How to get motivated when starting a new habit
You have this idea and fire in your belly.
You are sure you are going to do it and get all the necessary items.
The first week goes well, the second week is okay even though sometimes you doubt if it’s gonna work.
Suddenly you don’t seem to have the interest you started with. You are guilty of spending money on all those stuff.
Even though you occasionally do it, you tend to lose motivation and have lost interest.
It lies there in your to-do list or I-will-start-again-someday list.
Why does this happen?
We all want to be successful, stay fit, and have healthy habits.
But even if we take an initiative and start working on it, we sometimes lose interest. We don’t have the fire we started with.
But when you look at other people doing it consistently, you don’t think they go through this.
Let me tell you the truth.
Everyone has those days when they just don’t feel like doing it, even the most successful people.
Here, I am going to help you to take action even when you are unmotivated.
Ready to start?
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How to keep yourself motivated?
Staying motivated often doesn’t need to be a power of our mind.
The reason you are not feeling motivated might be because you don’t have a pre-planned routine. To have a productive day and get your work done, you should have some routines or cues that trigger the desired habit.
Identify what area in your life is you are struggling to have motivation in.
It might be starting a new fitness habit, a reading habit, practicing your sports/cooking skills, or anything under the sun you wanna achieve.
Even the most committed person can face this trouble from time to time. It’s human.
But one thing differentiates them from the rest of the people.
It is, they have learned how to deal with it and stick with their routine.
The problem you face is, you know what you should be doing. But you find it difficult to execute.
Difficult. Exactly. The solution I suggest is making it simple.
You see, it’s easier to start a habit than sticking to it.
Sticking to it needs your putting effort into it.
I am gonna tell you exactly how to do it.
How to stick to your habits after starting them?
First of all, you should have the immense desire to improve yourself.
I know it’s a no-brainer.
Whatever your goal is, if you really don’t want it and you are doing it just because someone else is doing it and really successful in it, the chances are you won’t be much motivated to stick with it.
You should fall in love with the idea of doing it.
But you might say you are not in love with the idea of working out. But you love that super fit healthy body, right?
You might sometimes feel lazy to practice your skills, even if it’s something you are passionate about. But you want to be the best in your field, right?
I hated every minute of training, but I said, don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”- Muhammed Ali.
Always keep the end result in your mind.
Visualize yourself having succeeded. It helps to get motivated.”
Associate cues to your desired routine.
Derek Doepker, in his book, The Healthy Habit Revolution suggests having cues to remind you of your new habit.
For example, if you want to practice your writing skills put your pen and book somewhere it’s easy to see daily (cue). It will remind you to perform the habit.
If you want to start working out, put your running shoes near your bed before sleeping. Or, put your workout clothes where you can see in the morning as soon as you wake up (existing habit).
The key is associating cues to your existing habits.
Once you have the cues placed, start small.
In the beginning, your focus is on establishing the routine and not about getting much value.
To create a workout habit, commit to doing 5 minutes of workout a day. Or just do a warm up.
You can’t really find excuses to not do 5 minutes of an exercise a day. You can do it even while watching TV.
But you might ask who is going to benefit from a 5-minute exercise. Our aim is not to benefit from it in the beginning but form a new habit.
These are called micro-habits or mini habits.
A mini habit is the tiniest version of your big habits.
That is, take a big habit, make it incredibly small so that you can’t say no to doing it.
For example, if you want to start a reading habit, commit to reading a paragraph a day.
Or if you want to clean the clutter in your room, commit to putting away one or two things in its place daily. Who knows, you might get in a cleaning frenzy and the whole room is shiny and bright as new.
Even if you don’t do that, don’t worry, our goal is to build a habit of cleaning the room daily.
According to research conducted by Phillippa Lally and her colleagues, it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit, when you do it consecutively. It was published in the European Journal of Social Psychology in 2009.
But don’t worry if you miss a day or two. It can stress you out and you might think you are a failure and not try again. What you must do is get back on track as soon as possible.
Because I know when you wanna do something consecutively for two months, life can interfere and you simply might not be able to do it.
This is where practicing mini habits can help you.
It’s easy to do and doesn’t take much time. But you have the sense of accomplishment that you did it.
Most of the time you would be doing it more than the intended time because you have created momentum by starting it.
And motivation follows momentum.
If you are like me, and if it’s something you really have been nurturing in your mind, you don’t wanna stop soon.
Creating a routine is more important in the beginning. Once it’s a habit, you won’t feel the need to get motivated daily.
Habits are automatic behaviors that you do on a consistent basis, once the cue/trigger goes off.
I mean you don’t need motivation to brush your teeth right?
(Or do you? I hope not!)
That’s the power of habit.
Read: How to start an exercise habit and stick with it
When struggling with motivation, remember mini habits. I bet you can’t say no to it.
More articles on habits:
- 8 reasons why you don’t stick with new habits (and tips to stick with them)
- 10 best habits to have to take your life to the next level
- Benefits of meditation and how to start a meditation habit
- A beginner’s guide to mindfulness
- How to start a healthy lifestyle to become your best self
- 10 reasons why journaling can transform your life
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This article was very encouraging. I am trying to get consistent in many areas of my life and this article provided simple tactics.
Thanks for reading:)