Sort it out! 9 tips to form better habits now - Rethink Central

Sort it out! 9 tips to form better habits now

by | Jan 21, 2014 | Habits

“Once you know that you are the thing holding you back from a better you, then you can change it.”
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It’s so easy in January to really try and believe that this year will be different.

We set goals. We plan to break destructive habits. And we see 12 whole months stretching out in front of us, and plenty of time to become our new, better selves.

But, think back to a few weeks ago, when you were fretting over the things you didn’t manage to accomplish before the end of 2013. How quickly did the year pass? Did you start off with the same expectations for success?

So what happened? Your brain talked you out of it. And, probably, it was pretty easy work too.

Once you know that you are the thing holding you back from a better you, then you can change it. You just need these handy hints to get you through until your better habits are simply, well, who you are.

Forming better habits

Accept yourself

You’ve got plenty of terrific habits. You’re a fabulous person. There are just those few small things you want to alter. Remember that when you set out to make some changes in your life; all you want to do is cut out the bad bits, not destroy who you are.

Ignore the 3 week rule

Some habits take 21 days to form; others take longer. Some changes happen faster. It all depends on you and what habits you’re trying to break or make. It’s a brilliant idea to set milestones, but don’t consider yourself reformed after 3 weeks.

Define your better habit

Just like goals, habits need defining. What are you changing – and more importantly, why? This isn’t wishy-washy stuff; there are piles of research that demonstrate that those who define their goals and habits are more likely to achieve success.

Start really, really small

You’ve heard this over and over again. It’s difficult to change your habits radically. Cut out one cigarette, take a 5 minute walk, or go to sleep 10 minutes earlier. Once you tackle the small steps, move up.

Create replacement habits

Bad habits become comfortable. For some people, that cigarette is relaxing, and that fast food satisfies a craving. Find something else that fills your psychological needs and turn to it when you need.

Watch your thoughts

Remember that your brain is the thing keeping you from achieving your better habits, nothing else. So you need to pay attention when negative thoughts attack, train your brain to think positively.

Create a backup plan

Hopefully you’ll never need it, but there are lots of sayings about getting back on the horse (or the wagon) for a reason. While you’re busy planning your habit changes, figure out what you’ll do if you slip – before it happens.

Enjoy the better you

You’re forming better habits because you want a better life. Every time you pass a milestone, or climb back into that wagon, you are living that dream life. Don’t make your healthy habits into chores – enjoy them!

Reward yourself

You know we are going to suggest a slice of cake here… You should reward yourself for the hard work that you do; it’s essential. Otherwise, it’s all work and no fun, and that doesn’t feel better at all.

Take action!

Changing habits isn’t always easy, but we’re sure that you can use your New Year’s energy to fuel a new you.

Start by assessing yourself and all the things you want to change. Prioritise your habit changes, and choose one to start with.

Print out these tips. Use them as a guide for setting your habits.

Start now. All that’s waiting is a better you!


We want this year to be your best year yet – and forming better habits is a vital part of that. If you think so too, then you’ll want to take a look at these posts:

Just get on with it
5 ways to make your habits stick this year
Change your habits

Don’t forget, you can always use the space below to communicate what works best for you – and what you want to see on our blog.


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