Bad habits are easy to make, but extremely hard to end. Good habits, on the other hand, tend to take more time to make. Luckily, scientists agree that the average person needs at least 3 weeks to form a good habit.
If you're trying to start a good habit, then you probably had a bad habit to begin with. If so,
empty your house and work space of the thing you're trying to quit, or any item that may make you want to end the habit-making process. If you want to quit smoking, get rid of cigarettes. If you want to eat healthier, get rid of most unhealthy foods in you pantry etc.
There are so many things we do in our daily lives that have become a "habit". Brushing our teeth is habit. How you answer the phone is a habit. The way you sit in the car when your driving is a habit. Have you ever tried to change the way you do something, after you've done it one certain way for so long. It's easy to do as long as your thinking about it. The minute your mind drifts to something else, you go right back to the old way of doing things. What is a "habit" anyway? It's a way of doing things that has become routine or commonplace. To change an existing habit or form a new one, can be a tedious task.
Fatigue, boredom, depression, stress can all make it difficult to stick with your program. But having a relapse isn't as important as how you deal with the relapse. If you are so devastated by failure that you call your good intentions into question, that will make habit change harder for you. But, if you allow for an occasional relapse and treat it as nothing more than a slight misstep that teaches you something, then you're on the right track.
The following are some suggestions to follow each day in order to sustain motivation and determination:
1. Review your list of reasons for quitting or changing.
2. Create mental pictures of yourself as having already succeeded with your habit change.
3. Make affirmations, positive self-statements about your habit change. For example, "I am filled with so much health and vitality now that I exercise four times a week."
4. Reward yourself. Make up a list of self-rewards. Reward yourself verbally.
Remember to take one day at a time. If you do backslide, don't label yourself as having failed. Get out your list or reasons for quitting or changing and begin again.