9 Steps to Creating New Habits
Changing habitual behaviour, no matter the reason, takes work, and it can be done and achieved with the disciple to change it. People mistake change to take place when motivation is present.
When it comes to creating new habits motivation is NOT the game changer. What you need is discipline. Many tend to overlook the power of the first step, of knowing your “why” or your purpose for change. The first step has the ability to change the trajectory of your life forever.
When it comes to changing habits, you need to dig deep and discover the reason why you want the change. Your “why” becomes your driving force, and your “why” is what will keep you going when the road ahead gets tough.
Here you are now reading these tips and you have decided that you want to create a positive change. That means you have a vision of a more successful you in mind. Now you just need to work out how to get there and to achieve your goal.
It’s a well-known fact that habits take at least 21 days to master and to become automatic behaviour. Of course the exact timing depends on the complexity of the new habits you want to create or break.
The Author of the book “Atomic Habits” says it takes as long as it takes to change a habit. I agree. No matter how long it takes to create a new habit repetition and practice are crucial.
In this blog you will find a simple 9 step habit creation plan that will guide you to success.
Before we get to the 9 step habit creation plan let’s think about some of the new habits you may want to create in your life.
Goal setting: identifying goals and knowing what to do to achieve them.
Prioritization: knowing what tasks are important and doing those first. Keeping lists can help you prioritize.
Waking early: getting up even half an hour earlier each day can help you create a more effective routine and start to your day. Many of the most successful start the day at 5am. You have heard of the 5am Success Club.
This gives you time to workout, meditate, write to-do lists and do the things we thing we don’t have time to do. All the while, everyone else in the house is asleep. 5am assures you of privacy and time to yourself without distraction.
Visualization: being able to visualize what you want and what you and your life will look like when you achieve it is a powerful habit for developing success. Visualisation is a also known as hypnosis which many people attribute to their success and mastery of skills.
Exercise and diet: eating healthily and developing an exercise regime is another key habit for success. The mind and body are inter-connected. Choosing the right foods to fuel your body with good energy will give you the best chance of getting things done.
It also optimises your body with vitamins and minerals to fight disease instead of choosing bad food that your body is constantly fighting to break down and process.
Self-education: knowing yourself really well is an essential habit for success. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is important. Eric Thomas, the Hip Hop Preacher, said, “Ask the real you to stand up.”
By knowing yourself you can then identify the future you really wish to create. Knowing what you don’t know is even more powerful because it gives you a direction to study new skills and educate yourself to take on new projects and forge new beginnings.
Socialising: meeting people who are successful in the area you wish to develop success in can help you gain knowledge, tips and insight. You will also create friendships, partnerships and surround yourself with positive role models. We can learn a lot by being around the right people.
9 Step New Habits Creation Plan
Step 1: Identify your goal. What is it that you want to achieve? Write it down. Where do you want to be at the end of the 21 days
Step 2: Identify the components of your habit. Every habit is made up of three key components.
1. The Cue: sometimes called the trigger. This is what sets off the habit (good or bad).
2. The Behavior: this is what happens when the cue occurs.
3. The Reward: this is the result gained from the behavior.
For example: Procrastination –
1. Cue: being asked to do a task that you perceive may be boring or time consuming.
2. Behavior: you make excuses not to do the task, you put it to one side saying that you will tackle it later.
3. Reward: you do something else instead that you enjoy.
Step 3: Create cues (triggers) for your new habit that you want to create.
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Step 4: Identify potential road blocks and set-backs and how you will deal with them. By doing this in advance you’ll be able to push through them. Remember you need to practice your new habit every day for a minimum of 21 days to have data to measure your results.
Step 5: Visualize yourself achieving your goal and being successful. By envisioning yourself successfully using your new habit you will create a positive connection in your sub-conscious mind and it will become more real.
Step 6: Make time every day to practice your new habit for a minimum of 21 days. You will know when you have successfully learned your new habit when you do it without planning or having to consciously think about doing it.
Step 7: Make yourself accountable to someone else. By doing this you are reinforcing your desire to achieve a successful outcome. Depending on your chosen goal it may be that you decide to get a coach or mentor. It’s also good to have the support.
