Ready to ditch that procrastinator in you once and for all and learn how to create lasting habits? Discover 10 powerful tips in this blog!
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Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
As a highly sensitive person, it can feel challenging to create lasting habits. After all, functioning in a society that is not built for sensitive people is a real challenge itself.
You may feel like you are barely surviving. Hence, creating new habits may stress you out.
I’ve been there myself. After experiencing symptoms of burnout, I barely had the energy to get out of bed in the morning. How on earth would I be able to find the energy to build good habits?
After experimenting for a few years and reading up on valuable literature such as ‘Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones‘, I discovered a few techniques that proved themselves to be helpful whilst creating lasting habits as a highly sensitive person.
In this article, I’ll share my top 10 tips that may help you to get started on creating new habits. Once you implement these tips, your new habits will feel just as natural as brushing your teeth.
Here’s What You’ll Learn:
- #1 Become Aware Of Your ‘Why’
- #2 Start Small To Create Lasting Habits
- #3 Commit For At Least Two Months
- #4 Use Reminders
- #5 Track Your Habits
- #6 Create Lasting Habits Together
- #7 Discover Your Limiting Beliefs
- #8 Work With Affirmations
- #9 Find Role Models To Create Lasting Habits
- #10 Celebrate Your Wins
- Some Final Remarks
#1 Become Aware Of Your ‘Why’
When you want to form new habits, it often starts with a need within you. For instance, if you want to lose weight, your need is to feel healthier and more energetic.
Or if you want to start a business, it may be because you want to be more independent and have more freedom.
As you can see, the habit itself oftentimes only is a means to get to where you want to be. Becoming aware of why you want to start building a specific habit, is the first step in developing that habit.
It is what will help you to get started with your habit every day. For example, when you want to wake up earlier in the morning, it isn’t waking up early that motivates you to go out of bed. It is the extra time you get to spend on specific activities you enjoy!
Hence, try defining your ‘why’ when you want to start creating lasting habits.
#2 Start Small To Create Lasting Habits
Many of us fail with creating new habits because we set too ambitious goals. When we want to lose weight, we clean out our entire fridge and cupboards and fill them with tons of new food. Or when we want to exercise more, we start with an intense workout plan that contains 4 workouts a week.
Sure, for some people it may work to do such a drastic change, but most of us – and especially highly sensitive people – will feel overwhelmed by it.
Therefore, try to start with tiny habits when you want to create lasting habits. If you want to eat healthier and lose weight, start with eating a healthy breakfast every day. Once that has become a part of your daily routine, you can start adapting your lunch and ultimately also your dinner routine.
Or when you want to work out more, try scheduling small workout routines every day, rather than 4 big ones a week. Make sure to create a manageable plan that helps you to stay motivated.
Feeling like you succeed at maintaining a habit will help you stay consistent. By starting small, you create that sense of mastery and develop a steady base to build on for more change in the future.
#3 Commit For At Least Two Months
Another mistake many of us make when attempting to create lasting habits, is to quit too soon. Our brain needs time to acknowledge the new routine.
Some people claim that it only takes 21 days to make habits stick. However, a study on habits shows that it on average takes us 66 days before a new habit becomes an automatic process. Therefore, make sure to commit to your new habit for at least two months.
By creating small, attainable changes in your daily routine to implement the new habit, you’ll manage to keep up with your new routine and stay motivated.
#4 Use Reminders
Something that helped me tremendously when creating new habits such as a gratitude practice, is to put daily reminders on my phone. Each day at the same time, it reminds me to keep going and implement gratitude in my morning routine.
You can put your reminder wherever you want. Put it in your calendar, set an alarm at a specific time, or maybe put a little note on your mirror to remind you every day.
You may wonder what to put on your reminder! Sure, you can simply write down ‘Remember practicing gratitude‘, but I found that it helps me more to state the ‘why’ of my habit on the reminder rather than the habit itself.
So instead, I write ‘Gratitude helps me to reduce my anxiety, so remember being grateful’. This has helped me to establish a gratitude routine and ultimately make it a lasting habit.
#5 Track Your Habits
Another powerful way to create lasting habits is to start tracking your habits. Write down each day how you managed to maintain your habit and how it felt to do so.
