Here are some guidelines for building small habits incrementally.
From the CONCERN: EAP Resilience Library
Those who are consistently happy tend to follow a set of habits that generate a more lasting sense of contentment in their lives. Introducing impactful, happy habits into your day can help you build a fulfilled future. Here are some guidelines for building small habits incrementally.
Start small and be specific. Pick the tiniest step that moves you toward your goal. Make it SO tiny that it sounds ridiculous. If you try to start a habit and it’s too big, or too hard, it decreases your chance for success. Make your new habit shorter and easier to accomplish and eventually, you’ll build up to something harder.
Find an anchor. Choose an existing routine to act as a trigger for your new healthy habit. If your new habit is to be more active, maybe make a pact to walk around your car every time you park it.
Make it a streak. Studies show that the longer you keep at a habit, the more likely you are to keep going. Once we’ve got a streak going, we hate to lose it.
Celebrate. Pat yourself on the back each time you accomplish your new habit. Little celebrations help reinforce the desired behavior.
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Pro Tip: Go easy on yourself. Don’t let the voice in your head be your worst critic. Building positive self-assessment habits is a subtle but effective catalyst for happiness.