Whatever you try to achieve on a permanent basis you wont be able to do unless you do it regularly. The best example is weightloss. Whenever you try to lose some extra pounds which you build up over years you wont lose them on a permanet basis by 3 crash diets a year. You have to change for good by whatever works for you.
When you try to finish a marathon in less than 4 hours, you wont make it by running 5 times before the event. You need to practice for a long time. For a period of time that it feels bad if you do not run at your scheduled time. It feels as if you broke your routine as if you did not follow your habit.
How do you form a habit. Some people say whatever you do 30 times in a row makes it one. My honest answer is, I have no idea. You can also not run for 30 days in a row but I guess if you run 30 times in 2 months you will start missing it. Good habits also help to break bad ones. If you try to run every other day you might not drink the 10th beer and stop at 9 (just kidding, one can also run after 10 beers, just a bit slower).
A months ago I downloaded an app called habit list. It is outragously expensive at 4 EUR (equivalent of 1 beer, so if you drink 9 instead of 10 you could buy it but in the world of free it is a lot…) and was amazed how well it works.You just put in the habit you would like to form and it reminds you to do your stuff, show you stats and a few other things. It is super simple and even tech idiots like me are able to use it. After one months I am quite confident that I have formed 1 routine which I basically do automatically. I admit it is a stupid and simple one but I force myself to have a cold shower every day for at least 30 seconds. People who know me are aware that I don’t like water, swimming and I really hate cold water. But if you do it for a long period of time you actually start missing it, when you don’t get your wake up splash.
Other things are more complicated and I think will take more time but the most important thing to do is not to crack under pressure and keep on doing it. When you have a bad time do not give up, just restart, it is worth it otherwise you would not wanted it in the first place. My next goal is to run every 2-3 days. For a months it worked but I would not call it a habit yet but I achieved a performance improvement of 20% during that time. I know that the next 20% are much tougher, but I wont crack. At least I hope…