Habit is something that a person does, in a regular and repeated way. With frequent behaviour pattern, it tends to occur unconsciously and almost becomes an involuntary action. Practising any activity for twenty one days consistently becomes a involuntary action on the twenty second day and becomes habit. For example, brushing your teeth, an action which we have practiced consistently since childhood and hence, it becomes our habit to ensure a healthy and a beautiful smile.

The most important part of developing a habit is consistency, because, sustained effort makes the difference at the end. Forming a habit may be a very slow process. It's often essential that we adopt good activities to develop a good habit. If you want to develop a habit of exercising, then the activity is to exercise 10 mins every day. If you want to develop a habit of writing, then the activity is to write a paragraph every day. If you want to develop a habit of reading books, then your activity should be reading two pages every day. But when there is consistency, the intensity is picked up later as the urge to optimise our performance and to do more is developed in us.
Take a challenge of 21 days, prove to yourself that you can stick something for 21 days. Write it on a paper with motivation, obstacles and strategies to overcome it. Focusing on one activity at a time is more effective and a powerful way of achieving the habit as it's tough to achieve important things when we are constantly switching from one to another and hence, focus on one activity until it is converted into a habit and then, move on to the next one. Identifying the essential things is important as you love them the most and eliminate others so that it helps you to simplify things and concentrate on what is important.

Commit fully to your activity. Cognisance and report your progress to yourself each day. Let people know what you are trying to accomplish, as we all need support in achieving the required. When you are practicing our activity to convert into a habit, reward yourself when you have done well. For example, while I was practicing the habit of writing journal, I was consistent and was able to keep a good pace of my activity hence I used to treat myself with something I love the most, so that, the treat was a small reward which kept me motivated to continue with the same consistency and pace. As writing journal became consistent, a conscious commitment helped me to overcome my procrastination and helped me to keep the activity on the wheels of motion. Habit of writing journal, is the keystone habit which helped me to develop other activities. But this is my order of preference, yours may be different. There are times when we fail at achieving things, that is when we need to figure out what went wrong, plan again and try again. Never judge yourself when a mistake is made, instead, focus on things and develop a plan which gets you on to the track as soon as possible, because, slipping from your habit is not a failure, but not getting back on the track immediately, is a failure. I have also failed numerous times in developing a habit of reading books, but I noticed that I lack the attitude of "never miss twice" which is essential. Once this attitude is developed the habit is accomplished. The benefit of developing a habit happens by doing them repeatedly, regularly and consistently and they become automatic, once they become automatic they are achieved effortlessly and there lies the beauty of developing a habit.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 23rd November 2015.
Chaitra DM
Chaitra DM is a contributing writer at Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine.