I really enjoyed this ABC article on ‘How to start changing your money habits for good’ and am sharing as it has some great advice on habits in general, as well as savings and money tips.

Generally, there are five steps to forming a new habit and, as I like memory aides, I’m going with 5 Ps.

1.     Pick a goal or target - make it simple and achievable and break the big goal into chunks

2.     Plan how you will reach it – what are the pathways

3.     Practice – start your new habit. Adjust the plan if you need to but keep practising

4.     Praise yourself – have a reward when you reach your goal or target

5.     Persist – don’t give up the whole thing if you slip up

For example; if your goal is to practice being mindful every day you might;

1.     Pick 5 minutes a day as your initial goal

2.     Plan by finding a mindfulness app to help you, and identify a good time of day

3.     Practice – spend time each day being mindful. Adjust the time of day if your initial idea doesn’t work, or try a new app, listen to a mindfulness blog for ideas etc if your plan needs tweaking.

4.     Praise yourself with whatever you enjoy, a walk, a treat, Netflix etc.

5.     Persist if you miss a day. Don’t give up (and don’t ‘punish’ yourself with having to do 10 minutes the next day to make up for it – as that will likely make your new habit less appealing!).

New habits can take two months to form. Some research says it’s less time than this, and some guides say you must never slip up. But for most people, taking longer and forgiving the occasional slip on the way will make for better adoption and long-term maintenance of the new behaviour.

If this has inspired you to work on a habit; good luck! As ever, give me a shout with any questions, or feel free to share any other habit-forming tips and tricks that have worked particularly well for you.