How To Form New Habits This Year

I’m not going to impress you today.

In fact, I’m going to talk about something that has plagued me my entire life – forming new habits.

Remember my last post on being a super procrastinator? Well, what do you know? In addition to having been a procrastinator all my life, I was also a bad at habit formation.

Habit Formation Starts Early

I’m not quite 100% sure why I grew up like this, but I can bet it had a lot to do with stress levels at home. I grew up in a household of immigrants. I was first generation. Hard work was the corner stone of our childhood. You were expected to work hard in school, at home, and go into a profession that could make the family proud. (my parents got me the MCAT study guide when I went to highschool!) But with that pressure also came hardship and negativity. Parents fighting with each other and not having the patience for the little ones was normal. At one point I went from super organized to constantly depressed and unmotivated – because everyone around me was the same way.

I never had a role model to look up to. I never had someone who could show me good habits or how to form them. I never had bad habits – I was always a good kid, did all my homework, never got in trouble. So now in my 20’s I understood exactly what went wrong. I could never manage my time and energy well. I never finished personal projects. And it all got 99% worse when I became ill in 2009.

Everyday, I battle chronic fatigue and vision loss, but since 2009, I’ve changed my future by forming new habits. And today I’m going to share with you exactly what steps it took!

Do you want to form new habits this year? You totally can, but it's going to take some hard work and dedication. Forming new habits isn't easy but it is possible! Clcik through to the post to learn how I was able to turn my bad habits around and start forming healthy new habits for my New Years resolutions! Pin now and save for later!

It Can Take Weeks

One day I walked into physical therapy (yay scoliosis!) and my trainer laughed when I boasted that I would be in tip top shape in no time. She patted me on the back and said

“Yeah, ok. It’s going to take at least two months you know that, right?”

It would take several weeks for me to get used to waking up at the same time everyday, eating the prearranged nutritional breakfast, taking the bus in the middle of winter, and entering the gym to work out for an hour each day. My trainer, who is a habit goddess, said I would most likely feel like giving up by day 3. But if I could push to Day 7, I’d be on my way to success.

So you see, habits take some time to form. What most people get wrong when they make New Years resolutions is thinking that they can form a good habit in just a day.

You Need Daily Practice

Like my therapist said, you need to push past Day 7, and it’s best if you practice whatever habit you need to form for 7 days straight. But that can be really hard by the time Day 3 comes around. What I really like to do to remind myself to practice daily, is write the habit down in my Day Designer Planner. The top 3 section of the planner let’s me know that this habit is one of the most important things I should be doing that day.

Right now, the habit I am trying to form is waking up by 8 and NOT checking email first thing.

 

Start Small

What I’ve learned from my struggles is that the best thing you can do is start small. Just start with one small habit you want to from. Whether that’s having an apple a day or simply taking a 15 minute yoga routine in the morning. Don’t push yourself to do #allthehabits all at once. It’s never going to work!

 

Clear Distractions

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a work flow when I suddenly hear a “ding” from my phone. Oooo, another Instagram comment! The suddenly, I no longer feel like working on the things that need to get done. What a bummer! The best thing to do in this instance is clear ALL distractions. Turn off the telly, your phone, and put some motivational music on instead. You can focus, you just need the space to do so!

 

You’ve Got A Friend In Me

Having an accountability partner is one of the best ways to form habits this year. You and your friend or family member can bounce ideas off each other, remind each other about habits, and motivate each other! And guess what? If you don’t have a friend you know who can be your accountability partner right now – no worries. I’m totally up for listening and being your virtual accountability partner. Shoot me an email and let’s talk habits. It’s something I really love helping people with!

 

Be Perfectly Imperfect

And finally, my last tip is to just be OK with being imperfect. Guess what? Perfect people don’t exist. No one has better habits than anyone else. We are all trying to get through every single day with many different obstacles. The less stressed you are about a habit, the better. It won’t make you feel any better about yourself if you keep forcing a habit that’s just not working out. So let it go, and be perfectly OK with being perfectly imperfect.

 

P.S —

I know habit formation can be a difficult thing to accomplish. Hear me out: you can totally do it! One of the best things I can recommend is catching up on my previous post about the amazing planner I use to stay organized. It’s helped me so much over the course of just a few months and I know it will help you too! And don’t forget to subscribe to my email list below for some amazing weekly tips and tricks on living an intentional and inspired life!

Much love,

 

 

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Comments

  1. Really love this post! It’s the perfect time to start new, healthy habits 🙂 Gotta stay on top of those resolutions!! xx thecarlycollective.com

    Posted 1.10.17 Reply
  2. Katherine wrote:

    It’s all about hanging in there isn’t it?! It’s so difficult to stick with it sometimes!

    Posted 1.9.17 Reply
  3. This is inspiring how you turned things around. I think it’s amazing how we can train the brain and body to improvement. But on the same token can train it towards bad things. Sharing this post.

    Posted 1.8.17 Reply
  4. Rachel wrote:

    Great tips and reminders for new habits. Thanks for sharing!

