Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just say “I need to start taking this action so I can change this about myself” and that’s all it took to change? My guess is that most of the time when you are out to create a new habit, it’s to replace an old habit or to change a bad result you’re looking to improve.
The good and bad news is this – habits are hard to break!
Bad habits often feel impossible to change. Good habits are equally ingrained in our routine.
Over the past 90 days I’ve been incredibly intentional about creating some new habits in my life. The habit I’ve been the most public about has been taking daily walks to improve my health. Today is day 91 of taking a 3 to 5 mile walk every day. At the beginning I had to talk myself into starting the walk each day, but now I know it’s going to happen even when I don’t feel like it.
I started to wonder if I could create this habit or not, but once I repeated the action over and over and over and over, it finally became a habit. I went from being incredibly immobile and each step a constant battle to now walking without thinking about it.
Today I want to share 7 tips with you that will help as you create new habits in your life and business.
Tip 1 – Have A “Why”
If you want to create a new habit, you probably have a good reason you want to start the habit. Dive deep into why you want to invest your time, energy, emotions and future into creating a new habit. Take time to write out your why and the benefits behind the habit.
I had said a thousand times I needed to be healthier, but it wasn’t until I started envisioning the benefits before I took consistent action and creating new habits around my desires.
Tip 2 – Know The Pain
Just as you have a why and know the benefits of creating your new habit, you also want to know the pain of not creating the habit. What are the consequences of not implementing your new habit? What stays the same? What gets worse? Knowing my health was in a downward spiral and all that would take place if I remained on the couch scared me into action
Tip 3 – Commit To A Month
You constantly hear that it takes 21 days to create a habit. For me, I didn’t want to chance it with 21 days, so I committed to 30 days when I first started. I decided that whether it was hot (I’m in central Florida), raining (I’m in central Florida) or even a hurricane (I’m in central Florida) that I would walk every single day. There were weekend events, there was church on Sunday morning, there were early morning flights scheduled…. but I made a decision that nothing would get in the way for the first 30 days.
I must confess, even after 30 days I’m not sure I had developed a habit yet. I was still forcing myself to walk every day even after 30 days, but at that point I do believe I had so much skin in the game I wasn’t going to stop. After 30 days it felt amazing knowing I had gone from being a complete couch potato to walking at least 5 miles every single day.
Tip 4 – Find Accountability
When it comes to my habit of walking, I was very public with my decision and took to social media. For other habits, I have an accountability partner. For other habits, I have a coach. In some form or fashion, you need a partner who will help hold you accountable.
For me, I don’t need a “yes man” or someone who will let me off the hook but rather someone who will tell me how ridiculous my excuses sound. Be honest with yourself, if you didn’t need accountability you wouldn’t be in the position of needing to create a new habit. If your “why” is big enough and the “pain” is deep enough, it’s worth getting accountability to ensure your success.
Tip 5 – Track Your Progress
What you measure you are able to improve. For me, I like to see visual progress but I knew that the journey of walking was going to be a LONG one and that the end result would be a long way down the road. So I needed to create some short term ways to feel good about what I was beginning. A quick trip to Office Depot provided poster sized post-it sheets for my office. I marked off each consecutive day walked, the date and the distance.
I also use an app on my iPhone called Habit Share. It keeps up with the number of consecutive days and my success rate. I LOVE seeing the days grow and my success rate at 100%.
Michael Hyatt has an incredible blog post (7 Apps To Help You Achieve Your Goals and Build New Habits) that shares several other habit tracking apps – they all look so cool!
Tip 6 – Go All In
Within a few days of walking, I realized that I needed more “workout clothes.” Because I had made a decision to make this happen, I didn’t bargain with myself and say “If you do this for two weeks, then you can go buy new shoes, new socks, new shorts, new shirts…” I went all in. I had made a decision and knew I needed the tools and equipment to make it happen.
Removing all of the space for excuses is huge. Make a decision and go all in and decide that nothing will get in your way. No excuse is worth preventing your success.
Give yourself every opportunity to succeed in creating your new habit.
Tip 7 – Celebrate Your Activity
“You can’t change your results, you can only change your habits.” That’s a quote I often hear Ray Higdon say. So instead of being discouraged by your results, look at your new habit and realize you are creating new results.
I’ll share one of my morning affirmations with you: “I have faith that my daily habits will either lead to success or lead me to failure – and I choose to do the daily habits that lead me to success.”
When you know you are building and creating habits that will lead you to success, celebrate them! Have confidence that what you’re doing is building your future, creating a change and making you successful!
Resources On Creating Habits
18 Tricks To Make New Habits Stick – LifeHack
How To Make A New Habit Stick – Michael Hyatt
The Four Habits That Form Habits – Zen Habits
Better Than Before – Gretchen Rubin
The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
Here’s To Helping You Thrive In Your Business,
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