We use habits every day to get us through the things we face at work and home. Some habits like emptying the dishwasher keep our surroundings clean and healthy. Other habits are designed to reduce the amount of time we spend on essential activities and chores.
Our life habits help us advance toward our goals, or they are a deterrent. To help us move forward, we need to put new habits in place that help us succeed. Here are four steps to creating healthy habits for life.
1. DESIGN A VISUAL TRIGGER
Our memory kicks in every time we see a reminder. These reminders don’t have to be notes, but can be symbols or items that trigger us to engage a certain habit. For instance, if I want to capture my first thoughts each morning, having a notebook prominently placed on my nightstand with a pen can trigger my new habit.
2. PRE-THINK YOUR RESPONSE
When we face a new habit, we tend to think, “I guess I have to do this stupid thing,” or, “This new habit makes the attainment of my goal much easier.” We know a thought will pop into our head when we see the notebook on the nightstand. It’s our choice to predetermine if we will see it as a good thing or a bad thing. Make sure you know that it’s a good thing before you go to sleep the night before.
3. REHEARSE YOUR REWARD
Remind yourself of your goal and what success will feel like as you position the notebook on your nightstand. Rehearsing the reward that you’ll receive after successfully capturing your morning thoughts solidifies the development of your new habit. Your feelings will make building the habit easier each day.
4. BE CONSISTENT
Consistency is critical to building new habits. If you miss or have to skip a day, get back to it the next day. We all have schedule interruptions that can derail new habits, but managing a consistent pattern will lock in your new goal-producing tool. It takes a single step each day over a long period of time to lock in your goal-achieving habit.
Building a new habit starts today, not tomorrow. Select one habit and focus on it for three months before picking a second habit. Most importantly, make sure you won the habit and you really want to put it in place. No on succeeds at putting someone else’s habit in place.
What type of new habit will help you attain your goals?
Copyright © 2022 by CJ Powers