When you try to form a new habit, it’s easy to slip into thoughts of how much better everything will be when you lock it down. Instead of getting caught up in the fantasy, let the curiosity of how changing feels motivate you.
Fantasising about the future isn’t always bad, but sometimes it can lead you to disappointment because your expectations are elevated. Leo Babauta at Zenhabits recommends focusing on the process instead:
When we start a habit change, it’s usually because we have some kind of picture in our heads about how great our lives will be once we make this change: we’ll be healthy and fit and sexy, our lives will be uncluttered and simple and beautiful, we’ll be happy. Unfortunately, changes in reality are pretty much never as we fantasized about, and so we become disappointed and discouraged. A better approach is to realise that these fantasies or ideals aren’t true, hold onto them loosely, and instead to an approach of curiosity: what is it like to change? What is discomfort like? How can I be happy in each step along the way, instead of only at my goal?
Starting a new habit takes time, and it’s helpful to have something that drives you every step of the way. Keep your feet on the ground, make the process the part that you think about, and you’ll establish your new habit before you know it. Who knows, you might even find the whole process more enjoyable.