Everyone has dreams that they want one day to come true. Learning a new language, getting fit, finishing a career and more can be milestones we want to achieve, but these will never materialize without good habits.
Habits are behaviors that are practiced every day, automatically and effortlessly. If they form habits related to what we want to achieve, the process that will bring us closer to our dream becomes easier and easier, happening on its own.
However, habits do not happen overnight. To do this, you need to focus on achieving this goal, devoting both physical and mental effort.
In this article, we will talk about how habits are created, indicating a series of guidelines that can help achieve them and also a number of aspects to take into account when deciding to introduce one. ‘between them in everyday life.
The habit and its aspects to consider
As we said before, habits are behaviors that happen automatically every day. When an action has become something everyday, which is done every day, it becomes a habit and is done almost without thinking.. These types of patterns, once established, involve lower energy consumption, both physically and mentally.
However, habits only become something present in people’s daily lives after going through a process in which they have successfully incorporated them into daily life. Trying to make something new our daily bread is certainly something that involves greater focus, being aware of what is being done and how it is done, as well as not losing the purpose for which it is. made.
It is very comfortable to fantasize about the idea of making a long-awaited dream come true. What is not so comfortable is being hungry every day for activities related to the goal you want to achieve, whether they require mental or physical resources.
It should be borne in mind that the process of habit formation is not something concrete and fixed, that is, not all habits settle with the same ease and take not the same time to become something everyday. This process can vary depending on several aspects:
The starting point at which the person is.
- Physical and intellectual skills
- Way of life
- Other established habits that may interfere with the habit to incorporate
Also, how quickly the habit sets in depends both on the purpose and on how difficult the habit itself is to fit in.. For example, trying to walk for half an hour each day is not the same as lifting weights for half an hour a day. The physical and mental effort is much greater in the second case, and the desire to do so may be less.
It has become quite famous that it only takes about 21 days to get a habit into people’s daily lives, or what is the same, 3 weeks. This claim, besides being very risky, was clearly wrong for more complex habits.
Several studies have tried to see how long it takes to develop a habit, with very different results, depending on the difficulty of what you want to achieve. Research suggests that some habits may take a very short time to develop, just 18 days, while others, on the other hand, take almost a year to become something everyday. We have also seen that failing one or two days does not have a negative impact on acquiring the habit, but failing more than two.
How to create a habit: the steps to follow
However, once it has been possible to introduce this habit into a person’s daily life, the physical and intellectual effort that had to be invested at the start of the process becomes much less.
1. Set specific goals
It is quite possible that there are many goals to achieve. However, and as the popular saying goes, the one who kisses a lot does not hug.
The ideal is to try to introduce a single habit at the beginning, at most two, and to wait to achieve it after a while.
If you manage to break the habit, you can try increasing the level of complexity. For example, if you wanted to walk half an hour a day, now you can try to be an hour or even be part of that running time.
It is very important that the habits to be followed are defined in a very concrete way. It is not the same to say that you are going to walk for half an hour every day after lunch or to say that you are going to walk.
In the second case, he is more likely to fall into self-deception, saying that because he has moved inside the house, he is already relying on how to walk or, as he has already done the races he had to do, you could tell who exercised.
2. Make a plan and stop making excuses
Whenever you try to introduce a new habit into your life, the constant struggle against laziness arises and the return to the previous routine.
It is common that we say to ourselves that we do not have enough time, that we do not have the equipment to play, that we have other obligations, etc.
The worst enemy to making a dream come true is not obligations or lack of time. The worst enemy is yourself.
The best way to end these excuses is to identify them and prepare in advance whatever you can to avoid them.
Are there other obligations to be made? Well, it’s time to do them first. Don’t we have the necessary equipment? Surely there is something at home or, if not, it is bought and ready.
Dreams will not come true on their own, you have to put desire and eagerness into making them come true.
3. Schedule reminders
It doesn’t make much sense to be aware that a new habit will be followed if, in practice, you forget to do it.
Thanks to technological advances, mobile phones, in addition to being such devices for watching videos of kittens, have multiple functions., Including the ability to schedule personalized alarms, with a text message that reminds you what to do and when.
In addition, another option, a little more analog, is to leave notes in strategic places of the house, such as the bathroom mirror, the refrigerator door or even the television screen on which the notes.
As a result of this strategy, the excuse that what was supposed to be done has been forgotten is no longer valid.
4. Monitor progress
Sometimes, it is convenient to see how progress is made.
It is very important to check if progress has been made, and the best way to see it is to write in a notebook or on your mobile on the days when you have and haven’t respected the habit of playing.
If there has ever been a day when what was supposed to be done was not done, it is very important to state the reason.
In this way, not only will it be known how often the habit is taken and to what extent the goal is achieved, but it will also be possible to detect any obstacles that have arisen during the process.
5. Celebrate what has been accomplished
Just as it is very important to see to what extent the proposal is realized, it is also very important to celebrate.
Even if it has failed every now and then, it is possible to celebrate at the end of the week or month that has been accomplished, giving yourself a break or a whim.
However, the rewards need to be consistent and they also need to be very timely.
It wouldn’t make much sense to celebrate having been without industrial baking for a whole week without eating a whole cake between the chest and the back. during the weekend.
It also doesn’t make sense to celebrate that today we didn’t smoke a cigarette the next day.
- Duhigg, Charles (2014). The power of habit: why we do what we do in life and in business
- Graybie, AM and Smith, KS (2014). Psychobiology of habits. Research and Science, 455, 16-21.
- Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C. Potts, H. and Wardle, J. (2009) How Habits Are Formed: Modeling Habits Formation in the Real World. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40 (6), 998-1009.