How much of what you do happens purely because you’ve always done it that way?
It can be a scary thought. Especially when perhaps you never made a conscious decision to start doing it that way… perhaps you fell into doing something by chance and you’ve just continued.
Maybe you’re unconsciously modelling what you saw as a child. For better or worse.
In todays Monday Motivation show I’m covering: Habits.
The thing you do on auto-pilot – where perhaps you feel the choice has already been made – however absolutely you can make a different choice at any time you decide the habit is not serving you.
In reality you’re only ever one decision away from ditching a bad habit or creating a good habit however if only it was that easy right?
There’s some framework you want to have in place to make that new good habit stick or to farewell that old bad habit permanently.
Before we power on with the 3-part habit forming framework let’s take a look at the KEYSTONE HABIT.
This is one powerful habit that has a flow on effect of leading to other positive habits.
Early morning exercise is a perfect example.
It’s important to set yourself up for success by choosing a keystone habit with a low barrier to entry… so it’s not fearful or a massive time eat for you.
Exercising even for just 20 minutes in the morning is the keystone habit that can also have the flow on effect of:
=> getting you out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off.
=> getting to bed earlier so you can get out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off!
=> eating a great breakfast… you don’t want to fuel your body rubbish after all that great exercise.
and so on…
Back to that 3-part habit forming framework:
Step one: Decide on one habit that will have the most impact on improving your health when followed consistently. Get clear on the RESULT that building this habit will allow you to enjoy.
=> When you’re the type of person that gets up early – as soon as your alarm goes off – and gets at least 20 minutes exercise in before anything else… when you’re the person that then fuels your body with a high quality breakfast and powers energised into your day… what does life look like for you then, and how to you feel about yourself?
Step two: Schedule your one habit. Schedule a set time, day and minimum duration each time. Also track each time you complete this new habit. So perhaps you’re placing an ‘X’ on a calendar each time your complete your early am work-out.
Step three: Focus on the process rather than the result. You know what you’re working towards and how much achieving it will mean to you – now is the time for head down tail up and just focusing on taking that right action.
Some days will be a poor performance. At times you may squeeze in half a work-out or work at a lower intensity than you would prefer. The thing with habit formation is it’s about doing the time – achieving consistency – not looking to be perfect.
A couple of additional considerations:
One: Have an open mind so far as time. It might not take 21 days. All habits and the blocks or hurdles to overcome in your quest to create or ditch them are unique.
Sadly it’ll often be the case that a bad habit is easier and quicker to form than a good habit.
Two: Give your energy to the habit that gets 80-90% of the results. It’s easy to get excited – side-tracked – by that little “let’s optimise this” habit that could only ever drag in 5-10% of the results.
Generally your 80-90% habit is the one that requires more effort. It’s the daily exercise habit. Or the meal planning habit.
The let’s take fish oil (though worthwhile) or let’s have a pre-work out shake habits are not high-bang for your fat burning buck choices.
Talking choices… the habits that have determined your current results and also the habits that will determine your future results are absolutely 100% within your power to choose. The mindset to bring to your habit choosing is to focus on:
What TO DO – what is going to be beneficial and GOOD?
You’ll make it hard on yourself if you focus on what’s BAD about your current habits… so instead choose to introduce the positive habits to replace the old ineffective ones with.
To get actionable: What is the ONE positive habit – a keystone habit – that you can schedule today?
I’ll hand over to John Dryden for todays quote: “We first make our habits and then our habits make us.”
That brings us to the end of Healthification #086. I’ll be back tomorrow with the Tuesday Tucker show and: Quick, Easy Non-Boring Veg.
If you liked this you’ll also like: Weight Loss Success Habits.
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.