So, let’s dive into the day’s topic. Today’s topic is “10 tips on how to build a new habit.” I know many of you have New Year’s resolutions and many of you have big goals, and many of you are working on things. In the comments, share what your number one goal or key objective or outcomes you want to achieve or experience in 2020. What are your top goals you are aiming for?
As we are thinking of the goal, the outcome or experience that we would like to have, we also have to think about the cause that we have to put in place for the desired outcome to result sometime this year. Cause and effect; what are the actions or habits that we have to put in place that would allow the results that you want to become the absolute result that will show up over time?
So, we want to think about this; we want to think about the cause. Most times we get excited and only think of the results we want but we forget to ask what the habit that we need to put into motion that actually creates that result over time is.
And so if you are to rewind back and say, okay, if that is the result that I want, then this is the habit that I have to put in place in order to actually achieve this result. Now you’ve got to ask the next question, “How do we create this habit?”
How do we put this habit in place so that it actually becomes automatic? How do we get it to stick? How do we do it consistently so we can get the result we want?
Here’s 10 ways to build this habit.
1. Start Small
This is almost the opposite of everything I have heard in the self-help, personal development, think big, dream larger, what’s your moon shot, go bigger and beyond what you’ve ever done before, 10x it, I don’t care what philosophy you use but all of them say think bigger. That’s great for your vision, but it is horrible advice when you are trying to build a habit.
So often, the habit is left in the dust because we try to start by running a marathon on Day 1 instead of trying to walk one block.
Now, there’s a lady named Sr. Madonna Buder. She is the iron nun in her late 80s who has run over 100 triathlons. I think she is in her late 80s or early 90s right now and she has completed the ironman competition. It is amazing that a person this old could complete this competition. She didn’t start training until she was in her 60s.
She started her training by walking one block on her Day 1. Just one block! She did just that for several days, and then close to a week later she decided to walk two blocks. A few weeks later this changed to “walk a block, jog a block.” In her 70s, she ran over a hundred triathlons. Now in her 80s she is doing ironman competitions. Unbelievable!
If you also want to build a new habit, start small. Start something you can do every day no matter what. You are not going to get too sore, you are not going to run out of steam and you are not going to get exhausted.
2. Make It Easy
We usually get pumped up, hyped and all excited about these New Year’s resolutions but then we do something that sets us up to fail. We decide to 10x what we’ve ever done and we make it really hard and challenging to develop the habit; things that cause us to stretch further than we have ever done.
We then end up failing in three days and wondering why the heck it didn’t work. So, start small, but be sure to make it easy.
Make it something you can do over and over again with ease so that it doesn’t feel like work anymore but rather your thing that you do effortlessly. But that “no big deal effort” adds up to massive results over time as long as you stay consistent with the habit.
3. Make It Fun!
We are not here to torture ourselves, we are not here to force ourselves or clap someone on the head and make ourselves do it. We are here to enjoy ourselves! Have some fun and enjoy the process!
So this is something that my Godfather John Grinder who co-created NLP (neuro-linguistic programing) and my dad with “neuro-associative conditioning” come in. You want to condition your mind to enjoy what you are doing. What does that mean? Every time you are doing it, celebrate like your team has just won the championship game in the city! Celebrate like it is your mighty victory because something amazing just happened.
Allow your body to feel good every time you perform that activity or implement the habit. That way, when you are done you will automatically do your celebratory dance and your endorphins will be raging and you will feel good.
So, figure out who you would like to do it with, where you would like to do it from, in what way would you have to do it so that you will really enjoy it?
4. Eat That Frog, Says Brian Tracy
Brian Tracy is a self-development business author. He says start with the hairiest, craziest, gooey, squishy stuff first. The one that is hard to chomp down if you were trying to eat a frog. But the target is, do it first thing in the morning, according to his philosophy. Don’t hesitate, don’t get to anything else until this one frog is done. Once it is done, bingo! Now you don’t have to think about it. Now you don’t have to do any mental gymnastics regarding how best to get it done or get motivated. You just get up and get it done.
5. Make it Accessible
There’s some wonderful research done included in a wonderful book called Atomic Habits, which I highly recommend you go grab a copy, from which many of these tips are picked though I’ve added some fun ones. The message is that you should make your new habit accessible within 40 seconds or less, ideally 20 seconds or less.
This means, if you are going to wake up and work out, set up all the equipment and shoes that you will need close so that within 20 seconds of waking up you can put on your gym clothes, grab your gear and be out the door. That is the way to succeed when establishing a new habit. Make it super accessible. If it takes more than 40 seconds, it has now become a task, it now demands effort. But if it takes less than 40 seconds, you don’t even think about it and you just find yourself doing it.
6. Make the Bad Habit Inaccessible
If your bad habit is waking up late, sending multiple texts to the same person, not working out, overeating, make it inaccessible.
This means that if you want to stop watching television, get the remote, take the batteries out, count to 60 as you walk around the house, find somewhere that is 60 seconds away from where you sit to watch TV, take one battery out and put it in one drawer and put the other battery in another drawer, take the remote itself and throw it on top of something that is hard to get to and then see how often you turn the TV on! It is very difficult and inaccessible, so you will be less likely to turn the TV on.
Another thing is if you are eating unhealthy stuff, take it out of the house! Make it so you have to walk a mile down the road to the store at just the right time to buy the stuff you want to eat that you shouldn’t be eating. Make it difficult. Make it inaccessible.
7. Stack Your Good Habits
Stack the new habit with another good habit that you already have. This means if you want to wake up and immediately leave for the gym, and you already wake up to an alarm clock ringing, make an effort to leave as soon as the alarm goes. Or, as soon as I am done brushing my teeth, I go for a run. Stack the new habit. Connect it to something you already do.
8. Never Miss Two Days in a Row
This is important. I talk to all our one-on-one coaching program clients about this. I tell them listen, if you miss one day, it is called being human. We all do it, it happens. If you miss two days in a row, it means you did it, we talked about it, we came up with a plan to get back on track and you didn’t follow through. Now we have a problem, and that’s not okay because it was a conscious choice.
I have a rule with my clients and everyone on the team, if you miss too many times we are done because you cannot uphold our standards. You are just showing up and seeing what happens, but that’s not the kind of people we want around us. You become like the people you hang around; if you hang around people who don’t have standards, you pretty soon also start dropping your standards. So it is something that we carry with us in our group of coaching clients and team members. We uphold standards. You have to uphold standards; if not, move on to somewhere else that upholds the standards that you want to live by.
9. Find an Accountability Buddy/Partner
Find someone who will call you out when you miss. Find someone who will not let you slip. Find someone who will hold your butt to the fire and push you to be the highest and best version of yourself. We do that in our one-on-one coaching for our clients, and there is a study that was done that showed that an individual who signed up for a gym membership on Jan. 1 was about 37% more likely to follow through 30 days later and still be going to the gym.
That same study also showed that if the same person signed up with a spouse, a significant other, a workout buddy, a partner of some sort, they were 93% more likely to be following through 30 days later because they had accountability.
One of the most important ways if you want to increase your habit building is to find accountability whether it is through a friend, a partner, or a coach like what we offer. Find someone to hold you accountable and push you to be your absolute best self, consistently.
10. Trust Yourself!
Finally, trust and believe in yourself that everything you want out of life – your goals your vision for how you want it to be, is possible and you are fully equipped to make it happen!
I hope these are useful, I hope you put them to work. Have fun with this, and I will see you tomorrow for another conversation here!
To Your Success,