and make a positive impact.
So, share. Pay it forward!Is This The Easiest Way To Create New Habits? #habits #lifehacking #personalgrowth Click To Tweet
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