Today’s post is a guest post from Abby Demarzo LMHC. Her practice finds its home in our Hanover studio.
Building new habits and breaking old habits is HARD work! You’ve probably seen all sorts of statistics around what it takes to make a habit. I’ve seen everything from 21 days to a year with just a quick search! While there may be no hard and fast it takes X amount of days rule, we do know a few steps to take that will make your habit more likely to stick.
- Say it out loud – saying it to yourself is the first step to making a change.
- Say it to someone else – getting your goal out there helps them to hold you accountable to it and check in on your commitment to your goal.
- Find an accountability buddy – the BUDDY system works! Do you have a friend or family member who is trying to make the same habit change? Tackle your goals together!
- Pick a number – Your best chance at success is giving yourself a specific time to complete it. Be realistic – start with something you can actually accomplish.
- Plan it out – Plan it out, map it out. Print a weekly or monthly calendar. Lay out what this change will actually look like.
- Have your pep talk at the ready – Plan ahead for the days that you just don’t want to make progress. Brainstorm ways to deal with the days when they happen (because we know they will!)
- Write it down – make notes about each day. What went well? What could still use some work? Having this to review at the end of your planned time will be very informative
- Plan the end – Having the end in sight (with a celebration or reward!) can be highly motivating.
- Do it – No explanation needed here!
- Review it – Think about and talk about what worked, didn’t work and what you would do differently next time.
Speaking of next time… Behavior change becomes easier the more we work at it. What is next on your list?
Thanks again to Abby for the great post! We love Abby’s realistic and functional approach to counseling. Check her out on Facebook if you are interested in learning more about her practice.