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How to Create and Maintain a New Habit


It’s no secret that creating good habits is not easy. Our mind wants to default to comfort, and what we’ve always done. Change is hard.


But it can be done.


And this is how…

First of all, start small. Pick one habit you’d like to change or create. Starting with too many changes will just create overwhelm and will likely not be successful. You want to build trust with yourself. And following through does just that. So, one action at a time.


Second, do that new behavior every single day. You can’t skip during this early stage of behavior change. Once you let yourself off the hook, even once, it becomes easier and easier to do so.


Third, share your new habit with others. When you tell others, you feel more accountable to the change you’ve identified. You become more disciplined to succeed.


Visualize your success. The power of visualization is strong and real. If you see yourself being successful at creating a lifelong habit, and acting as though it’s already accomplished, your behavior will become ingrained in your subconscious and your chance of success will rise dramatically.


Talk to yourself positively. Repeatedly telling yourself that ‘I go for a walk every day after work’ for example, will have a significant effect on both your success and the length of time it will take to develop your new habit.


Commit to success and persistence. Stick with your new behavior until it becomes automatic and it feels strange not to do it.


Congratulate yourself on a regular basis. Changing a habit is hard. Recognize your own effort and be proud of yourself. Maybe set up a reward for yourself. When you recognize that you can achieve hard things, you create confidence and trust with yourself. It makes moving in the right direction and changing other habits a little bit easier.


What’s your number one habit you’d like to change?

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Karen Marcouiller

Personal Trainer and Health Coach

National Sports and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

American Council on Exercise (ACE)

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