How To Make It Easy To Adopt A New Habit

Old habits are hard to break, and new habits are tough to adopt and sustain. Old news... heard that before. So, what to do? Make it easy to adopt a new habit and use that NEW habit to REPLACE an OLD habit. Use visual cues, reminders, prompts, advance preparation... seek out CREATIVE ways to "cue" your new habit and help make it stick. Consider the following "make it easy" ideas: Handy supply. If you're trying to eat healthier, keep healthy snacks at your desk, in your car, in your line of site on the kitchen counter, in your pocketbook or briefcase. Ideas include bananas, apples, nuts, healthy energy bars, and so on. Ready to go. Lay out your workout clothes the night before. Make it to rise early, jump into your workout clothes and go. Use checklists. If your new habit involves multiple steps, then make it easy for yourself by creating and using a checklist. Keep the checklist handy and readily accessible. Always available. Adopting a reading habit? Keep books by your bedsite, next to your favorite chair at home, on your iPad/Kindle. Keep audio books available for your car. Handy supply. Keep blank thank-you cards on your desk and visible. Developing a habit of regularly writing thank you notes is easier to remember if the tools you use are in your line of site daily. What new habits are you trying to adopt? What is one visual cue idea you have to help make one of those new habits stick?


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Teacher lectures students in a classroom

My grandparents owned a two-story walkup in Brooklyn, New York. When I was a child, my cousins and I would take turns asking each other questions, Trivial Pursuit style. If we got the question correct, we moved up one step on the staircase. If we got the question wrong, we moved down one step. The winner was the person who reached the top landing first. While we each enjoyed serving as the “master of ceremonies on 69th Street,” peppering each other with rapid-fire questions, I enjoyed the role of maestro the most of all my cousins. I suppose I was destined to be an educator.

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