Create and break Habits • Cat Morley

If you're sick of trying to make positive changes that you never stick to, creating a habit is the ultimate way to transform your life. Here are my tips and tricks for creating a new habit in just 30 days!

At the start of the year, I set myself a couple of resolutions which would be my goals for the year. They were pretty daunting, so I broke them down in to simple tasks I could do every day, but my biggest problem has always been sticking to something consistently without losing focus. I read that you can make anything a habit if you do it for 30 days, so I decided to give it a shot and make jogging my first habit. I was a bit sceptical at first but after a couple of weeks, I found myself automatically psyching up to jog. Almost four months later, I've jogged for 111 days without fail and have answered all of my emails everyday for 80 days. Even Tom has been inspired, working on his music for 30 minutes each day for 74 days. It really does work

1. Focus on one habit at a time

I bet there's lots of awesome new habits you'd like to gain and, though it's really tempting to try to tackle them all at once, it's important to focus on gaining just one at a time. Write a list of your new dream habits and pick out the one you feel the most excited and passionate about. Enthusiasm will help you stick with it and you can deal with the more tedious ones when you get the hang of things. It can be quite motivating to pick out the second habit you'd like to gain now too, so highlight that and stash your list somewhere you can find it again in 30 days time.

2. Do it for 30 days

They key to making something a habit is to repeat it every day. Once you've done it consistently for 30 days, it'll become natural and you won't even have to think about doing it. Make it top priority, and if you can, do it before you do anything else. There's no better way to kick off a great day than by getting your biggest challenge out of the way first. Just keep at it, make it your number one priority and before you know it, you'll be looking forward to doing it each day.

3. Track your progress

It's important to track your progress to keep yourself on target and motivated. I've got a great little app called Streaks for my iPhone which lets me create motivational calendars for my habits, tracks my progress and tells me what my longest streak has been so far. Another great option is to score a wall calendar with a giant X for each day you do your habit. As the number increases, you'll become more and more proud of yourself and less likely to break the habit.

4. Keep motivated

There will be days when you're not in the mood to work on your habit, so it's important that you learn how to motivate yourself. I'll write in more detail about motivation in a future article, but for now, let's find something simple which will inspire us to keep up our habit for 30 days. Perhaps you can reward yourself at the end of the month with something from your wish list or maybe you want to challenge a friend to try and create their own habit at the same time? Everything's more fun when it becomes a game. Pick something that will work for you!

5. Answer to yourself

Check in with yourself at the end of the day to see if you've completed your habit and if you haven't, it's time to ask yourself some tough questions. Why didn't you do your habit? Was there some physical reason you couldn't? If not, then what was it? It can be pretty depressing when you realise there was no excuse and you just didn't feel like it. But... is there still time you could do it before bed? And if you did, imagine how great you'd feel when you don't break your habit and get to add another cross to your streak! This kind of thinking has saved me so many times, even if it meant working up until the clock strikes midnight. Don't worry if there is a legitimate reason you can't complete your habit one day - just negotiate with yourself to do double the next day to make up for it.

Once you've gained your first habit, you can start creating more while maintaing your original. In fact, creating one habit might actually create lots of positive changes without you even realising it. For example, when I started jogging, I found that I started eating healthier, working harder and being tidier without even trying to. And, when you've got a 30 day habit in place, it'll take way more than one bad day to knock you off track again. Remember, it takes 30 days to break a habit too and with that in mind, are there any bad habits you'd like to break? Just do a little bit every day for 30 days and it'll become second nature in no time!


Have you been inspired to create a new habit? I'm here if you need a habit buddy!