Tracking your habits will help you to create a sense of mastery. Also, it is a wonderful way to stay motivated along the way. After a while, you will look back on your time spent building new habits and feel proud of the progress you’ve made.
There are many powerful habit-tracking apps out there. For instance, I am a big fan of the app Fabulous, which definitely helps you to keep track of everything you’re doing to build your habit.
#6 Create Lasting Habits Together
When you want to start establishing healthy habits on your own, it may feel challenging to keep up with the routine. Even though you do everything in your power to keep up with the good habit, your brain still may convince you to stay in your comfort zone and ditch the habit.
I don’t remember which podcast mentioned it, but I learned that from the moment you feel the urge to do something until your brain tries to convince you not to do it, you have 5 seconds. That’s a short window to get into action on your own.
Therefore, find somebody with similar goals. Try to motivate each other and keep each other accountable. This is a powerful way to create lasting habits.
For instance, I have a business buddy with whom I get together every two weeks to discuss my business activities and important goals. This helps me to keep working towards achieving my dreams. The same goes for your habits. Try to find somebody who also wants to establish that specific habit.
For instance, send each other motivating messages to keep up with the good work. Or get together every now and then to discuss your progress and celebrate milestones together. It is such a nice and fun way to keep the momentum going.
#7 Discover Your Limiting Beliefs
As I mentioned, your brain will do everything in its power to keep you in your comfort zone. Especially for highly sensitive people – who always are on the lookout for danger – this is the case. Therefore, it is important to get to know your limiting beliefs.
Your brain will always use what it knows the most to motivate you into ‘staying safe’ in the comfort zone. Hence, it uses your limiting beliefs against you, whether you want it or not.
For instance, one of my limiting beliefs is that I will never be a successful entrepreneur. Whenever I do something that is outside my comfort zone, like launching a new product, my brain will use that limiting belief against me to convince me to not do it.
Ever since becoming aware of those limiting beliefs, I acknowledge them when they appear. Learning how to talk to my inner critic and reformulate those limiting beliefs helped me tremendously in my personal growth journey.
Establishing new healthy habits will become easier once you identify your limiting beliefs and find ways to overcome them.
#8 Work With Affirmations
A logical follow-up from the previous tip, is to start working with affirmations whilst building healthy habits. Affirmations cannot only help you to overcome limiting beliefs that hold you back, but they also motivate you along the way.
An affirmation is a simple, motivating statement that is easy to remember. For instance, if you want to lose weight to feel healthier, you may use the affirmation statement ‘I am becoming a healthier version of myself for every day that passes.‘ Or if you want to step out of your comfort zone more and do new things, you could use the statement ‘I am brave for stepping out of my comfort zone into new exciting adventures.‘
Affirmation statements are very personal. Hence, try to write down your own affirmation statements that help you to create lasting habits.
#9 Find Role Models To Create Lasting Habits
Once you start your journey towards developing new habits, it is wise to look for role models. Role models that will motivate you to keep going and inspire you every day.
Thankfully, social media offers us the opportunity to easily connect with inspiring role models in various fields. Simply use the hashtag of the habit you’re building and browse through the content creators out there.
Whether it be on Tik Tok, Instagram, or Facebook, there are thousands of inspiring accounts out there waiting to be discovered!
#10 Celebrate Your Wins
Finally, one of my best tips to create lasting habits as a highly sensitive person is to reward yourself regularly. When creating a plan to build your habit, remember to put in milestone moments and work with a reward system.
Think of things that you experience as rewarding, whether it be a nice dinner, a shopping trip, or simply a movie night with your favorite snacks. Then, put down the various rewards at different milestones in your habit-building journey.
For instance, I want to wake up earlier each morning to have more time for working on what I am passionate about. In order to keep up the good habit, I reward myself with shopping moments. In the beginning, the reward moments are smaller but more frequent, but as I keep going, I increase the reward.
Why? Because maintaining a habit the first week is rather easy, but after a while, it is easy to forget the habit for a day or two, and then three or four days… until it is completely forgotten. Increasing the reward and the moments to celebrate your wins help you to not give up that easily!
Some Final Remarks
Now that you’ve discovered my top 10 tips to start creating lasting habits, it is time to think about what habits you’d like to develop. I hope that these tips will help you in your journey. Good luck!
What habit would you like to implement in your daily life? Feel free to share it in the comments.
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