Why should you never change

Change habits - 3 solutions to common problems

Finally eat healthier, be more economical, take more time for family and friends, avoid stress or exercise more. Do these plans sound familiar to you?

Depending on which statistics are used, between 81 and 92 percent of good resolutions for the new year fail. That means 8 out of 10 people fall back into their old habits instead of building new ones. So there is no doubt: changing habits is difficult.

Why is that? And what can we do to facilitate positive change? Here are 3 solutions to common mistakes you can use to successfully change habits.

Problem 1: Wanting to change all of your habits at once

Ideally, one would like to turn life upside down from one day to the next: Finally lose weight, spend less time on the phone and from now on, behave more environmentally and climate-friendly. However, it is incredibly difficult for us to change several habits at once. Because new behaviors first require increased attention and concentration - i.e. a lot of energy - until they become a habit. It is therefore important to focus on a "habit" - a new habit - especially at the beginning.

Habits are behaviors that we practice regularly and without much thought.

Solution: Find something that is really important to you

If you want to break a habit, such as spending too much time on the phone, it can be helpful to first make it clear to yourself why this is exactly what is important to you. Maybe you want to be able to fall asleep better, not be distracted in conversations or finally undisturbed again? So decide on a goal that is particularly important to you and just try to concentrate on it first.

Problem 2: Underestimating the impact of small changes

Many people who want to change something usually set themselves very ambitious goals, such as losing at least 10kg. They often associate strict rules with this, such as exercising three times a week and not eating carbohydrates in the evening. The problem is that these projects are far too inflexible and prone to failure. As soon as you are invited to dinner at the weekend or missed a training session due to illness, the project has already failed.

Solution: Achieve maximum success through small changes

A better option is to think about the positive habit behind the goal and how you can actually implement it in everyday life. Because almost every positive habit we have is the result of many small behaviors. For example, a positive habit could be "getting more exercise." In order to implement this habit, you can, for example, walk more often, take the stairs, go to the gym or even go dancing. There are many ways to try every day to "move more". Each and every one of these behaviors doesn't make a healthy person, but all of them add up to make a big difference.

In the next step, you can think about which little habits can help you achieve your project. You should never change more than three small habits at once.

If you want to spend less time on the cell phone, you could, for example, 1. switch your cell phone to flight mode from 10 p.m., 2. leave your cell phone in your pocket when meeting friends or 3. stop using your cell phone in the bedroom to take. If you do these three things regularly, you will be a big step closer to your goal of spending less time on your phone. Once a behavior has established itself, you can add a new habit.

Problem 3: Relying on your own willpower

Many people assume that the success of a project only depends on how strong-willed you are or how much self-motivation you have. However, the easiest way to change habits is to create a favorable environment that makes it easy for you.

So if you've woken up in the morning and before you brushed your teeth, were already on Facebook and Instagram, sent your friends a WhatsApp message and read the first e-mails from work, then it is not surprising that you start the day relatively stressed. This could be because the first thing you do when you wake up is picking up your cell phone. Still completely overslept, very few people have the willpower to put their cell phone down again quickly.

Solution: Create an environment that makes changing habits easier

If this scene sounds familiar to you and you'd rather start the day calmly and with a clear head, then the easiest thing to do is to change your surroundings first. Specifically, this means: Don't put your cell phone next to your bed, but charge your cell phone in another room. Maybe buy an alarm clock and turn off all push notifications. You could even remove your email and social media apps from your "home screen" and "hide" them in folders. These are all examples that create an environment in which it is easier for you to take off the bad habit of "cell phone".

Likewise, if you want to change other habits: If you want to drink less alcohol, it is easier not to have any alcohol at home on hand. If you want to be more environmentally friendly, buy a trash can with several compartments, which makes it easy to separate waste. If you want to eat healthier, put fruit on the living room table and hide the unhealthy foods at the top of the closet.

To begin, you can think right now: What would be the smallest, easiest step to get closer to your new habit?

Categories GeneralTags Habits, Resolutions, Self-motivation