Your question is excellent in that it has a universal quality to it; most of us come across this resistance to changing habits in some form or another.
Firstly let me congratulate you as my colleague Rasheed has, on your intention and taking the initiative to make a positive change.
It is understandable that good intentions and changing habits are often lost when the initial motivation and ‘kick’ you get out of starting a new routine soon dissipates.
Here are some points to reflect on:
1. What is it that you hope to achieve from introducing your new habit? Write down the benefits and place it somewhere visible.
2. What personal values do your habits correspond to? Is the new habit you are working on aligned to something that you hold dear as a core value or personal principle? As my colleague Helena, said, remind yourself of the ‘why’ and I would suggest have it written down. Also see how it fits in the bigger picture, i.e. ‘ In what way is this supporting my vision?’
3. We often assume motivation is just ‘there’ for projects and desired changes. ‘People often say motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily.’ (Zig Ziglar) There are a number of techniques for staying focused and motivated; one of them is to read your goals daily, visualise and really engage in associated feelings and senses for the outcome that you want; another is to create and step into your future self, ‘wear’ the energy incorporating the habit, and act as if you’ve already achieved it.
4. Willpower is like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. Give yourself a 30 day challenge on the new habit. If you miss a day, that’s fine, return to it the next day. Once you get over the barrier, there will be a time when it will become an automatic behaviour, keep at it, despite how you feel. If it’s too big a change, break it into an easier more do-able steps/habits and build on your success by introducing greater challenge once you’ve mastered it. (Make sure it’s not too easy though, as that may demotivate you. You will know what the right bite size is for you.)
5. Feelings are important and we need space to process them and learn. When it comes to taking actions however, such as changing or introducing a new habit, take the actions, despite what feelings you are experiencing. It is part of the human condition that we often tend to base actions on our feelings; it’s called emotional reasoning ‘too tired today’, ‘haven’t go the time’, ‘too upset about x and y’, ‘this isn’t working anyway’.
6. Begin to train yourself to become aware of the thought that generated the feeling. Give a nod to your mind and thank it for the thought, and take your intended action anyway. Later you can return to the thought and if it is still relevant, take a look at process the feeling. Use the feedback of the feeling to inform you of your needs and come up with ideas on how you can best respond to these.
7. Bear in mind that human ego sees any change as a threat to its status quo and would rather stay static. The aforementioned emotional reasoning is one the ways ego very cleverly keeps us stuck in old ways. If it sees that you are serious about change, it is expert at coming out with countless ‘excuses’ and reasoning. So just by becoming aware of the ‘voices’, can help you disassociate from the feeling, (i.e. that’s not ‘me’, it’s a passing thought from my automatic conditioning) and refocus on the action.
8. I agree with Helena, maybe there is a part of you that needs excitement. My final question to you is: How else could you create excitement in your life? What is exciting to you and in what other ways could you generate it?
9. Leaving you with a quote by Robin Sharma: ‘All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end!’ You can do it!