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Habit changes aren’t something to be taken lightly. They can be successful, but it takes a lot of energy, focus and motivation, and it’s hard to do that with a lot of habits all at once. We highly recommend that you start with one habit, and apply proven habit-change methodology to that habit, and then once that has become a habit, move on to the next habit.

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Doing one habit at a time will take some patience, but at the same time it’s not as overwhelming and it’s much easier to adopt this way. If you are already good at some of these habits, and if you are good at changing your habits, it’s possible to do more than one at a time. Still, we wouldn’t recommend more than 2 to 3 at a time, because the more you do, the less your chances of success.

Don’t try to do much more than that.

Start simple, and gradually add the other habits as you see fit.

If you start now and adopt 1 to 2 habits per month, at the end of the year you will have some great habits under your belt. Here are some of the most important methods that you can use to make these habit changes successful.

1. Develop them one at a time.

Changing habits can be hard, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed if you try to change too much too fast. You’ll be much more likely to develop long-term habits if you focus on developing only one at a time.

2. Make your commitment as public as possible.

Put it on your blog, join an online forum and tell people about it, tell your family and friends or send out a daily email update on your progress. The more positive public pressure on you to change, the better.

3. Practice every day for 30 days.

Changing your habits is a skill, and like any skill, it takes practice. Commit yourself to a 30-day challenge, and try to do your new habit every single day for 30 days. You will be training yourself to do that new habit, over and over. If you mess up, don’t beat yourself up. Just try again. Practice makes perfect.

4. Track your progress daily.

This may sound difficult, but it will make your habit change much more likely to be successful. Log it in before you go to bed, placing your log next to your bed. It’ll motivate you, and will make you feel great as you look back on all your progress.

5. Find someone to support you through the process.

Join an online group, or change your habit with a partner. However you find them, get others to do a habit change with you, and it will be much easier.

6. Reward yourself often.

Early on, reward yourself at the end of each of the first three days, and then at the end of every week. Finally, give yourself a big reward at the end of your 30-day challenge.

7. Focus on your habit for the full 30 days.

It’s extremely important that you maintain your focus on this new habit for the entire 30 days. That’s why it’s hard to do more than one or two habits at a time; you can’t maintain focus. Find ways to bring your focus back to your habit. Put up signs or posters around your desk or home. Send yourself email reminders. Put it on your desktop picture. However you do it, keep a laser focus!

8. Think positively.

This is perhaps the most important element. If you tell yourself that you can do this, that you will do it, then you will. Squash all negative thoughts, and replace them with positive ones. You can do this!

In summary, don’t try to rush ahead and adopt too many new habits at once. You’ll be much more likely to succeed if you take them one at a time.