Top 3 Ways to Create Better Habits
Our lives and are built around our habits and the results we have today reflect our choices over the years past. For those who eat clean and exercise daily, their good habits are displayed on their enviable bodies. For those who are great savers, their bank balances show better results than those obsessed with online shopping.
When I decided to stop smoking in my 20’s I did so by breaking down all my habits. I first stopped smoking in the car. Then I stopped smoking at work and then finally I stopped lighting up socially with a glass of wine. It certainly took longer than the cold turkey approach, but since I can be impulsive and I’m not a fan of any form of perceived self-deprivation, it worked for me. Luckily for me, I have never had the desire to smoke again.
I recently finished Atomic Habits by James Clear, a book about creating better habits and the compounding effect of these small changes on our lives. Unfortunately, even with the best of intentions, it’s easy to forget all the great advice once a book is finished. To avoid that I quickly implemented three approaches into my life. You can print my FREE habit tracker here.
“A habit is a lifestyle to be lived, not a finish line to be crossed” James Clear
Here are the top three ways I am creating better habits and incremental change in my life
Habit tracking is an effective and motivating way to visualize your progress. I’ve listed around 20 tasks that are critical to my long term goals. Each activity has a small achievable amount of time allocated so that I get into the habit of completing the task each day. For example, my list includes, wake up at 5am, exercise for 30 mins, write for 30 mins on my blog, follow my meal plan 100%, journal, meditate for 2 mins. I’ve even included flossing!
Each day, once I finish the habit, I colour in a square to show that it’s completed. It’s a great visual guide and reward for completing each task. Get your FREE habit tracker here.
Habit stacking is associating a new habit with an existing habit. When I do this, I will do that. For example, when I am cleaning up the dinner dishes, I will make my kids lunches for the next day. Before I eat my lunch I will go for a 10 min walk. Rewards are also effective in this instance but need to be complementary to the goal. I’ve decided that each kilo I lose before my birthday in July I will put $100 in my splurge account which can be spent when I reach my weightloss goal! The money I save will be spent on new clothes.
Motion vs Action
This was a great reminder for me. I love to plan and strategise but that is just motion, not action. It’s not where the results lay. The action is launching the business not planning it or researching it. It’s putting the money in the savings account not thinking of ways to save. It’s eating the food on your food plan not shopping for it. A lot of us get stuck in the motion stage. Fear and procrastination can trick us into believing that the work or the timing has to be perfect but that’s rarely the case. Time is limited and therefore to make things happen you need to move through the motion stage quickly and take action!
To ensure I don’t fall into the ‘Motion’ stage and avoid taking actions on important things I have one mantra for 2019
“This year I am focused on consistently making massive imperfect action against my goals”
This means that I will more be focused on the action itself rather than waiting until it’s perfect.