Study Habit Series: How to Get Your Habits Back on Track
Everyone slips up sometimes, loses momentum, or has an off day. That’s totally normal. It’s all about how you regain control and get your habits back on track when you lose steam. We’re sharing our tips for getting back on track to form strong habits whenever you need a little boost!
Never miss it twice
You shouldn’t expect perfection of yourself from the get-go. If you hold yourself to such high standards, you might feel disappointed or futile in your efforts to stick to your habits. Instead, when you mess up or skip a habit practice, try one of our favorite rules: never miss it twice. Say you’re trying to implement a new habit of getting at least eight hours of sleep per night. Maybe you’re up late one night watching Netflix or studying, and you only snag six hours. That’s okay! Don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, refocus your energy on getting eight or more hours of sleep over the course of the next night. As long as you don’t miss the habit twice in a row, you’re still on track.
Consider the sources of your mistakes
When you can understand what causes you to miss performing a habit or get off-track, you’ll be much more likely to battle habit barriers from the source and stay on track. For example, if you can identify that you go to sleep super late when you haven’t studied for a few hours in the morning, you might try studying each morning to prepare for an earlier night-time routine and get those full eight hours. You can also plan for mistakes in advance by asking yourself, “What might come in the way of me doing this habit every day?” or “How can I plan to work around and avoid any roadblocks that come my way?”
Make breaking your habit difficult
If you set yourself up for success, you may never even have to worry about breaking your habits. All you need to do? Make your habits difficult to break. If you’re trying to get more sleep every night, set a reminder around 9pm to begin your nighttime routine and wind down. Plug your phone in on the other side of the room, dim the lights, brush your teeth, and hop into bed to read. Furthermore, when you can tie your habits to a joyful behavior, like reading right before you go to sleep to prepare your body for rest, you won’t feel the urge to grab your phone or scroll mindlessly for another few hours.
Habits should be easy, second-nature behaviors after a few months. However, don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day or let yourself down. Instead of approaching habits from an all-or-nothing approach, just pick yourself up and start practicing the habit for the next day. Commitment, not perfection, is expected!