Your alarm on your phone goes off, you roll over, turn it off and automatically the urge to start scrolling hits! You check the time, your email, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp…agh! This is not how you really want to start your day, but it’s just so tempting. The sun peeks through the shutters. You climb out of bed and because you’re starting a new habit you put your yoga pants/workout clothes on. It’s going to be a good day, and you’re going to get your body moving – somehow! Morning routines that you establish will start to happen unconsciously. Break the bad habits and create new, good habits. That way you’re able to ‘automate’ yourself. Get tasks done without much thought and effort. Not all habits are good and can take you away from how you intend to live your life and go about your day. It’s important to regularly review current habits, implement good habits, and get rid of bad ones.
Set Good Intentions.
Developing powerful habits requires having a goal in mind. You need a clear vision that will keep you driven. Without this people give up creating powerful habits simply because their purpose is misaligned. Let’s say you want to be healthier and you make a decision to lose weight. This goal is weak because it lacks intent and you’ll quickly be swayed back to old habits. An improved goal is to keep fit so you can play with your future grandchildren instead of them seeing you sickly in bed with no energy to interact with them. Starting with a strong ‘why’ is important and determines if you’ll successfully build your habit.
Start Simple and Commit.
You have your big goal and a ‘why’ attached. Now, you need to find effective habits to achieve them. It’s tempting to go full force but this increases difficulty. “I’m going to get up at 4:30 am every morning and exercise,” you tell yourself while setting your alarm. You forget that you currently wake up at 7:00 am. Pace yourself! Start with simple ‘micro-habits’. Instead of setting your alarm at 4:30 am, bring it down 15 minutes every week until you reach your target habit. Different people have opinions on when something becomes a habit. Bigger habits require more time. Committing to a habit for 21 days is enough for a behaviour to feel intuitive.
Automate Action Through Triggers.
After you’re done eating a hearty salad, you push back your chair and get up to put your plate in the sink or dishwasher. Then you go back to push your chair in. Why does it matter? Actions you take are often linked to different behaviours. These ‘mini-routines’ have triggers telling you what to do next. Trigger points are similar to listening to music. When you listen to an upbeat 80’s song, you feel happy! Listening to blues will likely make you sad. Anchor new habits to existing actions, making it easier to follow through. Visualise yourself completing each activity with your new habit in the process. It’s more likely that you’ll take action.
Getting Friends to Help.
It can be daunting but let your friends and family know what you’re doing. Ask your partner or a close friend to keep track of your progress. This creates accountability and discipline because you know other people have an interest in you. Even better, find someone on the same journey to make sure no one gets cold feet and quits their goal. Social media is perfect for this too. There’s nothing like publicly announcing a goal ahead of time to motivate you into action! Your audience can see what you’re doing. They’ll follow your journey and watch to see if you have the willpower to keep progressing. This will keep you motivated to not disappoint them.
Build Your Habits Now.
I’m not here to tell you what habits you need. Instead, my purpose is to guide you in creating suitable habits for your own lifestyle and goals. Start creating a list of habits that might be beneficial to you. Prioritise the most important habits that are likely to help you achieve your goals.
Then, take action by applying them, baby steps at a time.
Email me with a habit you’ve decided to commit to and your ‘why’.
You can find me on Instagram @segeriusbruce where I share my life and my inspiration.
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