Skip to main content

Resources

Related Articles

How to Start a New Habit That Actually Sticks

How to Start a New Habit That Actually Sticks

Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” 

When it comes to living a positive lifestyle, our habits either make or break us. Habits decide our physical health, emotional well-being and even our outlook on life. 

But when it’s time to start a new healthy habit, it can be pretty difficult. If you want to start the new decade with a habit that will actually stick, check out these tips:

 

1. Use a trigger.

All habits—negative or positive—come from a triggering action. A trigger automatically initiates a behavior and leads you to do something else. Using cues like time of day, place and circumstance with your trigger will increase the likelihood that your habit will stick.

Use the trigger process to remind yourself when developing a new habit. A good reminder encodes your new behavior in something that you already do. For example, “Before breakfast and after I shower, I will meditate for five minutes every day.” By incorporating your new habit into behaviors you already practice, it will be easier to remember.

 

2. Start small with your habits.

Lasting change is a product of daily habits, not once-in-a-lifetime transformations. It’s important to start your habits small so they’re easier to manage and can grow through time. 

First, decide what you want your new habit to be. Then, ask yourself how you can make this behavior so easy you can do it without thinking. Slowly build on that simple task, stick to a sustainable pace and be patient—big changes take time.

 

3. Keep a larger goal in mind.

Keep your immediate goals small but remember to dream big for the future. Decide on your ultimate larger goal, and then develop a plan with smaller steps to get there. Make bigger goals a reality by doing a little work each day to achieve them.

By establishing your larger goal, you’ll have something set in mind while working every day on small steps. For example, if your goal is to write a book, start by journaling 10 minutes every day, then incrementally increase the time and effort you put into writing.

 

4. Reward yourself.

It’s important to stay positive while creating new habits, and the best way to do this is by rewarding yourself for even the smallest of victories. If you complete an action and have a positive reward at the end of it, you’re more likely to do that same action again and form a routine. Repeat this routine enough, and it becomes a habit.

Reward yourself each time you practice your habit. This can be something as simple as congratulating yourself or getting yourself a treat. 

 

5. Get back on track quickly.

Nobody’s perfect, and you won’t be perfect when you’re developing a habit. It’s okay to make mistakes, but it’s important to get back on track quickly when you do. Abandon the all-or-nothing mentality—instead, plan for failure. Missing a habit once or twice is OK, but be consistent enough to not do it repeatedly and return to the behavior as soon as possible.

Focus on building the identity of someone who never misses a habit twice. Examine where your habit breaks down, then incorporate an if-then scenario. For example, “If I forget to meditate in the morning, then I will meditate for five minutes when I get home from work.”

On average, a new habit takes 30 days to develop, so don’t be discouraged if you struggle at first. Stay positive, focus on the goal and your new habit will get easier.

Our Impact in 2018

January 1-December 31
  • At Amethyst Center for Healing we are dedicated to helping individuals, families, and communities recover from trauma and abuse, so that we may all live peaceful, empowered lives.

  • Canyon Creek Services provides free and confidential services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Iron, Beaver and Garfield Counties.

  • CAPSA is a non-profit domestic violence, sexual abuse, and rape recovery center serving Cache County and the Bear Lake area.

  • Founded in 1984, The Center for Women and Children in Crisis has been in continuous operation for 33 years. Our mission is to provide a caring, advocating, safe, and educationally based environment for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

  • The DOVE Center is the only area agency providing safe-shelter, crisis intervention, and prevention for clients who have been victimized by violence in their home – whether by a family member or cohabitant – that also serves victims of rape and sexual assault.

  • Founded in 1922, Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake is a non-profit organization that promotes safety, stability and self-sufficiency for low income families and individuals, as well as victims of domestic violence, through effective, efficient legal advocacy and assistance.

  • New Hope Crisis Center has been serving Box Elder County for 30 years. Our mission is to provide all-inclusive, integrated, victim-centered services to stabilize and support individuals, families, and our community.

  • Our organization advocates for victims of domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, and the homeless. Serving people in Sevier, Piute, Millard, Sanpete and Wayne counties of Utah.

  • Peace House is dedicated to ending family violence and abuse through education, outreach, support services, and safe housing.

  • Safe Harbor, a non-profit organization, provides shelter, supportive services and advocacy to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as education, awareness and resources to our community.

  • Established in 1990, Seekhaven assists survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault rebuild their lives. Serving Grand County and Southeastern Utah, Seekhaven provides a wide range of essential services including client advocacy, emergency shelter, and transition assistance.

  • South Valley Services is a domestic violence service provider in West Jordan, Utah. We provide safe shelter and supportive services to women, men and their children who have been impacted by domestic violence.

  • Preserve the heritage. Enhance the wellbeing. Strengthen the future of the People.

  • Our Mission: To help families of homicide victims receive hope, justice, and healing.

  • Utah Legal Services (ULS) is a nonprofit law office incorporated in 1976 committed to making equal justice a reality by providing free legal help in non-criminal cases to low-income Utahns.

  • Valley Behavioral Health is a nonprofit network of clinics providing treatment for behavioral conditions, addictions, psychiatric conditions, autism and other chronic health conditions. We treat chronic lifelong conditions as well as temporary conditions triggered by traumatic life events. Our programs are tailored to people of all ages and every social, cultural and economic situation.

  • YCC Family Crisis Center is a domestic violence shelter and rape crisis center provide services 24/7 to victims and their children.

  • Today, the YWCA is Utah’s most comprehensive provider of family violence services; our programs include walk-in services and a crisis line, emergency shelter, transitional housing, children’s programs, and a vast array of supportive services.

© 2020 Utah Domestic Violence Coalition

Powered by Firespring