Wouldn’t it be great if you did more of the things necessary to live your best life on autopilot? Instead of battling with yourself everyday, you just take action. No compromising, justifying, or excusing - just solid implementing day after day. That’s the benefit of establishing good habits. But how do you make good habits stick?
Keep reading to discover some proven strategies you can start implementing today.
Why build good habits?
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” - Aristotle
It’s a fact that the repeatable actions you do - day in, day out - shape and influence the person you become. So if you never exercise, rely on caffeine for energy, and eat junk food, you can’t expect to be in peak health! Similarly, if you hide your skills, feel reluctant to send emails, and rarely put out an offer it’s hard to grow your business.
The person you are today isn’t the result of what you did yesterday.
Instead, who you are right now is the net result of all your habits from previous days, weeks, and months.
In short, if you want different in the future, establish new good habits today. Specifically, make the actions that lead to your goals automatic and success is almost inevitable. Do this and you’ll be able to achieve anything you want.
Remember, your goals are never the result of one big action.
Instead, big goals lie at the end of a long chain of bite-sized daily steps. But if you can identify the small everyday habits that close the gap, you can achieve anything.
There’s just one problem...
Good habits are not always easy to bed in. Here’s why...
Why is it so hard to make good habits stick?
If you’ve ever wanted to start something new, you’ll know how incredible you feel at the beginning.
The excitement of fresh possibilities lifts and energizes you. You feel inspired and motivated - ready to go in and bring your dream to life.
Then reality strikes!
You realize just how far away the end line is. You feel overwhelmed by the sheer scale of what you’re attempting. You question who you are to even attempt this. Fear crops up left, right, and center, which sends your self-doubt into overdrive. With no experience you feel unsure where to start and what to do next. And to top it all off, your everyday life is calling! You’ve still got to show up in all your other roles and responsibilities.
Then, before you know it, you find yourself falling back into the old groove, living life the way you did before you had the idea to change.
Truth is, we’re creatures of habit.
We don’t like change - especially change that pushes us out of our comfort zone and increases the risk of failure. It’s far easier to stay where we are in what we know.
It’s why you’ll hang up your running shoes, put away your journal, stop meditating, revert to a TV binge, put down the phone, or fold away your dreams.
But just because the odds are against you doesn’t mean your powerless.
In fact, just knowing what you’re up against when creating a new habit can empower you to keep going.
And the journey can become a whole lot easier when you try these powerful habit sticking strategies.
How to develop good habits that stick - strategies that work
1. Set yourself up to win
Remember, new habits push you out of your comfort zone and force you to do things differently.
[And humans don’t like change].
That’s why you want to make your new good habits insanely easy to win.
The secret is to start super small, and then build on that as your resilience grows. For example:
Make it super easy to win so you can clock up the successes and motivate yourself to keep going.
2. Know your WHY
New habits are painful because they force you to do something different. If you enjoy drinking lots of coffee, it’s going to be a challenge to replace some of those cups with water!
So make it easier on yourself to navigate the inevitable ups and downs by understanding the reasons you want change. When you know your why (and it’s something you deeply want), when you’re tempted to let new habits slip, you can reason with yourself.
For example, saying you want to lose weight is one thing…
But knowing you want to lose weight to keep up with your kids, fit back into your favorite jeans, and feel better in yourself, is a whole thing.
3. Reward yourself
Don’t underestimate the power a reward can have on your motivation and desire to keep going.
What will you give yourself for sticking to a new habit for a week, a month, three months etc?
Is it a day at the spa, a trip to the movies, a day off in nature, a manicure, a massage? Whatever floats your boat, dangle that carrot and use it as ammunition to stay committed.
4. Leverage accountability
You don’t have to tackle your habits alone. You’ll get much better results if you surround yourself with people who’ll support and encourage you.
Tell people what you’re aiming to do. Trust the people who’ve got your back to hold you to a higher standard. Sure, publicly announcing your intentions can be scary, but because we hate to lose face in the eyes of others it’s also a powerful motivator.
5. Track your habits
New habits require you to be patient. When you’re taking baby steps everyday, you won’t see a difference immediately and that can make you frustrated. In this age of instant gratification, we want results NOW!
One way to see your progress - even when it’s not obvious - is to track your habits.
Check off every day you do your habits and in time you’ll build a chain. This creates visual proof of your commitment and reminds you how far you’ve come.
But that’s not all...
You’ll eventually reach the point where it feels more painful to break the chain than to keep up with your habit. Sure its a hack, but it’s one that will empower you to get the long-term results you want.
The tool that makes good habits stick
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” - Jim Ryun
If you’re looking for a tool to help you track and establish good habits, the Habit Roadmap is for you.
With the Habit Roadmap, you can track your daily habits over a 13 week period. It’s easy to use too:
- Set your targets
- Check off each day you complete your habit.
- Chart your progress and create a winning streak until the chain is so long you don’t want to break it.
Habit tracking is a method used by countless top performers - and now you can do the same with the Habit Roadmap.
Get yours today.