4 Tips to Make It Easier to Forge New Habits

By Kaitlin Vogel
January 03, 2023

Whether your goal is to eat healthier, exercise more often, or be more mindful in your day-to-day life, you’ve probably spent some time wondering why changing your ways is so difficult. The problem isn’t not knowing what you want to accomplish, but rather aligning your actions with your desired outcome, and eventually closing the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

“Habits or behaviors are hard to break,” explains Stephanie Gilbert, L.M.F.T., a therapist based in Santa Monica, California. “Oftentimes, we focus on the habit we want to change and think that we can 'willpower' our way out of it. But people like routine, so doing anything out of our normal feels different and uncomfortable.”

Research suggests that actions become habits when we frequently and consistently do them. But how do we get from dreaming about becoming a gym rat, a morning person, or a five-fruits-and-vegetables-a-day eater to actually doing it? Follow these four tips to act with the consistency, simplicity, and self-kindness needed to make lasting change.