Creating new habits takes time and energy. A new behavior won't become automatic overnight, but you may enjoy some of its benefits fairly quickly. Also, as you start to take walks regularly or engage in stress-soothing practices frequently, you'll find you won't feel quite right if you stop. That's a great incentive to continue.
Here are a few tips to help you create long-lasting change:
Dream big. Audacious goals are compelling. Want to compete in a marathon or triathlon? Lose 50 pounds or just enough to fit into clothes you once loved? With perseverance, encouragement, and support, you can do it. An ambitious aim often inspires others around you.
Break big dreams into small-actionable steps. Now think tiny. Small steps move you forward to your ultimate goal. Each time you achieve a step your confidence builds and you are motivated to tackle and succeed at more difficult tasks.
Understand why you shouldn't make a change. Until you have a full understanding why you're sticking to old habits and routines, it may be hard to muster enough energy for change. When you're considering a change, taking time to think it through will boost your chance of success. Also, take a moment learn from the past, think about what did and didn't work and how you can do it better.
Commit yourself. Make yourself accountable through a written or verbal promise to people you don't want to let down. Ask family and friends to cheer you on. Post your promise on Facebook, tell your friends, or seek out folks with like-minded goals online.
Give thanks for what you do. Express gratitude for the small accomplishments. Set your sights on finishing that marathon, not on running it. Recognize each and every small step you take towards your goal.