How to Start a New Habit

Establishing a new habit

A lot of people have a new year’s resolution of “always” and “never”

“I’ll never smoke” “I’ll always exercise each morning”. These are called habits, but no one, absolutely no one, gets there over night (unless they have a miracle deliverance, or they suffer through, or they have a heavenly download of yearlong motivation  and strength that never wanes).

But habits aren’t made or broken that way.  If you are stuck in the rut of “always” and “never”, then your verbage needs to change to:

“Begin”  and “taper off”

How to start a new habit

       Decide what you can do.

If you know, for example, that you aren’t going to, without fail, do your goal consistently, then don’t set it. That’s where everyone misses it. They set these impossible goals, miss one day at it, and quit all together. No, that’s setting yourself up for failure. Instead, start with a goal that  you know FOR SURE you will do daily, or weekly, or whatever time slot is reasonable. So if you know that you want to  run every day, then run every day. And make it your goal to run every day. That’s it. That’s your goal. If you just start with the goal of running every day, you can’t lose. And trust yourself. Tell yourself, “You only have to do some running every day”. As in, out  the door and to your car. And then Back in. Or, just to the kitchen and back to bed. That’s it. You just ran. Now. Can  you commit to just running, any amount, every single day? Sure you can. And I bet you know what I’m going to suggest next. Yup[, that’s right. Each day you’ll go a bit further.  One guy named Zig Zigler made it his goal to lose a hundred pounds and he did by running to the mailbox each day. That was his only goal. I’m sure you know where  that achievable goal got him. That’s right. It got him running every day. And he didn’t get there by saying “this is lame, any loser could do this”. No, he got there by encouraging himself. “Hurray, it’s January 15th and I’m still running every day”.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Zig Ziglar ended up running a mile a day, and becoming  a self-improvement coach.

So start with what you know for sure you can do

Build on it. Each day, try to do a bit more, but don’t make the “bit more” your new goal. Remember, you goal is just to do some of this each day.

Train yourself to encourage yourself. When you miss a day, (and don’t think it can’t happen) DON”T QUIT. Remember what a new year’s resolution is. It’s something you resolve to accomplish in the new year, not something you have to do each day. Your New Year’s resolution should be to establish a consistent (not perfect)  life habit of running. Your goal to reach that is to most days, run some.

Remember, you have all  of  this year to establish the habit

So go easy on yourself.

Looking to get more motivational tips to spring you through the New Year? My email series “Going the distance” is just what you need to breathe fresh life into your workout routine or any goal. Pitch-free. Spam free. Just hi-fives in your inbox. Claim it here:


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