Author: Aj Agrawal / Source: Entrepreneur We humans are endlessly interested in the idea of self-improvement. We buy books promising secr
We humans are endlessly interested in the idea of self-improvement. We buy books promising secrets to better sleep and focused minds. We log our every movement and morsel intake. And, every January, we make resolutions to fulfill the promises we failed to keep in the previous year.
While such efforts toward self-improvement are inherently good, the outcomes can be frustrating. Often, people fall short of their goals because they get sidetracked and let other areas of life take priority. But what’s key to seeing that big new goal through to fruition is developing the right habits to support it.
Here are a few ways you can commit yourself to forming new and lasting habits and, ultimately, meeting those all-important self-improvement goals.
Set realistic expectations.
Unfortunately, habits don’t form overnight. Despite your enthusiasm at the beginning of a new “habit journey,” it takes a significant amount of time before the habit becomes second nature and you’ve mastered incorporating it into your daily life.
For years the standard number associated with habits was 21 days. Unfortunately, that number has tripled in recent years, and now the standard is that a daily task or inclination does not become second-nature or habitual for 66 days. Rather than looking at that as a daunting or discouraging figure, you should think of it as a guide to help you through the building process.
When you’re trying to add a new habit to your daily routine, you’re not just taking on a new task, you’re essentially changing years of thinking and behavioral patterns — not an easy feat. So, if after two weeks of going to the gym in the morning, you still dread the idea of hopping on the elliptical, don’t despair.
Be kind to yourself and remember that change takes time. It’s also important to set realistic habit expectations: vowing to make it on to the pro golf circuit within a year is not as attainable as improving your handicap by three strokes.
Experts say that unrealistic goals are often the reason why people stop short. One of the reasons…