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How to Start a New Habit That Actually Sticks

How to Start a New Habit That Actually Sticks

Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” 

When it comes to living a positive lifestyle, our habits either make or break us. Habits decide our physical health, emotional well-being and even our outlook on life. 

But when it’s time to start a new healthy habit, it can be pretty difficult. If you want to start the new decade with a habit that will actually stick, check out these tips:

 

1. Use a trigger.

All habits—negative or positive—come from a triggering action. A trigger automatically initiates a behavior and leads you to do something else. Using cues like time of day, place and circumstance with your trigger will increase the likelihood that your habit will stick.

Use the trigger process to remind yourself when developing a new habit. A good reminder encodes your new behavior in something that you already do. For example, “Before breakfast and after I shower, I will meditate for five minutes every day.” By incorporating your new habit into behaviors you already practice, it will be easier to remember.

 

2. Start small with your habits.

Lasting change is a product of daily habits, not once-in-a-lifetime transformations. It’s important to start your habits small so they’re easier to manage and can grow through time. 

First, decide what you want your new habit to be. Then, ask yourself how you can make this behavior so easy you can do it without thinking. Slowly build on that simple task, stick to a sustainable pace and be patient—big changes take time.

 

3. Keep a larger goal in mind.

Keep your immediate goals small but remember to dream big for the future. Decide on your ultimate larger goal, and then develop a plan with smaller steps to get there. Make bigger goals a reality by doing a little work each day to achieve them.

By establishing your larger goal, you’ll have something set in mind while working every day on small steps. For example, if your goal is to write a book, start by journaling 10 minutes every day, then incrementally increase the time and effort you put into writing.

 

4. Reward yourself.

It’s important to stay positive while creating new habits, and the best way to do this is by rewarding yourself for even the smallest of victories. If you complete an action and have a positive reward at the end of it, you’re more likely to do that same action again and form a routine. Repeat this routine enough, and it becomes a habit.

Reward yourself each time you practice your habit. This can be something as simple as congratulating yourself or getting yourself a treat. 

 

5. Get back on track quickly.

Nobody’s perfect, and you won’t be perfect when you’re developing a habit. It’s okay to make mistakes, but it’s important to get back on track quickly when you do. Abandon the all-or-nothing mentality—instead, plan for failure. Missing a habit once or twice is OK, but be consistent enough to not do it repeatedly and return to the behavior as soon as possible.

Focus on building the identity of someone who never misses a habit twice. Examine where your habit breaks down, then incorporate an if-then scenario. For example, “If I forget to meditate in the morning, then I will meditate for five minutes when I get home from work.”

On average, a new habit takes 30 days to develop, so don’t be discouraged if you struggle at first. Stay positive, focus on the goal and your new habit will get easier.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

Dear Clients & Supporters,

As you may have heard, our office in Pueblo was maliciously vandalized by an unidentified gunman, just after midnight on the evening of June 2nd.

Footage from our security cameras shows an initially calm scene, before what appears to be a man walking by nonchalantly, hands tucked in pockets, suddenly stopping and turning to withdraw a firearm. The gunman then starts dashing, firing shot after shot directly at our storefront.

This person and their weapon have caused immense harm. Financially, the estimated damage exceeds $25,000. The same bullets that shattered glass and pierced through walls have wounded our hearts. However, the cost of this emotional damage cannot be measured in dollars. If there is a silver lining, it’s that nobody was physically hurt - or worse. For that, we’re eternally grateful.

To be clear, this individual and this destructive act, are not linked to the Black Lives Matter movement or protests of any kind. Unfortunately, we believe this anger to be rooted locally in a conflict between a tenant and their disgruntled clients.

In the wake of the ongoing pandemic and riots spurred by civil unrest nationwide, we know things are uncomfortable right now. We know people are upset and hurting. We're hurting too.

As much as it pains us to board up these windows and doors and close our building, we have no other choice but to do so until we can get them fixed. Despite our office being closed, rest assured, we are still working.

While the need for our services grows, so does our need for your support. In fact, we need you now more than ever. Whether it's time or a monetary donation, anything you can do to help us continue promoting healthy, vibrant neighborhoods across Southern Colorado is not only sincerely appreciated; it's vital to actualizing our mutual goals as a community. You can make your contribution, securely and conveniently online at https://nwsoco.org/how-to-help/donate.html or to submit interest in volunteering please visit https://nwsoco.org/how-to-help/volunteer.html.

We want you to know, we will be back, and we will continue to fight for a better Southern Colorado. To get there, more of us need to change. Amidst these changes, one thing will remain certain: our commitment to serving you and the entire Southern Colorado community.

The pain we feel now will pass, just like the time we have with those we love. Remember to take care of each other. If this unprecedented time has taught us anything, it’s that we need each other more than we could have ever known.


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

A Message about Our Services in Light of Coronavirus (COVID-19) – UPDATED 06/09/2020

NeighborWorks Southern Colorado cares about the health and safety of our customers, staff, and community partners. Out of an abundance of caution, we are suspending in-person workshops and counseling appointments temporarily. We will continue to provide homebuyer education and counseling services virtually, and you can reach our employees by phone or email. We will not be receiving visitors to our office until further notice.

We are in the process of contacting customers registered for our Homebuyer Education Workshops or scheduled for an in-person counseling appointment to make other arrangements. If you need to reach us, please call (719) 544-8078.

We are monitoring the news closely and taking advantage of this time to do updates and upgrades to our building to better serve you when we re-open; we will post updates about our services to this website. Thank you for choosing NeighborWorks Southern Colorado as your trusted partner and first choice for homebuyer resources in Southern Colorado.

06/09/2020

Please take precautionary measures... Be safe and stay healthy

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