Step 8: Take positive action. Identify the steps you need to take and take them. Be positive believe you can achieve it. It’s all in the mind. Whatever you believe is true – for you.
Step 9: Reward yourself. Build in a reward system for when you have achieved your goal and created your new habit. You’ll look forward to earning it if you make it something you really want.
Creating New Habits - Tips
Creating a new habit has to be an intentional process. You must be committed to achieving your goal. By creating a plan you’re increasing the level of success you’ll have because you’re taking action.
You don’t have to create your plan on your own. You can use an accountability partner to help you or decide to use a coach or mentor with experience in the type of goals and success you’re wanting to achieve.
6 Things to Avoid When Creating New Habits
Success is something that we all desire. However, success requires work and effort. If you want to be successful, you need to eliminate certain things that can cause setbacks.
Here are 6 things to avoid when creating new habits:
#1 Being Too Rigid
If you’re too rigid in your thinking and attitudes then you’re setting yourself up for failure.
While success requires planning you need to constantly evaluate the plans and change them as your goals and priorities change.
Successful people understand the importance of change. They accept it and go with it instead of fighting or ignoring it.
By being flexible you lessen the stressful aspect of change. They also adopt more creative ways of thinking as they develop ways to adapt plans.
Embrace change and work with it rather than against it and you will build resilience.
#2 Being to Fearful
Fear is a negative emotion. Successful people understand that and develop a positive can-do attitude. They also have self-mastery; a complete knowledge of themselves. This helps them know their strengths and weaknesses.
Visualisation can guide them and keep them on track as it enables them to change their outlook on life and create new approaches.
You can learn to replace fear with positive thoughts and attitudes. And the best way to do that is to focus on what you want and visualise it. Everyday.
#3 Lacking Self-Confidence
The key to success is positive action and self-belief. If you believe you can and act as if you can then you’ll find that you can do it. Success habits require action because that leads to change which in turn leads to success.
If you let yourself believe your negative self-talk and image it will allow fear to creep in and it will not help you on your path to success.
If you want to be successful then you must be positive in mind-set and attitude. You must be willing to take action, to plan and to believe in yourself and your success.
Use positive affirmations to help you create a more confident you. Invest in a coach to help you grow if that’s an option.
Resource to help with confidence and self-esteem: The Self-Esteem Planner
#4 Lack of Planning
Without a plan you are setting yourself up for failure. You cannot achieve anything if you don’t plan for it as you won’t know what you want, how to get it or why it is important.
Successful people plan for success. They plan to create the success habits that will help them achieve their goals. All you need to do is write our your goals and break it down into smaller chunks.
Those smaller chunks then get transferred to a task list. And then all you need to do is work through your list and cross things off.
Planning is not hard. Trying to achieve goals without the plan is hard.
RESOURCE TO HELP WITH PLANNING: The Goals & Productivity Planner.
#5 Adopt False Beliefs and Negative Self-talk
Successful people are positive thinkers. They don’t allow false beliefs and negative self-talk to hold them back. Instead they identify these behaviors and replace them with positive beliefs. Again, this is where self-knowledge and self-mastery are key.
Everyone has that negative self-defeating voice in our heads. However you don’t need to listen to it or allow it to be louder than your positive voice.
Recognise your thoughts and replace negative beliefs with positive and empowering beliefs. The more you believe in yourself the better you will feel on your journey towards greatness.
#6 Not Taking Personal Responsibility
Successful people take ownership of their actions and the consequences. They accept failure as part of the growth process and see it as a learning tool.
During the planning process they try and identify potential pitfalls and road blocks so that they can plan how to deal with them and overcome them.
If you blame others for things that go wrong you cant take all the credit when things go right. You are either 100% accountable for what happens in your life or you’re not.
When you’re accountable you put yourself in a position of power. It means that whatever happens you can do something about it instead of waiting for someone or something to change you can make things change.
Conclusion on Breaking Bad Habits
If you want to succeed adopt the success habits and allow them to create the success you desire.
Motivate yourself in all ways possible and never give up on yourself.
(Read: 10 Tips To Boost Your Motivation)
If you need help click here to make an appointment to talk about creating new habits and I can help you in person or over Skype/Zoom.