Positive habits have the remarkable power to shape our lives for the better. This can lead to increased productivity, improved well-being, and enhanced overall happiness.
There are so many advantages that come with cultivating and nurturing good habits for our long term health, as well as energy saving in day to day routines.
Unlocking the secret to successful habit installation is a structured approach I’ll outline below. This can pave the way for achieving your goals and aspirations one habit at a time.
Habits can be really transformative forces bringing us ease with decision making and automating tasks in our daily routines.
When it comes to starting out on a new habit we have all experienced the initial surge of action, the habit is dutifully attended to on a daily basis and it feels great. Then as time passes our energy dwindles. Maybe we forget for a day. A day turns into 2 and before you know it you’re back where you were, not doing the thing you really wanted installed as a good habit.
Establishing good habits is an endeavour that needs continual attention, but ensuring they endure the test of time can be a challenge. So I’m outlining a few tips and strategies to help you make those positive habits stick, allowing you to enjoy their benefits for the long haul.
Tips for making good habits stick successfully:
TIP #1: KNOW YOUR WHY
“Know your why” is a phrase often used to emphasize the importance of understanding the underlying motivations and reasons behind your actions, decisions, and goals. When it comes to habit installation, knowing your why is crucial for several reasons – motivation and commitment, finding your purpose and meaning, focus and prioritization, resilience, adaptability, alignment with values, and long-term sustainability.
Here’s 5 questions for you to work through and uncover Your Why:
1. Why do you want to install this new habit? Make a list of all the benefits you will experience.
2. In the short term, how is your life going to change because of this new habit? Be specific and go through your day and note down how your life will change as time progresses.
3. Looking at the long term, how will your life be different in 6 months, a year, 5 years, because you installed this habit?
4. How will you interact with people differently?
5. What impact will this one habit have on your larger goals?
Understanding your why is like having a compass that guides your habit installation journey. It provides direction, motivation, and purpose, making it more likely that you’ll successfully establish and maintain the habits that contribute to your personal growth and well-being.
TIP #2: MAKE IT EASY
Lower Activation Energy:
Making a habit easy to start means reducing the activation energy required to initiate the behavior. Activation energy refers to the effort, time, and willpower needed to get started on a task or habit. By minimizing this initial hurdle, you’re more likely to take the first step, which is often the most challenging part of habit formation.
Consistency and Frequency:
Habits thrive on consistency and frequency. When a habit is easy to do, you’re more likely to repeat it regularly. Over time, this repetition reinforces the behavior and makes it more ingrained in your daily routine. For example, if you want to establish a habit of daily exercise, making it easy might involve setting out your workout clothes the night before, having a simple workout routine, or choosing a convenient time and location for exercise.
Easy habits help you build momentum. Once you’ve successfully started and completed a straightforward habit, you feel a sense of accomplishment. This feeling of success can motivate you to tackle more challenging habits or tasks because you’ve already proven to yourself that you can follow through. It’s a positive feedback loop that encourages further progress.
Let’s get to know your habit in more detail:
1. What is the habit in general (eg better health)?
2. What specifically is the habit you are installing (running 3x /week)?
3. When will you do this? Be specific by choosing when you’ll do it, while being realistic about other commitments.
4. How long will each occurrence be? Start small, this plays into the Make It Easy concept.
5. Where will you do it?
6. How will you do it? (eg with the help of a training partner, or group classes)
By breaking down the habit into smaller pieces you are more likely to be motivated to take each small step – therefore making it easier to install and win at the habit!
Incorporating the “Make It Easy” principle into habit installation involves simplifying the environment, reducing friction, and breaking down habits into smaller, manageable steps. By doing so, you remove many of the obstacles and excuses that might prevent you from taking action, making it far more likely that you’ll successfully establish and maintain the habits you desire.
TIP #3: EMBRACE THE PROCESS
It was mentioned above about being realistic with other commitments you have, and fitting in the new habit. It’s also vital that you accept reality that there will be friction, some days you won’t feel like for example going for a run.
We know ahead of time that there will be obstacles and when we think about it we know what they will be. We must face that reality by pre-planning how we’ll get over those hurdles. It would be foolish to think that our days will ‘always’ run smoothly….they won’t, so work out in advance how you’ll overcome your own personal hurdles now. Then when they appear you’ll deal with them so much easier and lightly.
Finally, on tough days please go back and read your Know Your Why section. Boost your resilience and resolve because the habit you’re installing is important to you.
Other articles you may find of interest:
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I hope you’ve found this article useful. It would be amazing to hear about the new habits you are installing. You can comment below or send me an email [firstname.lastname@example.org] to share what you’re been putting in place to make your life a little easier.
If you’re looking for personalized support and guidance to help with installing new habits or any aspect of life that’s presenting you with challenge right now, I’m here to help! I offer 1-2-1 coaching sessions to empower you with tools and techniques tailored to your unique needs. Let’s work together to kick all that overwhelm into touch. Reach out to me [email@example.com] to schedule your coaching session today!