Few things are more powerful than building habits that bring you joy. Whether meditating in the morning, playing games with friends once a week, or taking a walk in nature every day, the small rituals and habits that make us happy can greatly impact our overall happiness and quality of life.
But building habits that bring us joy is often easier said than done. It can be hard to find the time and motivation to do things that consistently make us happy, especially when we are busy and have a lot of other responsibilities.
So how can we build habits that bring us joy and make them stick? Here are a few tips:
1. Start small and be consistent
It’s important to set realistic goals for ourselves to build new habits. For example, if you’re not used to meditating every day, try to avoid jumping straight into a 30-minute practice. Instead, start with just a few minutes a day, and gradually increase the length of your practice as it becomes more comfortable.
Consistency is key when it comes to building habits, so it’s important to try to practice your new habit at the same time each day (or week) to help it become ingrained in your routine.
- Set specific and achievable goals: When building new habits, you must set specific, achievable goals for yourself. For example, instead of “exercising more,” try setting a specific goal like “going for a 30-minute walk every day at 5 pm.” It makes it easier to track your progress and see how you’re doing.
- Start with just a few minutes a day: If you’re building a new habit like meditation or exercise, it can be overwhelming to try to do too much too soon. So start with just a few minutes a day, and gradually increase your time on your new habit as it becomes more comfortable.
- Practice at the same time each day: Consistency is key when building habits, so try to practice your new habit at the same time each day (or week) to help it become ingrained in your routine. For example, if you’re building a daily meditation practice, try to meditate at the same time each day.
- Make it a non-negotiable part of your day: To help your new habit stick, make it a non-negotiable part of your day. It means that you prioritize it and make time for it no matter what else is going on. For example, if you’re building a daily exercise habit, make it the first thing you do in the morning, so you don’t have an excuse to skip it.
- Track your progress: It can be helpful to track your progress as you build your new habit. It could be as simple as using a habit tracker app or writing down each day you practice your new habit. Seeing your progress can help you stay motivated and see how far you’ve come.
2. Find an accountability partner
Having someone to support and encourage you as you build a new habit can be extremely helpful. It could be a friend, family member, coach, or mentor. Having someone to check in with and keep you on track can help you stay motivated and committed to your new habit.
- Choose someone supportive and encouraging: When it comes to finding an accountability partner, it’s important to choose someone who is supportive and encouraging, rather than judgmental or critical. It could be a friend, family member, coach, or mentor.
- Set specific check-ins or goals: Having specific check-ins or goals can help keep you accountable as you build your new habit. For example, set a goal to practice your new habit for a certain amount of time each day, and then check in with your accountability partner once a week to discuss your progress.
- Share your challenges and successes: It can be helpful to share your challenges and successes with your accountability partner as you build your new habit. It can help you stay motivated and find ways to overcome any obstacles.
- Consider finding an accountability partner online: If you don’t have someone in your personal life who can be an accountability partner, there are plenty of online communities or forums where you can connect with others who are working on similar goals.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help: If you’re struggling to stay motivated or committed to your new habit, don’t be afraid to ask your accountability partner for help or support. They can offer encouragement and advice to help you stay on track. Overall, having an accountability partner can be a powerful tool in helping you build new habits that bring you joy.
3. Make it fun
If you’re not enjoying your new habit, likely, you will only stick with it for a short time. So try to find ways to make it enjoyable. If you’re building a daily meditation practice, for example, try listening to music or using a guided meditation app to make it more enjoyable.
- Find ways to personalize your new habit: One of the best ways to make a new habit more enjoyable is to personalize it to your interests and preferences. For example, if you’re building a daily exercise habit, try finding a type of physical activity you enjoy, such as dancing, hiking, or cycling.
- Experiment with different approaches: If you need help to stick with your new habit, try experimenting with different approaches to see what works best for you. For example, if you’re building a daily meditation practice, you might try using a guided meditation app, listening to music, or trying a different meditation technique.
- Invite friends or family to join you: Inviting friends or family to join you in your new habit can make it more enjoyable and help you stay motivated. For example, if you’re building a daily exercise habit, you might invite a friend to join you for a walk or workout.
- Find a way to make it rewarding: Giving yourself small rewards for sticking with your new habit can help you stay motivated and feel good about your progress. For example, you might treat yourself to your favorite snack or activity after a week of consistent practice.
- Keep an open mind: It’s important to keep an open mind when building new habits. You might not enjoy every aspect of your new habit initially, but be willing to stick with it and see if you can find ways to make it more enjoyable over time.
4. Reward yourself
Celebrating small victories along the way is important as you build your new habit. It could be as simple as treating yourself to your favorite snack or activity after a week of consistent practice. Giving yourself small rewards can help you stay motivated and feel good about your progress.
- Set small goals and celebrate your progress: As you build your new habit, set small goals for yourself and celebrate your progress along the way. For example, set a goal to practice your new habit for a certain number of days in a row, and then reward yourself with a special treat or activity after you reach your goal.
- Choose rewards that align with your values: When it comes to rewarding yourself, it’s important to choose rewards that align with your values and goals. For example, if your new habit is related to improving your physical health, you might choose a healthy snack or activity as a reward, rather than something that goes against your goals.
- Don’t go overboard with rewards: It’s important to be mindful of how you’re rewarding yourself and not go overboard. You want your rewards to maintain your progress and the benefits of your new habit.
- Make your rewards something to look forward to: One of the best things about rewards is that they give us something to look forward to. So make your rewards something you’re excited about and make the most of them when they come.
- Use rewards as a way to celebrate your progress and stay motivated: The purpose of rewards is to celebrate your progress and help you stay motivated as you build your new habit. So use them wisely and make sure they genuinely bring you joy and enable you to keep on track.
5. Be patient
Building new habits takes time, and it’s important to be patient with yourself. It’s normal to have setbacks and frustration along the way, but it’s important to keep going and remember that progress takes time.
- Building new habits takes time: It’s important to be patient with yourself when it comes to building new habits. It takes time and consistent effort to establish a new routine and make it stick.
- Don’t expect perfection: It’s normal to have setbacks and frustration as you build a new habit. Don’t expect perfection, and don’t beat yourself up if you have a day where you don’t practice your new habit as consistently as you would have liked.
- Be kind to yourself: Building new habits can be challenging, and it’s important to be kind to yourself as you work on them. Remember that progress takes time and be gentle with yourself if you have a setback.
- Remember why you’re building this habit: When it gets tough, it can be helpful to remind yourself why you’re building this new habit in the first place. What is it about this habit that brings you joy or helps you feel more fulfilled? Keep this in mind as you work through any challenges.
- Seek support if you need it: If you’re struggling to build your new habit and find it overwhelming, don’t be afraid to seek help. It could be from a friend, family member, coach, or counselor. Having someone to talk to and offer guidance can be extremely helpful.
Overall, the power of building habits that bring us joy cannot be overstated. These small rituals and routines can profoundly impact our well-being and quality of life and are well worth the effort to establish and maintain. Whether it’s starting small and being consistent, finding an accountability partner, making it fun, rewarding ourselves, or being patient, there are many strategies we can use to build habits that bring us joy. So if you’re looking to get more pleasure into your life, try building a new habit that brings you happiness and see how it transforms your life.