Anyone who has ever been on a diet can attest to the fact that willpower is tough thing to master. In fact, I’d actually go so far to say that willpower is more or less useless when it comes to achieving your goals. Why? Because willpower is unreliable. And it takes way too much effort to try and keep it going. Fortunately, the alternative to willpower is habit formation, and it can be harnessed fairly easily and even with a little bit of fun!
Habits are critical to success because when something becomes a habit, you do it on automatic, without having to think about it. It’s just a part of your life that gets handled as part of your regular routine. So if there’s something that you’re trying to achieve (like getting more exercise or meditating daily, for instance) the key to making it happen for you is turn your actions into habits. And this is just what I’ve been using a neat little online tool I found to help me do! I’ve personally used this tool (it’s totally free, and even has both Android and iPhone app versions) to successfully form a regular habit of daily exercise – not something I’ve ever managed to do before, despite many failed attempts.
If you’ve been struggling trying make any real progress towards your goal, then maybe it’s because you’ve been doing the same thing I was: fighting a losing battle with your willpower instead of working on the far more reliable alternative of habit formation. Click on the play button below to get all the details of the awesome little tool that made the difference for me, and then give it a try yourself and let me know how it goes!
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How about with emotions, can we make it a habit to be happy? I really need that since being happy is key to meeting your goals in life. It is the core of it all. I want to be happy, but stop myself when I feel guilty or regretful and I stop the energy flow there. I can feel it.
Thanks for summing up what a habit is. I love exercising and when I do not do it, I feel weird and feel it is missing, so that is a good habit. Now, habits of thinking is another matter.
I downloaded the lift app and will try it.
Of course you can make happiness a habit! That’s what it’s all about — recognizing when you’re shifting yourself away from that and making it a point to shift yourself back to a better feeling place. The reason it can seem so hard sometimes is that unhappiness, for most people, has become the stronger habit. We spend our lives being taught that our own happiness is somehow selfish, or that our being happy somehow might make other people unhappy, so we train ourselves to focus on the bad and work our way into a habit of unhappiness so we can “fit in”. When we realize that this is what we’ve done, we have the opportunity to drop this unhelpful habit and create a better one — happiness!
Creating a new habit takes time, and you will fall off the wagon. Probably quite often at the beginning. But you just pick yourself up, get yourself back on track and keep going. Happiness is like any other habit; if I “mess up” and miss my workout for a few days, I can either say “oh well, so much for that…” and choose to give up on creating that habit, or I can shrug my shoulders, tell myself “it happens” and then make it a point to start working out again and getting right back to creating that habit that I want for myself. Likewise, if I find myself falling back into an unhappiness habit, I can do the same thing: I can either give up on creating a happiness habit for myself, or I can shrug it off, reset my course and try again. As with any habit, the more you work at it the easier it gets, and the faster you can get yourself back on track when you do go off course.