There are many ways in which people say to create a new habit, you need to take several steps.
And that is true, but my previous blog post was all about what to do before you think about creating a new habit.
Today I want to talk about some of the best ways I’ve found to stick to new habits I’ve created.
In the beginning, you will need a lot of determination, and stubbornness. It’s never easy to create new patterns, in an already lived in life.
The first stage is to know why you want what you want.
The only reason you should want to change is because you see this as making a difference in your life for the better.
It’s no good thinking that you need to be a smoker because all of your colleagues smoke, you will always hate it.
Likewise, it’s not going to work to become a night owl, because your friends love a good night out more than once a week, if you are an early bird.
How to Determine Which New Habit to Create
1.You need to know and understand who you currently are.
You need to know what you like doing, if you remember naturally or need reminders, or need signs all over your house, or need a good support system.
What is it that you will need for this time to be the one that actually makes a change?
Knowing yourself more and how you learn, adapt and grow are key to being the leader in your own personal development.
2. Where in your life does your new habit fit?
So if you are trying to get fitter, then working out is a must. So when are you going to work out?
Are you a morning or evening or a lunchtime person?
Do you like the gym, or outdoors, or are you a homebody?
Then work out when your new habit will fit into your day.
Schedule it into your diary, make a place for it in your home.
If you struggle with the reminders, then hire an accountability partner.
3. How are you going to stay on track?
Are you going to use a tracker, are you going to use an accountability partner, or are you going to just wing it?
The thing with new habits is that if you don’t stick to them, they disappear.
They no longer exist and you have to start all over again.
Likewise with if you think about doing it alone.
Even if you just tell your mum, saying it out loud and knowing that there is someone out there who knows the plan and you may have to explain yourself to makes a huge difference.
So how do you create a new habit, especially when you’re already the way you are?
You already have so many habits that don’t align with who you want to be otherwise you would already be that person.
Your current habits are the reason why you are not winning at life right now, and to be the best version of yourself, you are going to have to drop some of them.
I say this so you start to become more aware of the habits you have. As you start to notice these things you start to see where you let yourself down.
So for me, I started noticing, when I was tired, or late at night working, I would snack on crisps and sweets, fast things I could pick up and snack on there and then. It was mostly at night, when I was tired, or when most of the day had passed. So I began to see where I was letting myself down.
I want you to ask yourself, what do you really want and when are you most likely to give in?
To create a winning process:
You are ready.
You are ready to step into that new version of yourself.
You know what you want, you have seen your end goal and you can see why this is for you.
Next, set up the best plan of attack.
To create a new habit and stick to it, you need to repeat it enough times for your brain to create new neural pathways, so you no longer have to consciously think about being the new version of yourself. It happens automatically.
That is what you need a process for.
So first thing – if you are anything like me you will need a reminder of this new version you are trying to become.
How To Stick to Your New Habit
1. Depending on the habit, set a reminder or an alert.
So for me to create more presence and awareness in my day, I have two alarms in my phone that remind me to sit and breathe and soak in what is going on around me.
But to wake up at 5 am, I needed to enlist some outside support.
Now my friend and I call each other, and plan out our day for five minutes, then get out of bed.
For years I have tried to get up before dawn and start my day, so I know I needed something stronger than ten alarms. I needed a buddy to keep me accountable.
2. Next you need to know what you are doing.
This takes more work than you think. So if this is a completely new habit, you will need to do some learning.
When I was in the midst of losing weight and getting healthy, I learnt so much about my calories and macros.
But also what 10,000 steps really looked like, and how much of my day would be spent on my feet.
So learn the quickest way of achieving your goal.
My friend put me onto these 20 min youtube videos that help get me to 10,000 steps much quicker, and they massively helped me in my journey.
If you are looking to change your eating habits, buying new nutritious food, and not stocking up on treats, is one way to simply avoid binge eating.
Get really detailed about it, so that the act itself becomes a fun activity and going through the process is joyful for you.
For me waking up at 5am is not fun at all. I have also built this fear around it, that because I am up so early, the rest of my day will be a slow one because I am going to be tired most of it.
But the thing about waking up early is that you have to go to bed earlier – this was the first lesson I learned.
The second lesson I learned from waking up early is that I had a better sense of what I am going to do with my day, so I know what I am working on, what meetings I have, and so on, which makes me more excited about my day.
I have to get up because I have so much to get done to achieve all of my goals.
3.Now you know what new habit you are creating and how you are doing it, you have to figure out where and when.
The schedule is so important. So, if you’re setting alarms that are super easy, set them when you know you will be awake and alert and have enough time to achieve what you want.
But realise when you are your most productive, or energetic and when you’re not. I know I am tired in the evenings and will make the most excuses to not work out in the evenings.
I also know I am prone to eating crap in the evenings, so I need to make new rules around when my cut off time is.
But I know I love getting a workout out of the way first so I don’t keep putting it off.
Set yourself up for success and decide when you are going to do this new habit, and how often.
4. Be super proud of yourself for doing it.
Create a ritual of rewarding yourself, with love and gratitude, or a new lipstick, or something that makes you feel on top of the world.
Humans respond really well to reward systems, it’s how our society is set up: we work hard all month, and then get paid at the end of the month for all of it.
So get into the practice of telling yourself how amazing you are for practicing this new habit every time you do.
You will not only want to do it more, but you will also grow in confidence because that’s what speaking positively to yourself does.
5. Repeat as often as required.
You don’t have to do something every day to create a new habit, in fact, I believe that sometimes it’s best you don’t, as you need rest days, cheat days and days where you are completely challenge free.
The reason why I say this is to create less resistance.
I am one of those people who cannot continue anything on the weekend. So I take them completely off and use my time for me, friends and family.
I also do not beat myself up about it.
It’s not a bad thing taking things slowly.
Yes, creating a new habit takes focus, but you will not love working out every single day if you are new to working out.
I definitely don’t love waking up at 5am but I do it, as my days are jam-packed and I love getting up and doing my work, and feeling like I’m becoming the best version of me, who uses every hour to the max.
6. The easiest way of creating a new habit I have found is to stack it.
If I’m already doing something on a daily routine, I’ll add my new habit onto it. So for my 10,000 step goal, I would after my morning routine, add on a walk, just down the road, no pressure, no time limit, but a little stroll, which added to my count, but also made me feel amazing.
Another example, if I am trying to stop snacking, I would get up, drink some water, sit back down, and see if I still wanted that snack or a larger proper meal.
Or my favorite, when I was trying to get into meditation, I would use the time I sat in my towel contemplating the world after my shower, (we all do it) and meditate instead.
I turned the time I wasted into productive time.
It’s probably now I should confess, these habit tips are not simply to create good new habits but to install a better lifestyle.
I feel if we try to create the space for new and better parts of ourselves to come through, we will want that version of ourselves more.
I know I have been like that. Especially when it comes to my morning routine.
The more I do it, the more I love that time for me and that time for me to dream, and meditate and show up for myself first.
If you feel like there are changes that you would like to make, but have no clue where to start and want 1:1 support, I am here.
I am currently taking on 1:1 clients, and am happy to have a conversation about how I am able to support you.
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