The 5 Keys to Start Any Habit That Actually Sticks

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“Watch your habits for they will forge your character. Watch your character, for it will make your destiny.” - Margaret Thatcher

Habits define our life. This is all the more important when you decide, or are compelled often due to your health conditions, to make some lifestyle changes.


This means new habits and that is one big struggle we have to endure. If you have gone through the process, you will clearly know how difficult it can be.  Getting started may itself be a hurdle and sticking to them, especially after disruptions, can be really challenging. 

However, there’s no other option than staying motivated if you don’t want to end up in your current lifestyle, especially when it is not particularly rewarding. If you want to lose weight, get fit or overcome procrastination, developing habits is a necessity. But, how would you maintain it? Zen practitioner and author Leo Babauta offers you five keys for that, but with two caveats. One, the process is simple but not easy and you have to stay committed. Unless the desire for change has entered your core, you won’t be a stickler. The other thing to keep in mind is to focus on one habit at a time. You can start more habits later. 

With these preconditions, let’s see what the five keys of Babauta are.

1.  Start super smallImageresult for pushups

This is the most important thing in getting a habit started. Don’t push your boundaries in the beginning itself and start with small steps. If you are doing pushups, just do 5 pushups. If you want to be writer, start by writing for 5 minutes. This is the key to overcome the resistance to starting and change. And, this is the hardest part in forming habits as we tend to prefer status quo. Once this problem can be cracked, rest will fall in place much easily.   

2. Remove choice

Imageresult for wake up

There should be nothing to ponder over when doing something as part of your habit. Take a decision to do it every day at the same time for a month. And, just start doing it. You may use some of your daily routine as a trigger and keep written reminders around the trigger; “mediate for two minutes when I wake up,” for an example.  

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