Developing a habit can be a gradual conscious or unconscious effort. The time period can be any length from a single second to several years. The speed of new habit pattern development is largely determined by the intensity of the emotion that accompanies the decision. Some habits are developed due to some drastic conditions that may have resulted in their occurrence. Any experience of intense joy or pain, combined with behavior, can create a habitual behavior pattern that may endure for the rest of a person’s life.
How to Develop a Habit
If you are looking to consciously develop a habit that can help avert trouble or future problems, the underlisted steps can be a guide.
1) Make A Decision
Your decision is of paramount importance. Decide clearly that you are going to begin acting in a specific way 100% of the time, whenever that behavior is required. Your decision is the driving power to see that you develop the new habit.
2) Practice Self Discipline
Never allow an exception to your new habit pattern during the formative stages. Don’t make excuses or rationalizations. Don’t let yourself off the hook. You need to be disciplined in your new resolve if you must get results.
3) Inform Others Of Your New Habit
Let others know that you are going to begin practicing a particular behavior. This will help you to be more disciplined and determined as you are aware that others are watching you to see if you have the willpower to follow through on your resolution.
4) Visualize Your New Habit
Visualize yourself performing or behaving in a particular way in a particular situation. The more often you visualize and imagine yourself acting as if you already had the new habit, the more rapidly this new behavior will be accepted by your subconscious mind and become automatic.
5) Create An Affirmation
Create an affirmation that you repeat over and over to yourself. This repetition dramatically increases the speed at which you develop the new habit. These affirmations help you form your new habit as they begin to take over your thoughts thereby influencing your actions subconsciously.
6) Be Persistent
Do not give up even when the odds are up against you. Resolve to persist in the new behavior until it is so automatic and easy that you actually feel uncomfortable when you do not do what you have decided to do.
7) Celebrate Your Progress
There is a need for you to celebrate and give yourself a reward of some kind for practicing the new behavior. Each time you reward yourself, you reaffirm and reinforce the behavior. Soon you begin to associate, at an unconscious level, the pleasure of the reward with the behavior. You set up your own force field of positive consequences that you unconsciously look forward to as the result of engaging in the behavior or habit that you have decided upon.