By now you should have that New Year’s resolution under your belt, right? It’s been like more than a half a year since, right?
Let me take an educated guess here…Your New Year’s resolutions fizzled into fairy dust two weeks into New Year’s, right?
Why can’t you follow with your new year’s resolutions you ask? Glad you’ve asked!
Because you want everything and you want it now!
Well, forget it…
You can’t always get what we want, but luckily for us, scientists and habit forming specialists already discovered how to create habits and make them stick! Furthermore, it won’t come to you as a shocker since you probably heard about it somewhere else.
The secret is of course baby steps. The thoughts we entertain can be only translated into actions with a small decision and planning.
So instead of going after your resolutions with all your guns blazing, aim next time for 2 habits tops.
You might think that a year is more than enough to adopt two lousy habits but alas habits take time and investment to form, and you might not even get the first habit because when you have too much to do you end up not doing that much.
Since forming that first habit, is so difficult I would even go further and recommend that you start with just one.
Yes, just 1.
Start working on the second one only after you’ve got that one under your belt; keep it as a someday item so you won’t lose it and focus solely on that one habit.
So why choose 2 if I only go after that 1 you ask?
You can’t hope to improve your life by marking one thing off and not setting a continuum, no.
You need to think about your accomplishment as stepping stones towards a larger goal!
Habits are learned, and like in college, if you don’t read the syllabus and know what’s coming next, you get discouraged pretty quickly.
So create a habit creation roadmap, elaborate on the first habit that you’d like to create and even go into details.
Then, create a few headlines that detail the beginning of the roadmap you’re going to create for the next one, just leave enough space below to fill it up with details once you’re content with how things are progressing with your first habit.
Much like a syllabus, a habit roadmap answers important questions; it should include the things you’ll have to do in order to master that habit like the following 3 questions:
- Why are you trying to form this habit?
- What will you gain at the end?
- Why do the parts of your roadmap come in the order that they do?
These questions are an important tool that you’ll need to follow up with on a regular basis. If you conduct a weekly review, make sure you review your habit creation roadmap. If you don’t do a weekly review; at least try to schedule each week some time to review the roadmap and see if all your objectives were met.
Your ability to create that habit depends on it.
And now for that one habit you’ll need to begin with
Your first habit should focus on one thing!
Supporting and improving existing habits and knowledge.
Each new habit I introduce has the same focus: improving my life by adding to habits that I already possess. This improves the probability that they’ll stick and gives my actions momentum that I can use later to get even more habits under my belt.
Adding flavor to your existing habits will raise the probability that you’ll master a habit on your list and will provide you with enough small victories to gain the momentum you need to form new habits.
In my opinion, you can’t master a new habit on first try
If you really want to learn a new habit that has nothing to do with your existing habits be prepared to fail, probably a lot.
The habit of introducing new habits
This has been for me a gateway to introducing all the other habits I acquired in the past two year and it works!
Because I tread more lightly on familiar ground and so do you.
To up the game and make sure you’re on track to introduce another habit, you can mix things up a bit, like introduce a few actions that are associated with the habit you’d like to create next, it warms your engine (sort of speak).
So next time, before you set up to learn a new habit, prepare the ground:
- Pick two habits that you’d like to master this year.
- Make sure that the first habit is closely connected to a habit you already have.
- Create a habit roadmap that will detail all of your targets and goals and review it weekly.
- Make sure that some of the actions you’re preforming are connected somehow to a possible 2nd habit you’d like to create.
- Master it and only then move forward to the next habit in line.
Until we meet again!