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One Powerful Tip For When You Feel Like Giving Up on Your New Habit

Keep on keeping on
Image by tbondolfi (license).

[hana-code-insert name=’socialbuttons’ /]“First we make our habits, then our habits make us.”
Charles C. Noble

“Good habits, once established are just as hard to break as are bad habits.”
Robert Puller

Changing a habit can be hard. To make the habit stick you have to keep going until it becomes not something you do through willpower but something you feel drawn to doing. This can take 30 days or more of taking action each day.

But we all have bad days. What do you do on such a day when you just feel like giving up on creating this new habit?

Here’s what I do.

I say to myself: Just for today!

It is important to make yourself realize that the period that you are investing in changing a habit is not the rest of your life.

As mentioned above, if you do something every day for 30 days then that will become a habit and you will feel drawn to doing it or just do it automatically. So it is not about forcing yourself to do this thing on willpower for the next few decades.

Brian Tracy has a great little phrase that makes it easier to take action and just focus on it for today. Tell yourself:

“Just for today I will XX!”

Replace XX with what you will do just for today such as getting exercise, get going on the most important task first thing in the day or eating a healthy lunch.

You can take it one day at a time with this phrase until your habit becomes a natural part of your life, until it becomes something you feel drawn to doing.

I myself don’t use it every day. But I find it very helpful on those days when inner resistance causes me to not feel like continuing doing something until it becomes a habit. Such days are pretty much inevitable.

But by telling myself that I only have to do it today I release the mental burden of the past times I did it and future times when I will do it. And so the task becomes much lighter and the inner resistance melts away.

And guess what, when tomorrow comes I’ll have a good day again with less resistance and I will most likely feel like doing the task again. And that is how I handle a bad day when I am changing a habit.

What is your favorite tip for making it easier to change a habit?

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Manni Manirath April 9, 2011, 11:14 am

    Hi friends – I too apply Brian Tracy’s trick of “Just for today” it definitely helps because it doesn’t make the task so overwhelming because it is “one step at a time”.

    Something that I also teach my students is the principle of using “Pain vs Pleasure” as leverage. It is human nature to be more inclined to avoid pain rather than pursue the rewards of pleasure. But, if you can get both working for you, then you increase the probability of making changes for the better dramatically. Change can happen in a heartbeat – http://www.itallstartswithyou.net

  • Wizdumb April 11, 2011, 7:44 am

    This is a great article that is also inspirational. A few months ago, I had to get into the habit of taking yoga. I went to the first class and enjoyed myself; however, life took over and I did not attend class for another month. I finally convinced myself that I had to take time for myself, my spirit and my health and attend class consistently. It was hard to get into the habit but I’m a man of purpose and realize that self-discipline is a huge attribute for self-empowerment.

    Each day is a new dawn and with that dawn comes new opportunities to better oneself. I rearranged things and found a way to get to class. Excuses prevent many of us from breaking bad habits or creating healthy habits. The norm is a comfortable place to some and outside the box is frightening. I hope that this article motivates others as it did for me.

  • Jussi April 26, 2011, 11:22 am

    It’s for today – one by one – step by step – little by little – it works!
    Thank you Henrik!

  • Punita May 6, 2011, 8:09 am

    Thanks Henrik and others
    Your one-day tip appears to be quite helpful to break the overawe of forming a new habit. Recently I read about exploring new hobbies and activities and how after that initial spurt of interest, things fizzle out and we lose out and come back more demotivated. Even it mentioned about the 30 day continuity which is important to instill and sustain interest and eventually form the habit. But to persist in this motto, the “one-day” tip appears to be the antidote.

    Go with the flow and be happy…..

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