There’s a common misconception about habits out there. It’s that you need a ton of willpower to start and maintain any habit, whether it be working out, eating healthy, or studying everyday. But in truth, that’s not how habits are formed. In fact, you’ll set yourself up for failure if you rely upon willpower alone to maintain any habit. Instead, you need easy and successful systems in place to implement your habits into your daily routine. When it comes to habits, it’s all about what works for you, but we have some tips to get you started.
Habit stacking is when you link new habits to preexisting habits to make them easier to complete. For example, if you’re trying to implement a new habit of drinking more water, you might start drinking a full glass of water before you brush your teeth each morning and evening. Since you already brush your teeth, it will be easier to remember and complete one step of drinking water before it. When it comes to studying, you might try building a habit of checking in with an accountability partner throughout your day. You could stack this habit next to your daily study breaks, so that you shoot them a text or quick call before or after you take a break.
Start small and often
While it’s tempting to want to overhaul your entire study routine and start fresh, that’s an unrealistic approach. Instead, you’ll want to start small and ensure that your new habits are manageable. For example, taking ten-minute breaks for every 50 minutes of studying is easier to implement than taking an hour-long workout break every day. So start small, but also try to perform the habit as often as possible (like every single day). Habits can take a long time to stick, but by doing them every day, you’re more likely to continue doing it in the long-run. Remember: small but often is your goal!
Rewards are powerful tools for our brains. When you stick with a habit throughout the week, reward yourself on Friday or Saturday to maintain your motivation. You can also pepper your study sessions with small treats to stay on track. Our suggestions for rewards? A cup of tea or coffee while studying, listening to fun music, and dancing breaks!
Some researchers say that habits can take months to form, but don’t be discouraged. Our tips make habits simple and fun, so that you’re not attempting to change your entire life with willpower alone. Improve your studying routine with small changes every day.