8 Ideas on Developing Winning Habits
Each of us make about 35,000 decisions each day.
Most of these decisions are day to day decisions made unconsciously, without thought.
Unconscious decisions become our habits.
When we do something the same way for so long, we stop questioning the behavior, even if it is hurting us.
The compounding effects of our daily habits are the reason we are where we are today, and determine where we are headed.
So what can we improve our daily habits so we can keep progressing in our life.
Here are 8 ideas you can implement to break your bad habits so you can keep levelling up in life:
Identify a habit that you want to change and write it down
What are the habits that are holding you back? It might be pressing snooze or checking your phone first thing in the morning, stressing about your current life situation, watching too much porn, or eating poorly. You need to know the habit you want to change, and the best way to do that is to identify it and write it down.
Identify trigger points
When do you notice yourself falling into the bad habit loop? It might be first thing in the morning, as soon as you step home from work, after a stressful day, or disagreement with a loved one. Write down the cue that signals you to step into the bad habit.
Pause, breathe and think before acting
Because so many of our bad habits are done unconsciously, it is beneficial to pause and think before acting out on your intention. Stop and focus on your breath for a few seconds. Remind yourself of your promises and commitments to yourself. It allows you to give a little more thought before doing something you have done for so long without even thinking about it.
Change your environment
If your phone is next to your bed, chances are you’ll grab it first thing in the morning. If there’s chips in your cupboard, your willpower will eventually get weak and you will reach for them. Habit expert James Clear says that while motivation, talent, and effort matter “your personal characteristics tend to get overpowered by your environment.” If you want to succeed in breaking a bad habit, create the optimal environment for it.
Get an accountability partner
It is so much easier to improve when you are accountable to someone. Think of someone that you care about or look up to. Give them a call and tell them what you are trying to do. If you can’t think of someone, there are plenty of resources on the internet. Having an accountability partner can be as simple as messaging them at the end of every night to let them know that you didn’t slip into your bad habit (and let them know when you do as well!)
Develop an alternative habit
It is a lot easier to break a bad habit when you can replace it with another. It might mean having a healthier snack option available, going for an evening walk instead of watching tv, or reading a book instead of grabbing your phone. Suddenly, instead of having a habit that is holding you back, you can develop a new habit that helps you progress.
Track your progress
Use a simple tool such as a habit tracker (download one for free here) so you can see your progress. It helps knowing that you are on the right path and it’s always nice to be reminded when you falter.
Don’t beat yourself up when you slip up
Changing your habits is hard work. It takes courage to be honest with yourself and assess which habits are holding you back. The fact is, you will most likely slip up from time to time. And that’s ok. The only thing that matters is what you do in this moment. Let go of the slip up quickly and get right back on track!
Changing one small habit often has a ripple effect and drastically changes the trajectory of your life. The old saying goes ‘we are what we repeatedly do.’ Let’s change the habits that don’t align with our plans so we can get to where we are going that much faster.
Own Your Time 👊