It may be identified the top culprit that causes us to struggle with habits, for example, resistance, and the procrastination that results us in place. There may have ideals and fantasies about the habit that are not met. There may get busy or travel and miss a day or two of the habit. There may have stories in the heads that get in the way. Truly, all of these cause resistance and then procrastination. So, how do it may overcome these struggles?
This is to introduce us about this very question. There may be found a number of ways to overcome resistance. They are not a “one size fits all” solution, although, accordingly you will have to try them to see what works best for you. Thus, here are the top ways to overcome resistance and there may get into each in more detail in the subsequent things indeed:
First, let go to one habit at a time. Most people have lots of habits they want to change, but it is a mistake to try to do them all at once. Taking on too many habits is a good way to overwhelm yourself (which is a source of resistance). Accordingly, pick one small habit to start with, and give it your complete focus.
Second, let do small steps. Making the habit as small as possible to start out with is all-time favorite way to overcome resistance. If you only have to meditate for 2 minutes (instead of say, 30) then the resistance drops greatly.
Third, let come to deeper motivation. If you have a really strong reason for wanting to do the habit, you will overcome resistance. In short, lower the resistance and increase the motivation.
Fourth, let fully commit. Lots of people just get started with a habit without a full commitment. We may recommend deepening your commitment so that you do not back out when resistance comes up.
Fifth let reflect accountability. Similarly, if you are held accountable by others, you are more likely to keep doing the habit even when you face resistance.
Sixth, let get facing the resistance with mindfulness. This is a mindfulness method for working with resistance that we will talk about in a later chapter.
Seventh, let make just getting started. In this method, we do not worry about doing the entire habit, we just focus on the moment of starting. For example, instead of thinking about the habit of running, you focus on the habit of getting your running shoes on and getting out the door.
Eighth, do not rely on “feeling like it”. This is a trick it may be learned that works wonders for resistance; instead of skipping the habit because it really shows we “don’t feel like it”. We just do it because that is the plan. The idea is that our use of “feeling like it” as a reason to do something or not do something is flawed. Instead, we should make a plan beforehand and just do it.
Ninth, do not miss two days in a row. It is easy to miss a day of doing the habit for various reasons, but it is not the end of the world. Just start again the next day. However, if you miss a second day, you become much less likely to continue. And if you miss a third, it is pretty unlikely you will start again (unless you use some of the ideas below). Thus, it helps to have a rule that you w will not miss two days in a row, no matter what.
Tenth, let come to get through the Dip. I’ve found the second or third week of a new habit can be somewhat of a slump for many people. This is to call it the Dip. You often start a habit with some enthusiasm, but that energy can run out after a couple of weeks. Truly, it is a critical point for most people, and you have to find a way to get re- motivated and make it through the Dip.
Eleventh, let make journaling and reflecting. One of the best tools for sticking with a habit is journaling every day, or at least finding another way of reflecting on how it is going. This is because if there is some resistance coming up, some obstacle getting in the way, if you journal or reflect on it, you are less likely to give in to it without thinking. You can see the resistance and find a potential solution. So, you can reflect on whether your solutions are working and adjust if needed.
Twelfth, let focus on restarting and re-motivating. Everyone misses a day of doing their habit sometimes. It may have never met a person who was perfect at doing every single habit they attempted to form. Instead, the successful habit creators are not the ones who are perfect, but the ones who learn to restart when they slip up. Indeed, the ones who learn to re-motivate themselves when they feel disappointed or hit a slump.
Thirteenth, let try changing your identity. You can change how you see yourself. If you see yourself as someone who is bad at exercise, for example, this can get in the way of forming the exercise habit. So you can try changing your identity, to someone who loves exercise. More on this later, but it can be surprisingly effective.
Fourteenth, let do being completely present. If you allow yourself to be completely present with the habit as you do it, it can be a form of meditation. In this way, it can actually be a bit of a stress relief from our busy, chaotic days. Your new habit can be a rewarding activity if you focus on enjoying each minute of doing it. And you can mindfully see resistance and work with it as it arises.
This might seem like a lot of ideas to try out, but do not worry, you do not have to do them all. Nor do you have to do them all at once. Explore each one in turn, and see what works best for you.
Let us remember one of the breakthroughs for us when we first started successfully changing our habits, after years of habit failure, was deciding to focus on just one habit. There were so many habits we wanted to change: get healthier and fitter, get out of debt, become more mindful, simplify our life, declutter, read more, write more, start a business, spend time with my kids. And we wanted to do it all at once. So we tried to form multiple habits at once … because I thought I could, and I couldn’t imagine putting any of them off for a few months. Unfortunately, this method did not work for us, and we kept failing to create 5-10 habits at once. Go figure! It was like a revelation when we decided we were going to pick just one habit at a time and focus completely on that habit. This is to chose quitting smoking to start with, though now we would not recommend quitting a bad habit as your first habit. Still, we were successful, because we put everything we had into that habit, as if we were saving my own life. Which I was.
