Starting a new habit is challenging. It often means having to undo old habits to replace them with new ones that feel uncomfortable. It’s little wonder that New Year’s resolutions and promises to change one’s lifestyle rarely work out.
Starting something new and different is often not sustainable unless you reinforce it with other behaviors and tools. When you want to develop critical habits, you need to maintain them long enough for them to become a part of your lifestyle.
Reinforcing positive habits makes it easier for you to make changes that lead to a happier life. You can make carrying out a new habit pleasant and rewarding so that it becomes a permanent part of your lifestyle.
Let’s look at some small and easy ways to reinforce your habits.
A small but effective way to reinforce positive habits is to create a scorecard. It can be a printed card that you stick to your fridge that lets you know that you’re on track.
You can cross off the day of a calendar for every day that you quit smoking or do 15 minutes of studying. Keeping score is visible evidence that you’re making progress. Seeing your habit score build-up can be all the motivation and reinforcement you need to stay committed to your new habit.
It’s a visible track of your habits and is a powerful way to reinforce important activities that help you grow.
When you reward yourself every time you complete an activity, you’re creating positive reinforcement. Creating small and meaningful rewards helps you develop a positive association with a task that’s important.
You start looking forward to finishing your task because you know that there’s a reward at the end. Anticipating a reward can create a dopamine spike in your brain. Dopamine can drive us to act in anticipation of a pleasurable activity – in this case, your reward for performing a task.
Set small rewards that have meaning and give you real pleasure. It’s essential to ensure that your reward contributes to your development and is not a step backward. If your aim is to be healthier, then rewarding yourself with junk food for going to the gym is unhelpful.
Start a Daily Streak
This is similar to keeping score, but the difference is that you deliberately carry out specific tasks daily and record them. Many apps and learning platforms use daily streaks to compel people to play or interact with them.
Starting a daily streak can be a powerful psychological tool to repeat your habits. You can create a calendar and place it in a prominent place and mark every day you meditate or write a blog post.
Another option is to use apps that have in-built daily streaks as part of their features. Several language learning apps, meditation apps, and other tools use daily streaks as a way to motivate people and keep them active. You also get the benefit of getting daily reminders to finish your task for the day.
Have an Accountability Partner
An accountability partner is someone to whom you commit to maintaining a goal. You’re more likely to stick to a habit when there’s someone who’s supporting you and who will keep you accountable.
You can find an accountability partner from your friends, family, and coworkers. If you have specific goals that no one else shares, try finding an accountability partner on a membership site. There are dedicated sites for specific interests such as health, writing, and other activities.
With an accountability partner, You can support each other through challenging periods when you doubt yourself or want to break your new habit.
You’ll feel more motivated, and you’ll also be obligated to meet your commitment to them. This is a fun and simple way to reinforce habits that matter to you.
Make a Public Announcement
You can create positive pressure by letting your friends and family know that you intend to start and maintain a new habit.
By telling other people about your goals, you won’t be able to drop it quickly if it becomes inconvenient. You’ll get support and encouragement from your social circle, who can also give you ideas to help you on your journey.
This also a powerful way to accomplish your goals in the workplace. Let people know about your work goals for a department or for the business. You’ll find support from your peers, and you’ll feel compelled to fulfill your goals to grow your business.
Create the Life you Want with Good Habits
Your habits can determine your success or failure at work and in your personal life.
It’s vital to create habits that improve your life and become part of your daily routines. But staying with a new habit can be exceptionally hard. Using reinforcements for good habits can give you the motivation you need to keep on track.
Use the suggestions given here to make every time you work on your habit a strong link in a long chain. Over time, you’ll build a strong chain of experience and skills that will let you live the life you want.