New habits are tough to form, but if you approach them with a vague understanding of how to form them and why you want to form them, it can be even harder. Taking some time to find the specifics of how and why can help you keep motivated.
Photo by Hernan Pinera
Say you want to exercise more. You might say that you're going to start running every day, and that's it. In that scenario, you're not fuelling your motivation enough. What you need, according to Thanh Pham at Asian Efficiency, is a way to turn a vague habit into a ritual.
Rituals are highly specific and broken down to be easily repeatable in a step-by-step fashion. Instead of "I want to run every day", it's "I'm going to run to this place, at this time, every day". The other part of the equation is the reason you want to do something, and it's arguably the most important. Here is Pham's example:
What you need is the real reason that is one or two layers deeper. For example, the reason I exercise regularly is because I don't want to end up like my grandparents who always complain about joint pains, they can't move around and they live in pain every day where they can't enjoy their last part of their lives. I've witnessed firsthand how terrible this situation is and that's not what I want.
Don't just say that you wan't to run to look more fit. Dig deeper and ask yourself what the root reason is. When you get specific about the how and why, you'll find motivation is much easier to come by.
5 Reasons Why Habits Don't Work [Asian Efficiency]