How to Form a Habit that Sticks: Reinforcing Positive Habits

Introduction

A positive life is built on the foundation of positive habits. Positive habits are the daily stone-work that build us up into who we want to be, ideally. Forming these habits isn’t hard, with the right framework, tools, and accountability.

At Fum we have been helping people create positive habits for the past three years and have specifically helped over 500 customers reduce and/or quit their smoking habit.

In this blog, we will walk you how to set your habits up for success by outlining key social, emotional, and physical roadblocks you may experience and how to get past them and form that positive habit you are working so hard to implement.

When have you developed a Habit?

Habit formation is a journey, one with a lot of obstacles and challenges that can easily knock you off the road.
A single positive habit in your life can have a big long term impact. It could be the difference of better outcomes happening for you, from improved mood, a promotion, years back in your life, and a million other positive outcomes. Defending your right to live a positive life begins with setting up your habits for success.


You will know you have developed a positive habit when it is incredibly difficult not to perform the action repeatedly--like a positive addiction to better your future self!

Habit Reinforcers

Social

Principle #1: spend time with those that will help improve your habits, not prevent them

Who you spend time with will impact the likelihood of success in forming positive habits. If you are looking to eat healthier, spend time with that “health-nut” you used to get annoyed by. Likewise, if you’re looking to gossip less, spending time with someone who gossips all the time isn’t going to help you stick to your commitment. Find the people that are on board with your positive habits and spend time with people who will help bring you up.


Principle #2: invite your friends into the journey for more accountability

Invite your friends into the journey. Tell them why you are making this new habit, what impact it has, and your potential barriers. Let them know what places or things you are avoiding and find other places to hang or to do!


Principle #3: your environment will either promote positive habits, or detract from them

If you are trying to reduce your alcohol consumption, maybe don’t plan to go to the bar with your friends for trivia night. Consider rock climbing, paint night, board game, cafes, etc. Prioritize setting up your locations to reinforce your successful habit formation. 

Emotional


Principle #1: the journey is a path, not a ladder

Forming a habit is more like walking a path, and less like a ladder. When you miss a day, you don’t fall back to the bottom. Instead, you stand up and keep walking with a slight delay. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself not to fail.


Principle #2: positive talk leads to a positive walk

Tell yourself you are excited to achieve this habit. A study by Harvard Business professor Alison Wood Brooks showed that students who were asked to try and get excited vs. try to remain calm performed 22% better. Focusing on the excitement of the process, and not the outcome will help substantially! Name it and claim it!

 Reference: Brooks, A.W. "Get Excited: Reappraising Pre-Performance Anxiety as Excitement." Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 143, no. 3 (June 2014): 1144–1158. (Received Outstanding Dissertation Award by International Association for Conflict Management 2013.)

 

Principle #3: laugh at your failures

Say it with me: “I. Am. Human!” And humans fail, a lot. This shouldn’t hold us back, but rather teach us that failure is part of the process. Laugh at it. We are far from perfect, and shouldn’t hold ourselves to unrealistic standards. The journey is more important than the destination.

Physical


Principle #1: write out your S.M.A.R.T. habit

Writing out your S.M.A.R.T. habits is a great way to plan your journey because planning is winning! S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. We wrote an extensive blog on how to create a S.M.A.R.T. habit! We recommend reading it here.


Principle #2: use a habit tracker (physical is best)

Seeing your progress is almost as important as progressing. Checking off a box, filling in a square, or tapping that button is a quick dopamine rush that reminds us we are “doing it.” Seeing your progress and missed-days over time helps us to analyze rhythms, plan for rough days, and hold ourselves accountable.



Principle #3: aromatherapy and the psychology of hooking

When preparing for an exam, it is often recommended to study while chewing gum and then to chew the same gum when taking the exam. The aroma, action, and experience draw memories from when you were studying to increase recollection and retention of information. Same goes for habits. Use aromas, by means of essential oils, with Füm and our pre-infused Cores, to create an aromatic hook to reinforce your habit.

Read more on Aromatherapy and Habits

 

To Wrap it up...

Habit formation is a fun and enjoyable journey despite its challenges. The journey is just as important as the destination and the little struggles and challenges are the good stuff. Conquering each challenge instills that feeling of “wow, I did that!”. Positive habits have the ability to change the course and destination of your life. It’s worth setting yourself up for success.

Quick Take-aways:

  • Focus on the journey, not the outcomes.
  • Habit formation is a path not a ladder
  • Understand the social, emotional, and physical challenges you may face.
  • Use tools like a tracker, SMART Habits, and Aromatherapy as physical tools.

  • Curb Your Cravings with Fum™ Conquer


    Cravings can sneak up on you when you least expect them and they can really throw a new habit off. No matter your cravings, Fum with Conquer Cores is a great combination for quelling cravings and keeping you on track for creating positive habits. Conquer Cores are a blend of natural essential oils known for curbing cravings. Grab yours now and get a free Habit Tracker with your order!



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