University is your chance to decide how you want to live your life. One of the best ways to make improvements to your lifestyle is to turn a new behaviour into a habit. After all, setting a goal is no good if you only work toward it on the infrequent occasions when you remember: it’s creating habits that will lead to results. However, you need to put in the effort to make sure you stick with a new habit. Here are some strategies to guide you.
1. Start Small
Trying to adopt a habit that means a major life change will set you up for failure. Choose something that will benefit you but is relatively easy to do. You can always use the original habit as a starting point to work up to something bigger.
2. Have a Reason for the Habit
It’s much more difficult to stick to a habit if you don’t have a good reason for adopting it. If you decide on a habit based on your goals, you can remind yourself of the reason whenever you lack motivation.
3. Find a Way to Enjoy the Habit
If the habit were easy and enjoyable, you’d already be doing it. To stick with a new habit, you need to find ways to make it fun or exciting. One option is to use habit stacking, which involves combining a less pleasant task with one you do enjoy. For instance, if you’re trying to wake up earlier, you could incentivize yourself with your favourite hot beverage. If you need to spend more time on chores, use the opportunity to listen to music or a podcast.
4. Replace Old Habits
The problem with adopting a new habit is often finding enough time in your day. Consider if there are any current habits it would be better for you to drop or at least reduce. Cutting them out can free up time in your schedule for something more productive. For instance, putting a limit on your social media usage could free up time for studying.
5. When You Fail, Try Again
Many people are afraid to try new habits because they’re worried they will fail. It’s important to remember there’s nothing wrong with failing — what matters is you learn from your mistakes and try again. There may be days when you slip up and fall back into your old routine. When this happens, you need to commit to doing better tomorrow and see if you can maintain the habit for longer next time. As time passes, it will become easier, until you forget you were ever struggling to make the behaviour a habit.
Developing good habits is just one way to live your best life — another is to move into an apartment at the Revalie. Our Carleton University off-campus housing has everything you need for the ultimate student experience. In addition to modern suites with high-speed internet, quartz countertops, and RFID access control, we have a range of community amenities to help you meet your goals, including a fitness center, recording studio, and commercial-grade kitchen. Book a tour to discover everything the Revalie has to offer.