    Posted 1.8.17 Reply
  5. Deb Dutta wrote:

    These are great tips! I want to focus on expanding my music sense and actually develop a habit of practicing vocals everyday1 IT IS HARD! Although having a phone reminder really helps 🙂

    Posted 1.7.17 Reply
  6. Alexis wrote:

    They say it takes 21 days for a habit to start. Isn’t that crazy? I decided to start rewarding myself for following through with a habit. If I work out in my scheduled times for the week, I treat myself to a coffee from the local coffee shop. Then if I work out for the month, then I can buy myself some kind of workout gear. It just helps motivate me.

    Posted 1.7.17 Reply
  7. Sola wrote:

    Forming new habits is the best way to make resolutions stick! This was fascinating to read!

    Posted 1.7.17 Reply
  8. Thanks for sharing your story. This is such a helpful and motivational post!

    Posted 1.7.17 Reply
  9. YAY for new opportunities in the new year

    Posted 1.7.17 Reply
  10. I know this is a blog primarily for females but this is an excellent article for just about anyone. I suffer from depression and anxiety and these tips are the kind that help change your life and get out of a hole. Thanks for this!

    Posted 1.7.17 Reply
  11. Deanna wrote:

    I love this post! Thank you so much for sharing it, and I’ll be sure to pass this along to a few friends of mine.

    Posted 1.7.17 Reply
  12. Marvina wrote:

    Great tips😀

    Posted 1.7.17 Reply
  13. This is an amazingly thought out post. Definitely needed to read this. Thanks for sharing girl!

    Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  14. cristin wrote:

    Love d this post! Such great tips!!

    – cristin | http://thesouthernstyleguide.com

    Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  15. Sydney wrote:

    This is a FANTASTIC post! I really loved reading this. I have actually turned off my instagram notifications because I get too many and it starts to bother me, I would rather be able to see a text from my family then get a million notifications, it has been so great turning them off.

    Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  16. Love this post. This is the perfect time of year to rethink what you’re doing and work on forming new habits. I’m pretty hard on myself so your post has been super encouraging. I’m gonna get it going!

    Posted 1.5.17 Reply
  17. Anna wrote:

    Love these tips for starting the new year off right, girl! Happy 2017! Cheers to forming great habits! XO

    Anna || alilyloveaffair.com

    Posted 1.5.17 Reply
  18. Elise wrote:

    I love this post! So practical, but also inspiring. beautifully written!

    Posted 1.5.17 Reply
  19. Meaghan wrote:

    This is wonderful Mariam!! You make tackling new habits simple and easily attainable. I hope you’re having a wonderful new year!

    Meaghan xx

    Posted 1.5.17 Reply
  20. Thank you for sharing these useful tips! Forming new habits is really a challenge but it’s all worth it!

    Posted 1.5.17 Reply
  21. Azanique wrote:

    I love these sweet tips. Forming new habits can be so daunting.

    -xoxo, Azanique
    LotsofSass.com

    Posted 1.4.17 Reply
  22. Liz wrote:

    This is SUCH a great post! Exactly what I needed right now.

    Liz
    http://Www.lizzieinlace.com

    Posted 1.4.17 Reply
  23. Lexi wrote:

    This is SUCH a great post! I’m really going to try to stick to this. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Posted 1.4.17 Reply
  24. Anna Cobbs wrote:

    This was such a helpful post!! I’ve found that starting small is such a good way to go, too! It makes things seem less overwhelming for sure!

    Posted 1.4.17 Reply
  25. This post was just what I needed to read today! Thank you for sharing these tips!

    xoxo from Napa Valley!

    Paulina
    http://www.shenska.com

    Posted 1.4.17 Reply
  26. Barb wrote:

    Your tips are great and I totally needed to hear this today. It can be overwhelming keeping up with meeting goals but its all about the journey, not the destination.

    Posted 1.4.17 Reply
  27. Amazing tips! Love starting the New Year off right!

    Posted 1.4.17 Reply
  28. Peyton wrote:

    Love this so much & needed to hear those things. Thank you for sharing!!

    Xo Peyton

    Posted 1.4.17 Reply
  29. Andi wrote:

    Being perfectly imperfect has been a mantra of mine forever! What a beautiful post lady!. Thanks for sharing. xoxo! Andi

    Posted 1.4.17 Reply
  30. Marie wrote:

    These are all great tips! One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to learn to plan better because as my blog grows my life gets busier. Some days I feel like a chicken with my head cut off!

    Posted 1.4.17 Reply
  31. such a great motivational post! i am sure you are going to do great this year and achieve all you need to. check out my resolutions http://poshandspicy.com/2017/01/02/simple-resolutions-2017-can-keep/ maybe you will fin something that inspires you xx toby

    Posted 1.4.17 Reply
  32. Anna English wrote:

    Such a great post to kick of 2017!

    Posted 1.4.17 Reply
  33. LOVE THIS! And I totally needed it — so many goals I’d like to reach and ahem to break some old habit to do so !
    xx layne

    http://www.laynefable.com

    Posted 1.4.17 Reply

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