There are so many ways we can try to build good habits for ourselves.

We can work on our diets, try to get more sleep, organize our schedules, track our spending, invest a percentage of our income, exercise weekly, and so much more.

However, the truth is, very few of us are great at building new habits. Moreover, even when we succeed in creating certain habits, the results are usually short-lived.

For example, one study found that participants who wrote down their goals and planned their habits every day for a week had a 42 percent success rate in achieving those goals.

Good habit formation is one of the most powerful tools we have to become better people.

The point of good habits is to make them a lifestyle

Building good habits is not a finite game — it’s about making them our way of life.

“Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped,” says Charles Duhigg, the author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.

If you aim to eat right, exercise consistently, read a book almost every day, invest for your future self or limit the number of processed foods you eat, you will accumulate small gains over time.

You will consistently become a better version of yourself effortlessly.

Building better habits doesn’t have to become a chore.

If you are still trying too hard or struggling to make them a habit, something is not right.

You are either focusing on short-term gains or doing too much at once. When it comes to building lasting habits, it pays to stick to routines or rituals you can sustain.

Whether you follow fitness gurus on YouTube, read self-improvement books, or work on a project you care about, it’s essential to make small wins daily or weekly instead of aiming for one massive win or huge gains in a short time.

Good habits are the foundation for lasting change.

You should aim to build solid routines that can become your way of work or life in the future.

When you build good habits, it becomes easier to maintain the changes you make over time. The more time we spend doing something, the more it becomes a habit.

Reading books? A habit. Watching great documentaries? A habit. Spending quality time with friends? A habit.

“Habits are formed by the repetition of particular acts. They are strengthened by an increase in the number of repeated acts. Habits are also weakened or broken, and contrary habits are formed by the repetition of contrary acts,” says Mortimer Adler.

Changing the habits we have takes discipline and a lot of determination. However, once you get started, aim to keep going. Perfection is not the goal.

Habits can’t take you from zero to hero in a few days.

It takes at least a few months to commit to them.

Because habits are so important to your success, it’s worth picking a few good habits and making them a lifestyle. The rest of your life will unfold inside your mind and body — upgrade them for a better life.

This article originally appeared in Medium. 

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