How to Create New Daily Habits
One of the best ways to work on self-improvement is through routine. But here’s the thing, routine is not as simple as a declaration of a new routine. Instead, a routine is built up of many different changes and actions, aka habits. So, how do you create a new routine?
The answer: You work on creating new daily habits until they become a routine. Routines are just a collection of a bunch of different habits that you do on a daily basis.
I wanted to go over a few of the fundamental ways that you can accomplish adding new daily habits to your life in order to create a sustainable new routine for yourself.
Making Small Changes
Sustainability is difficult to achieve when too many big changes are happening all at once. Instead of expecting yourself to change your entire life in one day, make small and manageable changes and goals for improved chances of success. Why is this?
Well, if you set too many new goals for yourself or goals that are too demanding, you are far more likely to not reach these goals. When you are trying to promote self-improvement, you should be avoiding unnecessary combats with the emotions that surround failure.
In this way, addressing failure at the outset of your new daily habits can make you feel discouraged and possibly abandon all of your efforts at bettering yourself. By setting goals that are small and challenging, but manageable you are more likely to reach your goals and instead benefit from the confidence that this brings you.
Here’s a real world example of this:
Let’s say that you want to stop staying up too late. You stay up until 2 in the morning every night.
If you were to set your goal to go to bed at 7 or 8 pm instead, your body physically would have a problem doing so. If this is your goal, you are likely to fail at these efforts and revert back to just staying up until the early hours of the morning again.
However, if you were to set your first goal at a midnight bedtime. And then a 10 pm bedtime. And then an 8 pm bedtime. You have stepping stones to reach your eventual larger goal that help promote success and confidence in yourself.
Another trick to helping yourself to promote new daily habits is to stack them on each other. Habit stacking is a method that relies on previous routines in order to set and excel at new routines. Let me give you an example.
Let’s say that your first new goal for yourself was to brush your teeth every night before bed. You’ve successfully met this goal! Congratulations! This is now a building block in your brain, and you are used to doing this action every night before bed.
So, what’s a goal that would be perfect to stack with this to form another healthy habit?
Something that is related to this habit, something that is in the same area of your home would be the most ideal. For this example, you could add washing your face before bed.
So from there, your new habit is not only to brush your teeth before bed but to also wash your face before bed. With the anchor of teeth brushing, you introduce a new habit, and it has a higher likelihood of sticking. You also won’t forget it as easily since there are now two things you need to be doing in the same room at the same time.
These habit stacks can get more complicated and involved and turn into full mini routines within your routines. Other bathroom habit ideas could include taking evening medication or vitamins, doing a quick clean of the space, or taking a shower, you get the idea.
You can do this with all sorts of habits around your house and also help to streamline your routine. Stacking habits is a great way to keep your routine easy to remember and easy to achieve.
Track Your Progress
You might be feeling like you are unable to be successful in a new routine because you are having issues remembering what it is that you need to do. This is a frustrating problem to have because it can really set you back when habit forming. The good news is this is a really simple problem to fix.
In this day and age, there are so many methods of reminders that you have to choose from. Here are just a few ideas to help you remember the integral habits that make up your overall routine.
Phone reminders and/or alarms
Habit tracking apps
Calendar (paper or whiteboard)
Sticky notes, notepads, checklists, journal
With more reminders and more places where the information is held, the less likely you are to forget about it.
However, if you’re forgetting about your new habits frequently, this could be a sign that you have too many. Take it back to basics and reduce the number of habits that you are trying to remember before adding more into your schedule. Take it easy on yourself! Change is hard.
Once you start to build back up the amount of habits that you are trying to form, you can continue to use reminders to help promote your success. Some people just function better with help from an alarm or a sticky note, and that’s totally okay!
Self-Improvement is an Ongoing Process
Here’s the thing, the pathway to forming meaningful and long-lasting habits that build up into routines all depends on being kind and courteous to yourself. As people we are all doing our best at any given time. Taking the necessary steps to try to form new daily habits is an incredible first step in the road to self-improvement.
Remember that self-improvement never ends and that working on yourself is a lifelong task. There is always room for growth regardless of where your starting point is. If you’d like to chat about having me help you figure out where to start, book a free mini-session to see if we’d be a good fit.