Eventually, we ended up changing all of the habits on the list. One at time. Focusing on each habit completely, giving it everything I had, creating accountability and consequences and mindfulness around the habit. We learned that each habit change is a full-on project in itself, and needs your full focus. We learned that I did not have room in the life to do more than one habit at once. And we learned that changing one at a time is not only more effective, it leads to completely changing your life over the course of a year or two. It is amazing. Pick a small but powerful habit to start with. We recommend one of these: two minutes of meditation or yoga, journaling for two minutes, doing a handful of pushups. In this matter, each of these is small but leads to lots of learning. Therefore, two of the biggest questions people have are: (1) we really want to change everything at once, but it is hard to balance multiple habits! (2) If we have to just pick one, how do we prioritize? Let’s address both of these questions.
Accordingly, it comes to deal with Balancing Multiple Habits:
As we said in the last following, we may really really suggest doing one habit at a time. It is too hard to do multiple habits at once, that is, it is possible, but you are just making things harder on yourself. That said, eventually you will finish the first habit and want to do a second. And then a third. And so you will be balancing several habits at once. Thus, let consider how do you manage that?
There may be a few suggestions:
First, do not start a second habit until the first feels pretty solid. It should be a lot easier and more automatic than when you first started. Do not be in a rush to start your second.
Second, when you start your second habit, keep it super small. You still have the first habit going on, so be mindful of that and make things really easy on yourself by starting as tiny as possible.
Third, be slower and slower to add new habits after the second one. Let the previous habits become really solid, and get good at returning to them if you get disrupted, adding accountability and support from others if you need it.
Fourth, keep the previous habits small as you add new habits. If you are doing three habits at once, you are much more likely to succeed if you keep them all very small.
Yes, eventually you will want to expand your habits beyond “tiny,” but do not be in a rush.
In another word, it may focus on Prioritizing Habits
Let’s say you agree to do just one habit at a time. How do you choose which to start with when you have a couple dozen you want to form? First, realize that you do not need to rush to form all habits at once. Yes, you will want to form them all quickly, because you want to see all the great life changes right now! But realize this: you did not form your current habits in one month; it took you years to form them. You are not going to change them all in one month either. It will take a year or two, possibly more. So take a realistic long-term view of your habit changes. If you change one small habit per month, you will have a dozen over the course of a year. That is great success! And you will have two dozen over the course of two years.
Second, it does not matter which habits you start with indeed because you will be changing a lot of habits over the course of the next two years. You are going to get to them all! So just pick an easy one and start with that, and then a second easy one and start with that. The most important things are that you are learning to be consistent, learning to get back on track when you get disrupted, learning to create an environment that will support your changes, and learning to trust yourself.
Third, see these habit changes as experiments. No, you do not know which habits will be best for you, but there is no way to know for sure until you find out through these experiments. So let go of having the “perfect” list of habits to work on, or the “perfect” order. Neither of these exist. Instead, just experiment and find out, and enjoy the learning experience!
Finally, we suggest picking habits that will help you form other habits. And here are some ideas: (1) Meditation – we have found the mindfulness cultivated by a couple minutes of breath meditation each day helps you form other habits, (2) Journaling – This habit encourages reflection, which is a powerful part of any habit experiment, (3) Walking – A daily walk gets you active, starts you on the path to health, can be a social activity if you walk with others, or a reflective time if you walk alone and (4) Waking a bit earlier – If you try to wake too early, it is difficult.
However, if you wake just 10 minutes earlier, you create time for your meditation or journaling habit. And once that becomes easier, you can wake 10 minutes earlier than that, and have a little time for another tiny habit. Do this process slowly! And something easy – Some people have tried putting their clothes in the hamper when they are done using them, or wiping the counter after eating. If you start with an easy habit, you are building trust in yourself, and the skills you need to be consistent. These are just a few ideas — you might consider making a list of good habits you want to form (not bad habits you want to quit, yet), then seeing which would be easiest and also might support the other habits on the list.
Look! Here deal with Some Questions About Priorities
Question: I am feeling overwhelmed by the number of habits I want to incorporate into my routine.
