How to stick to a new habit

Jun 5, 2023 | Benefits of journaling

If you want to make changes in your life it always involves doing something different, usually a new set of actions that you need to do regularly, but how can you stick to a new habit and increase your chances of actually making those changes last?

Baby steps.

I’m a big advocate of baby steps. Always have been. For two reasons:

One, because the hardest part of changing anything is starting. If starting is a gentle baby step you’re more likely to get stuck in and give it a go.

Two, because the second hardest part of changing anything is keeping going once you’ve started! Baby steps are doable and because they are doable they are so much more sustainable. If you want to reap the benefits of a new routine you have to stick at it and if said new routine requires a huge amount of effort and commitment the likelihood of you sticking at it dwindles. Before long you’re right back where you started and nothing has improved.

For example, if you decide you need to improve your fitness and you’re going to get up at 5.30am every day and go and do an hour in the gym before work, that’s A Big Deal. It takes a lot of effort and a huge amount of commitment.

What are the chances you’ll stick with the new regime?

Well that depends on your personality and motivation but I would be willing to bet that the percentage of people who would stick to it would be pretty low. For me, that kind of thing might last for a few days at most before the comfort of my bed wins over getting to the gym early (especially on a winter morning!)

But if you were to decide you would go for a walk for 30 minutes in your lunch hour, or after work every day? Much easier to achieve and sustain for long enough for it to become a habit. And as you get fitter, which you inevitably will, increasing your distance or maybe jogging instead of walking becomes a much easier challenge to rise to.

This principle of baby steps is precisely why I created my Simple Daily Journal Sheet, to make it as easy as possible for you to start and sustain a journaling practice. No financial barrier to entry because it’s free and the time commitment is minimal, just a few minutes to top and tail your day. It even includes a 30 day habit tracker tick sheet so you can keep a record of when you’ve done it and how the process makes you feel.

After a while you may well want to delve into journaling a bit deeper (the equivalent of increasing your walk to a jog) and of course I can help with that too, the next step is The Wonderful Week Journal Planner which you can learn more about here. I just want to encourage people to start because I know what a difference it can make.

The other thing I love about starting with baby steps is that they encourage participation in an activity that you might not try if it required a bigger investment of time, energy or money. They unlock access to practices that can then be developed if you find you enjoy them and can feel the benefits. They offer opportunities for little adventures that could lead to giant discoveries.

Baby steps might be small, but boy are they mighty!

So if you’re curious about journaling your first baby step is right here!


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