9 tips for building new habits
Creating habits can be an extremely beneficial thing, at least, if they’re good habits 😉
They can help you be healthier, more successful, and overall happier. Developing good habits help you take control over your life and give you’re a better sense of self control.
This is actually what we promote at The Social Coin: A transformation in the organizations through the implementation of new values and skills in the team. And there is no better way to do it than creating new habits through daily actions.
Our method of cultural transformation involves implementing new values in your organization through the action of your own employees. From experience, you know that courses and workshops do not have a great long-term impact, right? That’s because you cannot establish a new habit in a day or a week.
They talk about 21 days as the magic number to create a new habit. But in reality, you do not want to create habits, you want to create skills so that the employees of your company are more innovative, communicative, and collaborative between departments, so that they are more aligned with your goals, and are more motivated and committed to their work… But, first we need to create a new habit that will become a skill by daily practice.
As you can imagine, this isn’t something you’ll get from a one-week workshop, however good the trainer. You will only succeed with continued activity on the part of your team and involvement and monitoring on your part.
There’s no exact formula; everything depends on the individual. There are tips you can follow to help you create these habits, though! It can be difficult depending on the habit you want to develop, but it’s possible with hard work (and a little help of gamification 🙂 )
1. First, you need to have motivation
Simply saying you want to achieve something without any real reason will make it extremely difficult to make that habit a reality.
You need to want to do this! Having a desire and true intrinsic motivation is the best way to ensure you’re going to stick with it and achieve your goals!
2. The best kind of motivation is intrinsic
Whatever your goal may be, whether it be eating healthier, waking up earlier, etc., the more motivated you are the greater the chance will be that you will succeed.
Intrinsic motivation means that your motivation drives you enough so that you don’t need other sources of motivation such as rewards for achieving different milestones.
3. If that isn’t possible, that’s not a problem at all
It’s perfectly fine to use rewards! Especially visual rewards that show you your progress. For example, use sticky notes with little motivating reminders or calendars.
Some people even find it helpful to use a little trick. Let’s say you’re trying to become more organized at your workplace by cleaning your desk at the end of every day, and you want to create this habit in the span of one month. This is what you can do.
Get 2 tiny containers and fill one with 30 paper clips. Every day you clean your desk off, move a paper clip over.
You can visually see how many times you’ve done this task and can see how well you’re doing at it! It doesn’t have to be paperclips, let your creativity run wild!
4. If/then planning
There is a very simple strategy that has been proven to help us deal effectively with the distractions. It’s called the if-then planning planning, and it’s a really powerful way to help you achieve any goal.
5. It’s also easier to set goals
There are two types of goals you should focus on. First, whatever you wish to achieve, have this end goal in mind. It’s important to make sure that your end goal clearly states what you’re hoping to accomplish. For example, “I want to run a half marathon by August 31 in under two hours” instead of “I want to run a half marathon”. This gives you a time frame and a measureable goal.
Also, have little goals throughout the process. This helps you feel accomplished sooner, helps you track your progress, and keeps you motivated to help you reach your end goal.
Make sure these goals are realistic, too. If you can’t reach any of these goals, even if it was because it simply was not possible, your motivation will decrease immensely hurting your chances of ever accomplishing what you set out to do.
6. Don’t trust you can motivate yourself all the time
Set a plan that’s precise and easy to stick to. Instead of saying “I’ll work out every day” Say, “I’ll work out for 30 minutes every day at 7am”. Make it tangible and let the exact plan help motivate you so you don’t get to the end of the day not having done it.
That’s the easiest way to get off track and not reach your ultimate goal. This is also called the “what the hell effect”
7. Figure out why you haven’t done this habit in the first place, and change that!
Make forming this habit as easy as possible, and you’ll be more likely to achieve it.
8. Don’t be too hard on yourself for messing up
If you do this, a negative connotation will be associated with working toward your goal. This will make you less likely to succeed.
It’s ok to mess up every once in a while. We’re human; we’re supposed to. However, instead of focusing on the negatives, focus on what you accomplish! It will be much more motivating!
9. Finally, repetition is key!
Make a routine and be consistent. Really focus on making this new habit a part of your everyday life!
If you have any other tip you’d like to share, you can do this in the comment box. Don’t be shy!