Charles C. Noble
“Good habits, once established are just as hard to break as are bad habits.”
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?