Select Page

How To Build Habits That Stick

How To Build Habits That Stick

What to do when life gets “in the way” of your habits? I put together 10 tips and strategies to help you out. Let’s do this!

One of the concerns I had when I decided to build habits for 2023 was making it stick. I didn’t want it to be overwhelming or too hard to keep up, and end up giving up at the first challenge. I am proud of my stubbornness, but I know better than to push myself so hard that I have to stop.

The line between pushing through and burning out is very thin when you are a doer like me. While I’m still trying to figure out what “balance” means to me, I seem to be able to get a few things done.

As I mentioned in my blog “5 Easy Steps To Plan New Habits For Success,” it’s imperative that one keeps it simple. With that said, in my current experiment, I am going for more than 3 habits at the same time. The trick, however, is that I am not doing them all on a daily basis.

How it has been going

From the 5 I picked for 2023, I divided them as follows:

  • Daily: journaling
  • 3 times a week: riding a bike
  • Twice a week: yoga or another kind of physical activity
  • Monthly: reading a book and publishing a blog

Drilling down on how I am balancing them is:

  • Journaling: how much I write or decorate depends on my availability and mood. I am only keeping one journal (not various as I used to), which also simplifies things a lot. While I am following my “365 Questions For A Better You” and “Cafe Analog’s Project Me,” I don’t feel guilty if I skip a day or two and play catch later on. The most important thing is consistency.
  • Riding a bike: I am following a similar approach to cycling. Since it’s winter now, I am 100% on Zwift, but whether I do one of Helen’s amazing workouts for the Rocacorba Collective or just spin somewhere in Watopia depends exclusively on how much free time I have in my hands. The same goes for whether I stream on Twitch or not.
  • Yoga: I’ve been using yoga as an extra trick to wind down. Sleep has become an even bigger challenge than it used to be in the past years. Doing a few breathing exercises helps me calm down and relax.
  • Reading a book: As I want to read a book per month, I set a schedule for a total of pages read. It depends a lot on the book, but it helps me keep a doable rhythm. On the weekends, I usually have more time to read, so I can always catch up if necessary without stressing out.
  • Publishing a blog: Believe it or not, this is the trickiest one because it depends on having the inspiration and time together to sit in front of the laptop. Remember what I just said about sleeping? I’m a night owl and tend to have my peaks late in the evening, but that means that I stay behind the screen when I should already be unwinding. This is one to keep an eye on definitely.

10 strategies to build habits that stick

This is what has been working for me (more or less, but I’ll tell you the details another time). Depending on what you want to achieve, you will need a different approach. 

Here are 10 tips and strategies that will help you build habits that stick, no matter what goal you have:

  1. Start small: One of the most important things when building habits that stick is to start small. It’s better to begin with a small habit that you can easily integrate into your daily routine and gradually build upon it. For example, if you want to start running, start with a 5-minute run every day and gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable.
  2. Make it a part of your routine: The best way to build habits that stick is to make them a part of your daily routine. For instance, if you want to start meditating, try to do it at the same time every day, like right before you go to bed or right after you wake up.
  3. Track your progress: Keeping track of your progress is a great way to stay motivated and accountable. You can use a habit tracker app or a journal to keep track of your progress and celebrate your wins along the way.
  4. Be consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to building habits that stick. Try to stick to your habit every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Even a little progress each day can add up over time.
  5. Reward yourself: It’s important to reward yourself for your hard work and progress. When you achieve a milestone or hit a goal, celebrate it! Treat yourself to something you enjoy, like a nice meal or a movie.

  6. Stay accountable: Find a friend or a group who is also trying to build habits and hold each other accountable. Share your progress, successes, and setbacks with them, and motivate each other to keep going.
  7. Focus on the process, not just the outcome: Building habits is a process, and it’s important to focus on the journey, not just the destination. Celebrate your progress and small wins along the way, and don’t get too discouraged by setbacks or failures.
  8. Be patient: Building habits that stick takes time and patience. It’s important to remember that progress is not always linear, and there may be ups and downs along the way. Stay committed, stay patient, and keep going.
  9. Experiment with different approaches: Everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. Experiment with different approaches to find what works best for you. For example, if you’re trying to build a habit of exercising, try different types of exercise, different times of day, and different durations to see what works best for you.
  10. Don’t be too hard on yourself: Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a day or slip up. Building habits is a journey, and setbacks are a natural part of the process. Instead of beating yourself up, focus on getting back on track and continuing to move forward

Focus on the process, not just the outcome: Building habits is a process, and it’s important to focus on the journey, not just the destination. Celebrate your progress and small wins along the way, and don’t get too discouraged by setbacks or failures.

Good luck! 🍀 

About The Author

Debbie Rodrigues

Debbie Rodrigues is a powerhouse Executive Assistant by day and a Planning aficionado by night. During her free time, when she is not cycling, you'll probably find her journaling.

Hello, my name is Debbie Rodrigues.

By day, I am a powerhouse Senior Executive Assistant; by night, I am a planning enthusiast. When I'm not cycling, you'll probably find me journaling in my free time.

On my website, you'll find tips to elevate your skill set, build confidence, improve productivity, and achieve success in the things that truly matter to you.