Ever dream about kick starting your life? It can be done by making new habits that will transform you and your lifestyle.
What Are Habits?
Imagine that your brain is a field of grass 🙂 If you keep walking the same way across the field, eventually the the grass gets flattened and worn away. You have created a path.
Repeated actions create synaptic pathways in your brain. You get up in the morning, put the kettle on and turn on the news, on automatic pilot.
I moved the waste bin in the sitting room recently, from next to a bookshelf to beside the piano. A distance of less than a metre. For days and days we went to the old position. It took time to remember the bin’s new location. Each time we popped the rubbish into the bin in its new position, we were flattening down the grass – or creating new synaptic pathways.
Eventually, automaticity took over – straight to the bin without thinking about it.
So, forming new habits means creating new pathways in your brain. New actions and behaviours become automatic. Instead of eating a bun or a few biscuits at elevenses, you ‘automatically’ eat some fruit or a handful of nuts. You ‘automatically’ drink enough water every day.
You replace an unwanted, unhelpful habit with a new, positive habit!
Dream big and start small!
It’s about the bigger picture, slowly but surely building a different lifestyle, one step at a time.
By starting small, you make it easier to actually take action, because it doesn’t seem daunting or impossible. Small changes are totally do-able, totally non-scary. In fact, it’s impossible to tackle too many changes simultaneously – this is why so many fail with their New Year’s Resolutions.
Smaller, consistent changes in behaviour are effective because we can add them to existing patterns or habits.
Say you want to get fitter and healthier. Don’t rush off and join the gym and splurge on snazzy gear. Instead walk to work or add a 10 minute jog to your routine. Same time every day! Consistency is key.
And when you feel ready, you can extend or add new changes
Success Tips To Setting Up New Habits
1) Know why
Understanding why you want your new habit(s) is essential as it will inspire you to stay on track. This is about your vision of how you want you and your life to be. The problem with vision is that it’s slippery – you have to grasp it, own and it and work it! Otherwise, it slides away.
In your journal, write down your desired new habit(s) and ALL the reasons why.
For example, you want to lose weight because you’ll feel fitter and have more energy.
2) Know the benefits
Delve into your ‘why’s and write down the benefits of achieving them. Spend time on this, as knowing the benefits will spur you on during tough moments. Think about every aspect of your life. Draw or stick pictures into your journal if you wish.
3) Know the dis-benefits
What will happen if you don’t make the changes you want? How will that affect you? Your life? Your vision? Your goals?
4) Know your plan
Start with one or two things that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. Write them down in your journal, with a start date and a review date. Use your journal as a reminder and to chart your progress.
When you are comfortably automatic with your new habit, plan your next change.
5) Bin everything that might hold you back
Don’t leave temptations in your path – bin all the chocs and biscuits, cancel Netflix, use the Google tool that keeps you off social media, turn down invitations. Whatever it takes. Give yourself the best possible chance.
6) Have an accountability partner
Ask around to see if anyone wants to join you on your journey towards new habits. You can encourage and support each other – and make sure that you both work the plan! 🙂 And you can review progress with each other on the review date and celebrate together.
Otherwise, ask someone you know will be supportive and call you out if necessary.
Don’t despair if you slip up!
It’s a work in progress, you are are flattening the grass – don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day or couple of days. Get on the phone to your accountability partner for some words of encouragement, vent in your journal and then start again, immediately. Don’t let the grass grow or you’ll lose all the progress you’ve made. Don’t quit. It takes weeks not days to successfully integrate a new habit into your daily life.
7) Celebrate your successes!
Acknowledge your progress and treat yourself! You deserve it!
You can create new habits, that will transform your life, your lifestyle and help you flourish! These 7 simple steps will help!
It’s so going to be worth it!
Please leave a comment, share your tips and experiences. And feel free to share this post! Thank you.
Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing. She is a novice blogger. You can follow her on twitter @ninafcoach.