Are you trying to build better habits but struggling to make lasting changes? You’re not alone. Habit formation is hard, but you can create new habits that will stick with a little planning and effort. Here are some tips for building better habits.

Start With One Habit at a Time.

Trying to tackle too many new habits at once is overwhelming and can lead to failure. Start by focusing on one habit that you want to change. Once that habit becomes second nature, you can move on to another. As you do this, celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem.

Make a Plan.

One of the best ways to ensure success with habit change is to make a plan. Decide what habit you want to form and develop a realistic plan for how you’re going to do it. Your plan should include when you will do the new behavior, where you will do it, and how to remind yourself to do it. Be sure to be as specific as possible.

Make it specific.

Be as specific as possible when you’re trying to form a new habit. rather than saying, “I want to be more organized,” try, “I will put my keys in the same spot every time I come home.” Rather than “I’ll work out more,” try “I will go to the gym three times this week.” The more specific your goal, the easier it is to achieve.

Being specific also helps you track your progress and see how far you’ve come.

Set a realistic goal.

When setting your habit-forming goals, be sure to make them realistic. It’s important to start small, so you don’t get overwhelmed and give up. If you’re not used to working out, starting with a goal of going to the gym five times a week is probably not realistic. Start with two or three times a week and then increase your goal to get used to the new habit.

Reward Yourself.

One of the best ways to stick with a new habit is to reward yourself for your efforts. When you achieve your goal, pat yourself on the back or treat yourself to something you enjoy. This will help you stay motivated and remind you that forming new habits can be fun.

Forming new habits can be hard, but you can create new habits that will stick with a little planning and effort. Follow these tips to make habit change easier.