Do you wonder how some people always achieve their goals and seem to get everything done they set out to do? Well, throughout the past years I’ve been analysing those people and discovered a simple technique that all those successful people are using. Creating habits. And because I want us too, to be able to achieve our goals I am sharing a simple strategy on how you can build good habits that will help you make your dreams come true.
Sounds good? Okay let’s get started.
Here’s what we will cover:
- Why building good habits is important
- How to create good habits?
- How to change bad habits?
Why building good habits is important?
I am sure you’ve heard about this before, but habits a pretty powerful. Not only when it comes to achieving your goals and making your dreams come true.
How so? Well, let’s start with defining what habit is.
A habit is an goal directed action, a thing you do on a regular basis without having to think about doing it. It goes automatically.
And that is the beauty and power of habits. You don’t have to think about doing something, you just do it because you are used to doing it.
Habits and routines are there to serve to support priorities and goals and make your life easier.
However, good habits are not always good habits. Good habits can also be a hindrance in a certain phase.
Some habits are good but should still be abolished if they do not serve the goals and fulfilment in a certain phase.
But even if the habit is good and serves your goals and fulfilment, one should consider abolishing it so that one does not suffocate in habits. (Less is more)
You have to regularly evaluate whether the habits you have (good and bad) and the routines you follow are in line with your current priorities and compliment them. And you should be aware that you do not have too many habits and routines.
If a habit, even if it is good, is not currently a priority, it should be put on hold for a while and returned when the time comes.
The art of using habits and routines to make you more productive and get you to your goals faster or help you enjoy life better is to have as little as possible, but as much as necessary.
One should not suffocate in routines and habits, otherwise they can be as good as they are, they are nevertheless obstructive and make you unhappy.
But if you have very few but powerful habits, they can do wonder.
Let’s say your goal is to lose weight. So, if you can make working out every day a habit, you won’t have to think about working out, you won’t have to motivate yourself to work out, you just do it because you always do it.
And that goes for almost anything you do. You create a habit around it and because of that you’ll have no problems doing it on a regular basis, which then will ensure you’re reaching that goal quicker and can turn your focus fully on your priorities.
That is the power of habit.
How to create good habits?
Now let’s look into building good habits first.
#1 Set your intention
Building habits in general is a very simple form of goal setting. You first need to figure out what your goal and your priority is at this moment or phase of life and then you have to break it down into little tasks you do every day that will help you achieve said goals.
So, the first thing you do is setting your intention. Choose the goal you want to create a habit around and figure out what you have to do to achieve it.
For example, you goal could be being more active. I guess we all know what that takes: working out frequently.
So, to achieve the goal of being more active you need to do something active every day. It doesn’t matter what it is or for how long you’ll do it. The most important is that you do it EVERY SINGLE DAY.
#2 Decide on a habit
Decide on a habit you want to build. In our example from above that could be going on a 15 min walk every day. Or working out every morning. Or taking the bike instead of the car.
Choose the habit you want to create and make sure it will benefit your goal.
#3 Find the sweet spot
Next you have to find the right time. To make it easier to stick to your thing while it isn’t a habit yet, it is the best to do said thing at the same time every day.
You could go for a walk every day after lunch. Or you could go to the gym every day after work. Just find the right time for doing your habit.
Make sure it’s realistic. So, you don’t want to pick a time where you know you’ll not be able to do said thing most days. You want to pick a time where you are actually able to do it. Of cause, sometimes life gets in the way and that’s perfectly fine and won’t hurt you at all once you’ve created the habit. But in the beginning, it is very important to not fall off track.
#4 Show commitment
Therefore, it is the best if you schedule it in your calendar for a couple weeks.
Doing this will ensure you make creating that habit a priority and stick to it no matter what.
Once you’ve started building it you have to treat it like an appointment. There’s nothing more important than doing this one thing at the time you picked for it.
So, if you chose to go for a walk every day at 1pm, nothing is more important than going on a walk once the clock turned 1pm.
#5 Focus on one habit at a time
This is crucial as building many habits at the same time will only throw you back. We are humans, we are no machines. Therefore, we have a limited about of energy we can use for making commitments.
