Forming Habits become part of a routine
Forming habits is one of the most important parts of becoming successful. Actually, I have to rephrase that. Forming good habits is what is important.
Our lives at times are busy with plenty of distractions which takes away from the habits we should be creating for ourselves. One day we can be working on our habits only to be sent right back to our old ways due to these distractions.
To help with these problems, we can examine some research on habit building and habit-forming, breaking down the findings. Then, we can start to take action and build step by step on how to keep focused on our goals.
We are what we repeatedly do. success is not an action but a habit- Aristotle
1. Create Reminders
This is the first and most important step to take. How many times do you say you want to start to do something only to forget about it until a week later. The reminder must be out there, in front of you at all times until it becomes part of your normal routine.
I remember always saying how pretty my niece’s teeth were. They were so white compared to mine and she told me how she used the whitening strips over a two-week period that got them that white. I said, “Oh, I will have to try that, I really want my teeth to be whiter.”
About 3 months later I ran into her and as soon as I saw her I went, that’s right, I wanted to get those teeth whiteners. So, I immediately took out my phone and sent myself a reminder.
However, after bringing the product home, it sat for about two weeks in my bathroom closet because that is where my wife put it…out of sight, out of mind. I found them one day and put them immediately on the sink countertop as a reminder. I now have whiter teeth.
This goes for anything, you need constant reminders to create the habit. If you want to start picking up those weights again, then you have to pull them out of the closet where you will run into them every day.
Set big goals but achieve them with small commitments and you will form good habits – Frank Defuso
2. Breaking your goals down to create good habits
When you set a goal for yourself to get completed within a certain time-frame it can be overwhelming. Your boss gives you this task and says get completed by such and such date, all you can think of is “How am I going to do this?”
So, each day goes by and you work frantically on this particular goal only to keep being reminded of how big it is.
This thinking kills habits very quickly. One of the ideas is to break down your goal(s) with smaller goals or mini-goals as I like to call them. These are basically pieces of the main goal broken down to accomplish each day.
Write out your goal that needs to be completed by the due date at the top. Then write down each task that needs to be completed to reach the main goal. Assign the tasks days to be completed.
You can assign several tasks the same day, however, make sure these tasks can actually be completed within that day. When breaking up goals this way it starts to form good habits as they are easier to be completed leaving less stress on you.
One of my goals is on my Website, FrankDeFuso.com, I have 14 areas where I feel if people could improve on they can accomplish anything in life while being happier during the struggles and good times.
Before the reward there must be labor. you plant before you harvest. you sow in tears before you reap in joy – Ralph Ransom
3.Reward yourself – but not too often
I very much believe in the reward program, this is a tremendous help. Sometimes people tend to reward too many times causing them to not meet the goals they want to achieve. Also, the reward must meet the effort involved. So, what do I mean by this?
What you do not want to do is work-out for one week and then reward yourself with a big banana split with extra chocolate. Although that sounds good, you will defeat your purpose of losing weight. Instead, make a plan.
You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. the secret of your success is found in your daily routines – John c. Maxwell
4. Do it long enough until it becomes a routine
So we know the old adage do something for 21 days straight and it becomes a habit. Well, I am sorry to burst your bubble but that is not exactly a true statement.
Back in the 1950’s a Dr. Maltz realized when he performed plastic surgery it took patience about 21 days to get used to their new face.
When the subjects would have a leg or arm amputated it would also take about 21 days for them to get used to the phantom limb. In the 1960’s he published his findings that it took a minimum of 21 days to get accustomed to something. All the guru’s of the world changed this to “It takes 21 days”, period.
A study was completed again and found that it actually takes 66 days to form a new habit. So give yourself a fighting chance to form these new goals to become actual routine habits.
Creating a new habit is not an easy thing because we are a species that are easily sensitive to change. Change is a beautiful thing you can do for yourself yet people use it like a bad word. “You’re not going to change me!” or “I’m not changing, I am who I am!” Well, that is fine if you are happy who you are.
It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change – Charles Darwin
I believe in you – Now is the time to believe in yourself.