You may have done your research, defined your goals, set your priorities straight and are now feeling ready to start working on your habits.

But the real magic happens when consistency is mastered.

So you won’t get anywhere until you learn how to stick to a habit. The results you desire can only be seen over a long period of time.

So here’s why we don’t stick to habits:

1. You start many habits at once.

Many have tried, and almost all have failed.

I know we’re all impatient, and if we invest time and effort into changing ourselves, we want to see instant progress in many areas. But it just doesn’t work like that.

So focus on one thing. Work on one habit at a time. Choose just one activity, and concentrate on doing it every day.
That’s how you’ll succeed.

2. You make big changes.

That’s a wrong approach.

The secret of starting and getting further is to start small.

You can’t go to the gym 6 times a week, for example, if you’re a newbie. No! You start by just making yourself get there, and having a quick workout. And setting the goal of doing it 2-3 times a week in the beginning.

That’s because your body and mind need time to adjust to the new behavior, to accept the idea that you’ll be doing that for a long time and intend to get more serious about it.

3. Something else gets in the way.

That will happen, eventually. But if it’s in the first week or two, you’re much more likely to give up.

What may happen that can make you quit:

  • getting sick;
  • going on a trip;
  • new project at work;
  • having guests at home;
  • having an important decision to make;

These are big changes. And they will affect your plan to change yourself, too.

So you need to be strong. To realize that it has nothing to do with your habits and you can still work on them.
And if you don’t feel like it, put them off for a few days. But after that, get back to them immediately and start from day one.

4. You miss a few days and give up.

The problem is that you feel like you’ve failed. And failure can be tricky if we don’t know how to benefit from it.

Understand that missing a few days doesn’t mean anything. Nothing stops you from trying again tomorrow.

It’s all about spirit here. If you believe you can do it, then you’ll try until you actually do it. Simple as that.

5. You don’t enjoy it.

I don’t think there’s any point in doing that at all if you only bring stress, pressure and negative emotions in your days.

The whole point is for you to become a better version of yourself, to create a brighter future, to change, to fight your weaknesses, build character and willpower and make that the foundation of your future success.

So you’ll need to be aware of that at every step of the journey. And it’s going to be a long one.

Learn how to let go of what was (and thus not feel bad about mistakes and failures from the past), focus on the present (just take the tiny action connected to your habit) and look forward to the future (tomorrow you’ll be a step closer to where you want to get in life, and even if you aren’t – you can start again).

“Good habits are worth being fanatical about.”
John Irving

Do you find it hard to stick to new habits? Why do you think that happens? And how do you deal with it?

See also:

The smart way to stick to habits
How to create lasting change
Why is it so hard to form good habits