It’s almost time for a new year and that can mean a new you.
The best way I’ve found to get results is not by making resolutions, but by creating solid habits that promote long-term goal success. If you want to get better at your business, start the habit of self-education and structure. If you want to write a book, start the habit of writing your thoughts and blocking off work time. If you want to be more aware, start a habit of meditation or yoga.
Creating the right habits aren’t always as easy as it sounds, unfortunately. Creating bad habits… pretty easy 🙂 This is a short guide on how to build good habits that can change lives.
First off, pick a positive habit that would yield the results you’re looking for. Think of habits as actions and thoughts that you gravitate towards by default.
Find those things that are easy and rewarding. Make them simple so you can stick to them when you don’t really feel like doing. For example: an easy habit is to drive to the gym every morning before work. A complex one is to go to the gym and work out.
The first habit is easier and will lead to the more complex one, so start simple. Also worth mentioning is that most of the time we focus on quitting bad habits or on stopping actions. Instead of quitting junk food, shift your energy towards eating more veggies and drinking more water.
Think about the positives and the things that you can add before you start trimming everything undesirable out of your life. Here’s the logic! The more good things you do, the better your mood will be. Soon, you’ll be in a positive place where the negative bad things will no longer fit in or feel as good to do.
Here are a few examples of positive habits worth implementing: meditating more, journaling, practicing gratitude, exercising, eating more veggies, telling people how much you care for them and asking for support when you need it. I went out to eat the other night with a friend and instead of having a bacon burger with cheese and fries, I ate a Cobb Salad. Just a little shift that can lead to more desirable circumstances like, better looking body, better digestion, better sleep, more vibrant skin, etc…
Baby steps. We tend to make a huge list of new changes needed to be made and think we can achieve them all at once. Focusing on one habit at a time will prevent being overloaded with too many at once. The more you do at one time, the less likely you are to maintain them all. If you were to ask a habit-guru, they would confirm this!
Any step in the right direction can be seen as a success. We all move at different paces. Most of us underestimate the importance of this mind-set, and I can assure you, being mindful of any progress and seeing it as success, is just as important as actually sticking to the habit.
When I started meditating I set an hour-long goal. This was absurd! A first time meditator will rarely have the discipline to complete an hour. Even worse, they’ll fail at the goal, feel badly about it and start to avoid it like the plague so they don’t feel that feeling of failure.
So, I set my new action goal for just TWO-MINUTES worth of meditation. Guess what, once I got done with the 2 mins, I went longer just because I was in the swing of it and it felt good.
I also wanted to get back in shape so instead of jumping back into a strong yoga class or lifting weights, I just implemented a four mile walk with my dog. I understand the importance of starting small. I can go big or go home later!
When I was hell-bent on eating healthier, I started with adding a salad before every meal. After a month or so, my meal preps went from ⅓ veggies up to ½.
Another major downfall I experienced was not setting reminders. For the longest time my calendar was filled with all business-related stuff. My meals and exercise hours are now blocked out and I made them as important as meeting with a client, or going to a doctors appointment.
Another major practice to incorporate is creating a way to hold myself accountable. If I were to miss a meal or skip a workout day I’d let myself slide. But now that I have some friends that ask me if I finished my health goals for the week, they remind me that there’s no excuses and help me to hold myself accountable. I always tend to perform better when I know someone is helping me raise the bar.
If you need help with accountability, reach out to someone and ask!
I’ve found the reward comes from completing my goals each and every day and not reaching the end result. New habits won’t stick if we hate doing them.
Consistency is key! The more consistent we tend to be, the better. There will always be resistance which typically come in the form of excuses, but pushing through it will bring a sense of daily accomplishment.
Try this if you get some extra time to make a chart. Write down your wins and results every week so you can see your progress. A solid visual picture of our successes is a very powerful tool for us to build momentum. At the end of the week I feel a great sense of pride and my accountability partner will also celebrate in my success.
Again, if you’d like some support in forming these habits, I invite you to reach out for help.