I hope this statement is making you feel as good as it made me feel when I first read it. I can’t recall how many times I have tried changing some terrible habits like watching TV and not doing any sports. Each time I failed, it was tough for the morale and I would interpret it as: I just don’t have enough willpower.
But now I know better. Well at least I know I’m not alone :)
This page sums up a point that is detailed in Shawn Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage. Achor’s tips helped me a lot, and hopefully they will help you too..
The bottom line is that you should make it easier for you to take on good habits and harder for you to continue bad ones. Lowering or raising the barrier of entry can really make a difference. So next time, you go home, hide the TV remote’s batteries in different places around your flat. Make it difficult to access them, and make it easy to pick up your pencil for drawing or your book for quiet reading sessions.
Also important is eliminating the decisions leading to a good habit. For example going to the gym. Make it easy by scheduling in advance everything from where you will go to what you will do and wear and how you will get there. By eliminating the small decisions, you create an automated space for your new healthy habit that will make it a lot easier to pick up. Achor says in his book that he used to sleep with his training clothes and socks just so that he would have no choice but to go to the gym the next day!! And it worked! And you don’t have to do it forever. Just the first weeks, until the habit is in place.