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Habits- Can you really do them?

Updated: Feb 9




It is a new year and a new way to do things. At least that is what I always tell myself at the beginning of every year.


This year I decided to be intentional and start my year writing out my habits and using a habit tracker. So, as we begin the year let's start with the discussion of "what is a habit?"


When we talk about habits the first thing most of us think of is our morning routine.  Every morning we get up and go about our morning in the same routine.  We have our coffee, breakfast, shower, get dressed usually in the same way every day. 

 

As we start a new year there are often goals that we believe will make our lives better.  Begin the morning working out, start the day with a 5 minute meditation. Unfortunately, we start the year bound and determined to see these habits and goals become routine and part of our morning routine, then two weeks in, the habit is destroyed.  We miss two days, we forget we are supposed to do the habit before breakfast and then we say negative things to ourselves, "I can't do this." "I am terrible at starting new habits".  Then we spiral out of control and the habit doesn't work and it is put on the shelf until the next year.

 

I have found that for most of us this failure to implement habits makes most of us not want to start habits in the first place. Many people think they lack motivation to see the habit and goals come to life.  They try and try and do not succeed. When what they really lack is clarity. There needs to be a point where the habit is clear and the system is easy to do. But, it is not always obvious when and where to take action.

 

As we start 2024, I want to encourage you to think about doing these steps that will make all the difference in the habits you choose this year. 


  1. I want you to begin by identifying the goal that you want to achieve. For example, exercise 5 mornings a week for 30 minutes a day.

  2. I want you to find a specific time for that new habit to begin to form.  For example, at 6am I will begin my work out.

  3. I want you to find a tiny habit to begin in order to see this goal achieved.  For example, at 6am, three days a week I will put my shoes on and get on the elliptical for 3 minutes.


Second, I want you to track it everyday. If you do any movement towards accomplishing the goal then give yourself a check mark.


After 2 weeks I want you to evaluate what you have done. If you have been able to accomplish the goal 2 days a week, add more time or more days. If you have not  been able to accomplish the goal, then break it down to smaller steps. Then keep going and evaluate in 2 weeks.


The goal is to continue to the habit until the goal is reached.  As the weeks go by you will begin to see areas that are trying to stop you from accomplishing this goal. Make a note of those and try to work around them.

 

 As you put your goal together the key is to make the habit tiny. For instance, I will stretch in my room at 6am and put on my shoes to work out. It is a tiny habit, but it helps me to get ready to exercise. (whether I exercise or not it doesn't matter)

 

The crucial step here is finding the right time and location to insert the new habit into your daily routine. You are looking for the exact time where your new habit should live.

Make sure your implementation is specific and clear. For example, I will leave my shoes by my bed so they are easy to get on in the morning.

 

When and where you choose to insert a habit into your daily routine can make a big difference. If you’re trying to add meditation into your morning routine but mornings are chaotic and your kids keep stopping you from doing it, then that may be the wrong place and time. Consider when you are most likely to be successful. Don’t ask yourself to do a habit when you’re likely to be occupied with something else.


A habit must be established before it can be improved. Each habit must start with a tiny habit before it grows into a big habit. If you can master the right habit at the right time, everything falls into place.

 

Anyone can convince themselves to visit the gym or eat healthy once or twice, but if you don’t shift the belief and habits behind the behavior, then it is hard to stick with long-term changes. Improvements are only temporary until they become part of who you are. Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.

 

With my coaching clients we spend time developing habits as an important step into seeing the goals become reality. (If you want to discuss your goals and habits and how they can improve, book a call with me to talk about what steps you need to take.)


I want my blog posts to be interactive. So, if you have a way to establish habits that work for you, share them, we all can benefit from sharing with each other. Also, if there is a topic about habits that you would like to discuss in more depth, leave a comment and I will address it.


(Most of my understanding on habits came from James Clear, Atomic Habits and BJ. Fogg, Tiny Habits.)

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