5 tips for building strong habits and becoming successful

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Have you ever started a goal only to find yourself giving up a week later?

I’m sure at some point we all have, and we also come up with the same excuses as well:

    • We’re tired (from work, lack of sleep, etc.)
    • We’re low on time
    • We’re not informed enough to take action
    • We’re waiting for the “perfect” time start

I’m sure you can relate to at least a few of those excuses (I know I can), and honestly they can be valid sometimes. But becoming successful in life means breaking through the excuses and working anyway, it’s just REALLY hard to do sometimes. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

You can defeat the everyday excuses we all make, it just takes a little bit of know how.



You don’t know how to build strong habits for success

Building habits that you stick with is harder than you might think, especially when it’s not about something crucial to your lifestyle (e.g. making money to live off of).

The reality is that most people just wing it when it comes to building habits, but this usually leads to weak results.


You never learned how to build strong habits

Strangely enough, nobody is really taught how to develop useful habits as they grow up. If you’re lucky you might get in the habit of exercising, but usually the only expectations of the young are to grow up and eventually get a job and earn a living.

This leaves most adults vastly unprepared when it comes to adding useful and/or satisfying habits to their lifestyles.


The tools to build strong habits

Luckily building strong habits can be made very easy. If you just follow the advice listed down below, you can stick with your habits for good.


1. Start small, REALLY small



The biggest, most important part of building a habit you actually stick with, is keeping the action as small as possible.

For example, if you want to start exercising then try these to start off with:

    • One pushup per day
    • 2-minutes on the treadmill
    • Strum a single guitar chord 5 times
    • One small glass of water every morning

These are good starter habits because they are: small, quick, and easy. Basically so easy that saying no to them would be ridiculous.

Does it sound like a dumb strategy? It isn’t, because I guarantee that you’ll not only have an easy time sticking to those actions, you’ll most likely surpass those minimums in no time at all.


2. Focus on speed and quantity, not quality



To maximize the effects of tip one, you should also be doing them as often as possible.

The purpose behind this tip is to make the habit become “normal,” so much so that you not only do it subconsciously, but you also feel “off” when you can’t do it.

The momentum of sticking with your habit will make it easier to stick with, so it’s important that you do it as often as possible. Don’t worry about doing things the correct way, trial and error will fix things automatically for you.

All you need to worry about is actually doing it as much as possible.


3. Limit your options



Another key to maintaining your habits is doing only one at a time.

Many people abandon their new year’s resolutions because they try to take on too much too soon. They want to exercise more, read more, clean more, socialize more, and so on. What do you think this leads to? Yup, they end up doing no more because it was too much to handle.

In addition to sticking with only one habit at a time, it’s usually best to limit the type of activities you do for your new habit as well. For instance, if going to the gym more often is your thing then don’t start off with some crazy 7-day split that requires you to learn how to do 20 different exercises.

Keep it simple and find a routine that has a low learning curve, there’s plenty of time to learn new exercises in the future (when your exercise habit is ingrained).

The exception is if learning new things and constantly mixing things up makes things more fun for you. In that case, go crazy so long as it makes you want to stick with your new habit.


4. Make your habit easy to do



If you can arrange for your habit to be easier to do or access, then do it.

For instance, if your new habit is eating healthier, then buy a bunch of healthy foods and throw out the junk food. If you want to read more books, maybe you could buy some audiobooks and “read” on your way to work.

Point is, make it as easy as possible and always set yourself up for success.


5. Find a partner



Having a partner by your side – somebody who’s experiencing everything you’re experiencing – will greatly increase your success with your new habit.

See if you can find somebody who has similar goals as you, and if possible choose somebody with a ton of motivation.

For those days where you can’t possibly imagine yourself sticking with your habit, a partner might be just what you need.


Over to you

Do you have any tips for developing strong habits? Please leave a comment and let me know what they are, because I’d love to hear your advice 🙂

Photo credits: Ajnagraphy, Orbula, g_firkser, luis echanove, Daniel Kulinski & Lst1984 via photopin cc

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