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What I Learned About Building Habits

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In the last couple of months, I tried building a new habit every single month. I tried meditating on a daily basis, reading a book every month, going to bed every day at 10 pm, and journaling every morning. Even though some I ended up implementing, while others I gave up, this experience has taught me a lot about the dos and don’ts of building habits.

Before, it absolutely didn’t make sense to me that I didn’t have any difficulties with turning vegan overnight when something much smaller such as taking my vitamins on a daily basis seemed so darn difficult.

So what I did was analyzing all the action steps I took for implementing these habits and honestly had lots of fun in the process.

In this blog post, I will share everything that I learned from this building habits experiment.

Related Reads:

building habits

#1. Having a strong why

If you have a strong why, especially when it’s associated with your health, you will be much more likely to keep up with it. Because quitting this habit would be irrational, right? It would mean that you’re neglecting your health.

However, what I learned (and I am definitely #guilty to this one too) is that I feel like lots of people go the wrong way about it. They first decide which habits they will implement and AFTER, think about the why behind it…

Ideally, it should be the other way around. We should first figure out what kind of lifestyle that we genuinely want for ourselves, that we truly desire and then, think about which habits we could implement to create this kind of lifestyle.

#2. Avoid building habits out of punishment

I used to have (and I still do sometimes) this yo-yo effect in my life. And what I mean by that is: feeling extremely guilty and bad about myself for not having worked out the whole week. So that’s why to punish me and compensate, I start to work out like crazy every single day the next week. And after, I’m so done with working out that I stop for a few days, and then the cycle starts over again.

So I noticed that this. just. doesn’t. work. This is absolutely not sustainable and a good mindset to have.

Sometimes life just happens and you won’t be able to do your habit, but then, just take a deep breath and don’t punish yourself! Just accept that this is completely normal and try again the next day (without overcompensating!).

So what I tried to do is to completely shift my approach and to build habits more from a place of inspiration. I no longer tried to work out just because I feel I have to lose weight and don’t feel comfortable in my body, but rather genuinely feeling inspired to work out because I want to feel strong and energized.

And I feel like this has helped me tremendously with becoming more balanced and consistent with my workouts and habits in general.

#3. Disrupt your day-to-day life

I don’t know about you, but when you move into a new home, often just your whole life changes, right? You have a completely new environment, new people, new habits, new everything. I find that having this ‘clean slate’ really helps when it comes to building habits.

Why? Because you’re in the process of finding a new routine, and whatever you start doing, tends to sick a hell of a lot easier than having to change habits afterward.

However, don’t worry, you definitely don’t need to change homes for building habits. It can be as simple as moving some furniture around, or changing things up a bit, to have this ‘clean slaty feeling’. So that when you enter the room, it’s different and that reminds you to do this new habit.

For example, my boyfriend used to leave his wallet and keys wherever around the house and was always searching for them when going out. So, I bought this cute box where he could put his stuff and displayed it on the top of a small closet. However, even though there was a designated space for him now to keep his keys and wallet, he obviously didn’t use it. So, what I noticed was that when I moved some furniture around and placed the same small closet in a different corner of the room with the cute box on top of it, he magically started using it.

Because the room looked different now, and that disrupted his normal day-to-day life in a sense, and that can be very powerful for building habits.

building habit

#4. Rather then looking for some kind of result, just try to genuinely enjoy the process

if you start truly enjoying the practice of journaling for example, this will motivate you more than results will ever do.

So try to make your habits as fun as possible.

Make it your quality time and create a whole ritual behind it, so that you start looking forward to it!

For example, if you journal with a soft blanket, your fav coffee, relaxing music and some candles lit, then it just becomes such a vibe, that it becomes your favorite moment of the day.

So don’t take it too serious, just have fun with it, and it will become a habit automatically.

#5. Don’t put the bar too high

The biggest mistake that I was making when it comes to building habits, is expecting way too much from myself…

I was putting the bar so high that I just couldn’t keep up with it.

45 min workouts 6 times a week is probably too big of a goal when you are just starting out.

I realized (the hard way) that it’s much better to consistently work out 20 min for 3 times a week than working out one week for 6 consecutive days and giving up after.

Hope this was helpful!

Related Reads:

building habits

Let’s Chat!

Are you trying to implement new habits into your life? Let me know in the comments down below!

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  1. Martina Alim says:

    Wow, this is genuinely a good read!! For someone struggling to build habits (and slacking off every time lol) I find this very helpful for me. Can’t wait to try these tips!! xx

  2. Marnie says:

    I like the disrupt your everyday life tip! Our behaviour patterns are sometimes just so ingrained we don’t even realise, aren’t they. Love your post, thank you!! Marnie xx

  3. Shelley says:

    Great post! #5 is so true. Many people set the bar too high and then feel like failures if they don’t meet their goals.

  4. I will be making a big change of habit this September. I love number 5 about enjoying the process. I suffer from anxiety and it is something I have to repeat to myself mentally when I start thinking too far ahead! Fantastic post, thank you.

  5. Vicki says:

    This is such a great read! I’ve been struggling with getting back to some of my routines from pre-pandemic times and I think these will be super helpful. Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. Love this so much, pinning for later!

  7. Aditi Jain says:

    I always end up quitting whenever I try to pick up a habit. Struggling with it for a while. Thanks for sharing this. It helps

  8. Its true a habit should not disrupt your day to day habits. I believe that they should enhance your day and add. It can be hard to learn new habits but its good to change and grow.

  9. Amanda says:

    I’ve found that habits can be difficult or easy to establish. But the easiest ones have a strong motivation for change even prior to making the change. As you point out above, they must have a strong “why.” I also agree that the habit has to be reasonable. I’ve also fallen into the trap of getting too intense too quickly and then I quickly burnout. Another trick I use is to attach the new habit to something I’m doing already. This helps automate it more quickly. And lastly, I completely agree that it’s important to enjoy the process itself rather than the ultimate goal. Great post – thanks for sharing!

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