Personal Development

How to Successfully Stay Consistent with Habits

If you frequently face the struggle to build a solid habit into your routine, it can be a little frustrating. It takes 10 weeks, or about 2.5 months, to build a habit, according to research. Meanwhile, it only takes 18 to 254 days to break a habit. While there is less specific research on the exact time it takes to break a habit, it is generally agreed that both processes can be challenging and require sustained effort. This is why building a habit can often feel just as difficult as breaking one.

How does one keep on being consistent with desired habits?

Continuous vs time- or project-based habits

First and foremost, categorize your habits into two types: those you aim to consistently maintain over time and those with specific deadlines or project-based goals. Habits geared towards long-term lifestyle improvements and personal growth are intended to become integral parts of your daily routine indefinitely. For instance, habits like healthy eating, regular exercise, or meditation are adopted with the goal of permanent integration into daily life without the need for strict deadlines.

Similarly, activities such as regular reading, practicing hobbies, or engaging in mindfulness exercises are focused on ongoing personal development rather than achieving a specific endpoint. By recognizing these, it will help you to know which habits need a timeline to be completed and which ones should be broken down into smaller, manageable steps to ensure successful habit formation.

How to stay consistent?

Remind yourself why you do it

Regularly remind yourself of the reasons behind building your habits. Understanding what drives your actions and motivation can help you maintain consistency and commitment. For example, if your goal is to exercise regularly, reminding yourself that it enhances your physical health, boosts your mood, and increases your energy levels can reinforce your commitment. This approach is supported by research. Studies suggest that having a clear sense of purpose and intrinsic motivation significantly increases the likelihood of sustaining long-term behavior changes. Therefore, always reconnect with the “why” behind your habits to create a strong motivational foundation. This can help you overcome obstacles, resist temptations, and ultimately achieve your long-term goals.

Make the tasks as simple as possible

Breaking tasks into small and simple steps is a powerful strategy for building habits consistently. When tasks are simplified, they become more manageable and less daunting, which significantly reduces the likelihood of procrastination. This approach will make the tasks seem less overwhelming. Doing this is very useful for building habits that you want to consistently do without taking a gap, or it might break the whole habit. When the habit is broken, it can take a lot of energy and time to regain that motivation, unless you have a very strong goal to keep on doing it.

Have no rigid schedules

Flexibility often offers numerous benefits, particularly in improving lifestyles for long-term and personal growth. This approach reduces the pressure to follow strict timelines, allowing habits like daily exercise, balanced nutrition, or mindfulness practices to naturally integrate into daily routines. This relaxed approach encourages individuals to focus on the process more than the results. Flexible schedules that focus on a long-term habit are broken into bits and pieces so that they are easier and less burdensome to do. For example, to make a habit of eating healthy foods, gradually incorporate healthy salads or fruits, such as replacing sweets with fruits. An example of another situation is that you have decided to at least eat one healthy food a day. Even though you missed eating it during lunch, you can skip it and eat it during dinner. Being flexible helps you to be less stressed when building a healthy habit.

Get enough time to rest

Ensuring you get enough rest is crucial for building habits consistently and effectively. It will also allow you to approach each day with renewed energy and focus. Research has shown that proper rest, including sufficient sleep, significantly boosts cognitive functions, improves mood, and enhances overall well-being. When well rested, you’re better equipped to make decisions, manage time efficiently, and stay committed to your goals. This, in turn, fosters the consistent practice of new habits, as a refreshed mind is more resilient against distractions and stress. By integrating regular rest periods and ensuring quality sleep, you create an optimal environment for habit formation, leading to sustained productivity and a higher likelihood of achieving long-term success.

Consistency can look imperfect, but that’s just how it is

Many people believe that building a habit requires sticking to a fixed schedule without change. However, embracing flexibility in routines or habits can actually reduce pressure while maintaining consistency. For instance, if your goal is to work out 3–5 times per week, it doesn’t necessarily mean adhering strictly to specific days each week. Instead, you can set a weekly target and adjust your workout days based on what works best for you each week. This approach ensures you meet your frequency goal while accommodating life’s unpredictability.

The key is to prioritize the frequency of the desired behavior over the exact timing. As long as you consistently achieve your goal of 3 to 5 workouts per week, the habit remains strong. This method might initially appear inconsistent, but what matters most is sustaining the momentum and regularity of the activity. By focusing on consistency in action rather than rigid adherence to a schedule, you can effectively build and maintain habits that fit your lifestyle and preferences.


Building and maintaining consistent habits is key to long-term success and personal growth. Categorize habits to ensure you will have a balance of long-term and short-term focus in building habits. Building habits does not require a lot of stress. Rather, be flexible, take it easy, and live simple. Then, you may find it easier to retain the habit for a long-time.

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