You can’t commit to a million things at the same time. You can only commit to a few, otherwise you won’t give 100% anymore.
So, if you want to build too many habits at the same time you won’t be able to dedicate enough time and energy to any of them. You will do everything but nothing really.
Focus on one habit at a time and once you’ve created that habit and don’t have to think about doing it anymore because it goes automatically, you can start building a new one.
#6 Don’t give up
Creating good habits takes time. You’ll have to do the thing daily for a few weeks until it is fully atomised. Some people build habits faster than others and this for sure is something that will get easier over time. Once you’re used to making things a habit you will have to spend way less time on it.
Though for the beginning I suggest taking at least 2 to 4 weeks to build a habit. Do the task you chose in the beginning, every day for about 2 to 4 weeks and see the magic happening.
How do you know it’s a habit? Well, like I’ve said, once you don’t have to think about doing it anymore and just do it then you’ve been successful.
Do you wake up every day at 6Am without alarm, just because you are used to waking up at 6Am? Congratulations it’s a habit.
Do you eat a banana for breakfast every day, just because you’ve always done it? Congratulation it’s a habit.
Is calling your friend every Sunday night something you don’t want to miss because you need it to feel relaxed? Perfect! It’s a habit.
You see creating habits really is nothing complicated. All you have to take care of is that you stick to doing that one thing you want to make a habit every single day until it is a habit.
And I know in the beginning it can be frustrating because you might fall of track or life gets in the way. But don’t worry, just come back to it once you can and keep doing it. Just because you missed a day doesn’t mean everything is pointless. Just make sure it doesn’t happen again.
And trust me creating habits will get easier over time. Once it is a habit to build a habit it will only take a few days or a week for you to make a thing a habit.
How to change bad habits?
Unfortunately, as quick and easy as it can be to build a good habit, as quick and easy it can be to build a bad habit.
Now what are bad habits? Bad habits are all the things that you do because you always do them but which are standing in your way of living your best life. All those things you are doing regularly that frustrate you, that make you angry, sad or dissatisfied.
But don’t worry, with a little bit of effort you can change a bad habit into a good one. And here’s how:
#1 Stop doing it
First of all, you have to stop doing whatever you’re doing. I know that’s easier said than done and I won’t lie, getting rid of bad habits is probably one of the hardest things you’ll do, but it’s worth it.
So, the best way to stop doing a thing is by doing something else instead.
For example, if you’re used to drinking a glass of wine every night but you want to cut down on alcohol, swap the wine for a juice. I know that might in the beginning not be satisfying, especially if the habit you want to get rid of is something you enjoy but know it’d be better to not do it.
#2 Find something that is equally satisfying
Find something that brings you as much pleasure as the old thing to make it easier to swap.
#3 Push through it
The first few days are the hardest. Push through those days. Do it because you want it. Do it because you know it’s good for you.
I don’t care what you tell yourself. Btu find a reason, and better let it be a good reason, why you can’t do what you’ve used to do anymore.
Once you’re past the first week it’ll get easier.
#4 Don’t fall back into it
Getting rid of bad habits takes a lot longer than building them. So, depending on for how long you’ve been doing a thing it can take years to fully get rid of that habit.
However, same thing as for building habits, it’s okay to fall of back into it. Just stop it as soon as you realize. Get back to building that good habit instead.
#5 Get support
No matter if building a new habit or swopping a bad habit, it can be very beneficial if you get yourself a mentor. Get someone who motivates you and kicks you in the butt once you fall of track.
Together things are so much easier and so much more fun!
#6 believe you can
Half of everything we do is mentally. If you believe you can do it, you can do it. If you believe you can’t, you can’t.
So, have faith in yourself and trust that you’ll manage to swap or create that habit.
I know you can!
Finally, never forget to constantly evaluate and reflect on your habits and adjust, quit or build new habits if needed.
Have as less habits as possible but as much as necessary to keep your life running smoothly and achieve your goals.
I hope this post was helpful and you’re one step closer to your dreams and goals. If you found it valuable and know people who could benefit from it, feel free to share it and help me impact other people’s lives positively.
Lastly, here are more posts you might love to read: