Coach Andy shares some insight into changing and creating habits.
We've all tried to make changes in our lives in hopes of getting better or healthier or fitter or stronger.
And more often than not, we've all crashed and burned.
If this has happened to you, there's a really good chance that when the new plan or habit didn't 'take' it was likely due to one of 5 issues:
The 5 Common Mistakes of Habit Change - James Clear
- Trying to change everything at once.
- Starting with a habit that's too big.
- Seeking a result, not a ritual (you need to focus on the strategy, not the goal post).
- Not changing your environment (your physical/social environment is perfectly designed to keep you exactly as you are).
- Assuming small changes don't add up.
Whether you're trying to start a new fitness regime, or overhaul your nutrition plan, or learning just getting to bed earlier:
Here's a formula that will help stack the odds of habit change success your favour:
- Pick 1 new habit (only 1).
- Cut your habit down to 2min, or a 2 out of 10 on the difficulty scale (al a BJ Fogg and his Tiny Habits Method).
- Make it easy. Like, so easy, there's no excuse not to take this on.
- Build momentum with an easy win.
- Momentum is powerful.
- Find a spot on the calendar/day-timer for the new habit to live.
- If it isn't scheduled, it will not happen.
- Shrink the 'danger window.'.
- There may be times when your willpower is low, and the chance of falling back into old routines is higher than usual.
- It's often helpful to know the obstacle might not be an all-day problem, but a 40 min or 10 min problem.
- Maybe you have an after-work problem or an after 9 pm problem.
- It could be that walking past Duffin's Donuts is the only time you have to white-knuckle it.
- When you know the exact time/place of your 'danger window,' it'll be easier to build a strategy for when things inevitably get bumpy.
- Celebrate each win.
- Every time you complete your new habit, however small, you've cast a vote for the person you are working to become (once again paraphrasing James Clear).
- When the habit starts to feel normal, add 2min, or make the task just a little more ambitious.
- Progressive overload style.
Repeat this process again and again, and you'll be surprised at how far you can get stacking by these small wins together.