Answer: Yes, it can feel overwhelming! But this is a good opportunity to practice dealing with this feeling. You’re attached to wanting to do everything, but it’s not possible to do that right now. All you can do is focus on one habit, and try to get that to stick. Enjoy that process, really learn about it, because it will help you with all future habits. Really commit to one habit, and make it work. Then you can worry about the next one, but for now, don’t worry about all the habits you need to form. Just the one you can take on right now.
Question: I am indecisive about which habit to commit to, so I end up doing nothing.
Answer: Yes, indecision can stop all of us! The key is to make a decision, accept that it will not be the “perfect” decision, and then really commit to it. Ask for help — make a short list of habits you want to start with, and ask a friend to help you choose. Or have them choose for you, and commit to completely focusing on whatever habit they choose. Or roll a die, and pick that way. Whatever method you choose, realize that it will not matter which one you start with — except I highly recommend not trying to quit a bad habit to start with. Choose a new good habit to form, and start small.
This is probably the most powerful technique in this entire book, and if you take away nothing else, we would recommend you learn this. Pick one habit, and start as small as you can. Then increase the habit only gradually, one tiny step at a time. Why is this so important? Because it overcomes resistance like nothing else. let think about it like this as following in place: (1) If you are busy and think you do not have time, and you do have time if the habit just takes 2 minutes, (2) If the habit is uncomfortable, like exercise or meditation and it is not unbearably uncomfortable if it is just for two minutes and (3) If you have a million things to do today, you might be tempted to put off a bigger habit, but you are more likely to just do a quick, 2-minute habit.
It is noticed that it works like magic. If you are feeling resistance to doing the habit, make the habit smaller. A good progression is to start with just two minutes, then if you are able to successfully stick to the habit for a week, add a minute in the second week. Then add another minute the third week, and so on. If that is too slow, feel free to add two minutes a week. As long as it feels gradual and slower than you can handle. But only add time to your habit if you were consistent the previous week. If you are struggling, stay at the length you are at, or even drop it back from three minutes to two so that you can get more consistent. Remember this rule: it is always more important to do the habit consistently than it is to do it for longer. That is because you are trying to form the trigger-habit bond by being consistent over time. You are running a marathon, not a sprint. A common habit problem is finding time and energy for creating new habits, when perhaps you are already working long hours. The good news is: you do not have to commit that much time. Can you find 10 minutes a day? That is all you need to start with.
And yes, almost anyone can find 10 minutes a day. If you watch TV, watch videos online, check Facebook or other social media, read the news or blogs or other favorite websites, play video games … you can spare 10 minutes.
You could take 10 minutes you normally spend drinking coffee in the morning, and journal while you have coffee. You could take 10 minutes you normally read websites in the morning, and meditate. You could take 10 minutes at the end of the day, when you normally unwind by watching TV, and unwind by meditating or going for a short walk.
How can 10 minutes be enough? Well, if you just start with a 2-minute habit (like meditating or journaling for two minutes, or doing a few pushups), then you can easily fit it into a 10-minute block. You might need a minute to set up, and then another minute to log your habit or report to others. Altogether, it should take less than 10 minutes.
Eventually you will want to do a 5-minute habit, maybe a 10-minute habit (though you should not rush to expand your habit — take your time). In that case, you will eventually need 15 minutes for the habit. But that is OK, you can slowly find the time by stealing a little here and there from other activities. Indeed, just 5 minutes is all you need to steal and you can do it!
This is to be decided that waking a little earlier (just 10 minutes earlier) was important for finding the time for new habits. Again, it is not much, but it can make a huge difference in your life. If you are already working long hours, do not rush to form a dozen new habits. Start with one small one, maybe add a second when that is pretty strong, but wait until you feel you can handle the load before adding a third. There is no reason to rush — take your time, and allow your life to slowly adjust to the new things you are adding. In summary, start as small as possible, steal a little time from non- essential activities, do not be in a rush to add a bunch of new habits too quickly.
Here are some questions of over committing to habits: a couple readers asked a question we like to answer here:
Question: I tend to bite off too much and overcommit to new habits, then give up as soon as it gets difficult.
Answer: Yes, this is a good thing to be aware of! Many of us overcommit to a new habit (or even multiple habits), because we were very optimistic and enthusiastic when we start out. However, it is so easy for life to get in the way and disruptions and big projects and crises to come up and then we do not have all the time and energy for the habit that we initially had.
So again, start as small as possible, do not get carried away. Make the start as easy on yourself as possible, and you are much more likely to be consistent and stick with it. Which is the real goal here, not winning any ego points for doing a lot all at once. This article from Leo Babauta, THE HABIT GUIDE, under uncopyrighted allowance.