Do you ever think about building new habits into your day?

Perhaps it’s eating healthier or going to the gym, or perhaps it would allow you to better manage your day.

“Habits are formed by the repetition of particular acts. They are strengthened by an increase in the number of repeated acts. Habits are also weakened or broken, and contrary habits are formed by the repetition of contrary acts”. Mortimer. J. Adler

The steps of setting a habit can be broken into three sections:

  1. The honeymoon. The first few days and possibly week you may find yourself thinking, this is easy, it’s pretty much already a habit. The positive feelings from making a decision to change a behaviour or implement a new habit which you know is going to make a positive impact on your life are going to be present and the initial will is going to be strong.
  2. Flight or fight. Suddenly you lose the initial go-getter attitude and things can start to feel more like a chore. This is the point you’ve got to fight through it, grit your teeth and do it anyway. The moment you want to quit is the moment you need to keep pushing. Often by pushing through, you’re rewarded by the end goal.
  3. At this point, you’ll start feeling like you’ve cracked it and it’s now second nature. Don’t get too complacent. Just remember that although you’re now at the point that it’s starting to become a normal part of everyday life, disruptions can still throw you off balance. Consciously make the decision to continue.

Building a habit into your routine isn’t going to happen overnight and it will take discipline, however here’s a few things you can do to help turn it to autopilot.

  • Give yourself time. There’s a theory that all it takes is 30 days of doing something consistently for it to become a habit. Of course, this varies depending on the person you are and the habit. However, it does highlight that creating a habit, because it is a behaviour, takes time. Commit to doing it every day for at least 30 days and you will begin to notice a change.
  • Use reminders. As coaches, as business owners, we all have a lot that we need to do in our day. Setting yourself a reminder or making a note to do it may just help you get the daily consistency you need to get this habit set.
  • Start small. It’s ok to want to have a big habit you want to form, however just like a lot of goals, it’s sometimes easier to achieve if it’s broken down. Sit down and work out the steps you’ll need to take to reach that habit. Start by doing just one of those steps daily. Not only will it be easier but achieving the behavioural change will spur you on to complete the rest.
  • Don’t give up if you forget. If you happen to miss doing it for a couple of days, it’s really easy to give up, but don’t. Get straight back on to it the very next day. Like anything, you may make mistakes or fail but the secret is to get back on track quickly. See it as long-term progress.
  • Make sure to reward yourself or celebrate when you reach milestones e.g. after you’ve committed to it for a week. This is going to help your mind associate the habit with good things and will release those happy feelings, all resulting in you wanting to do it again.

We’d love to know if you’re trying to commit to any new habits this year. Why not drop us a message to let us know.

If you need some help adopting new habits, get in touch for a chat on 07977 640119 or email emma@theumbrellatree.co.uk.