Whether we would like to admit it or not, our habits say a lot about who we are. Most of our daily actives are just habits; in fact, habits are so ingrained in our life that most of the time we don’t even realize we are acting off of habits. How often do you think about the route you take to work or the breakfast you eat in the morning? Most of the time we never think about these things because they are habits. Since so much of our lives are controlled by habits, if we learn to control our habits, we can positively impact our lives. As the great Jim Rohn said, “Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced every day.” What are habits but simple disciplines practiced every day? This article will teach you exactly how to form new positive habits. Also, check out 5 Tips to stop bad habits.
Before we begin, this article is heavily inspired by the book The Power of Habit. if you enjoy this article, I highly recommend this book.
- Identify a Cue and an Obvious Reward
Habits happen in three steps: a cue, the routine, and the reward. An example of this is going to the bathroom when you get up. The cue is waking up, the action is going to the bathroom, and the reward is relief. Knowing the way that habits break down, we can work to create new positive habits and/or change other habits to benefit us more. The first step to create a new habit is to identify a cue that will cause you to take action and clearly define what the reward is. For example, let’s say you want to run every day. This is a good goal to have, but is hard to keep up with, unless you purposely try to make it into a habit. In order to have this goal stick, we have to identify a cue and a clear reward. For this goal, we could make the cue could be our alarm clock; right when we hear our alarm clock in the morning, we know it’s time to go for a run. The reward could be the feeling of accomplishment after you do the run. As long as the reward is something of value to you and is clearly defined, it will work.
- Identify a Craving
Most habits exist in the first place because they fill a craving that we have. People brush their teeth in the morning because they crave good-smelling breath. Identifying a craving is the third step to forming a new habit. If you are trying to form a new habit, think about why you want that habit to form in the first place. If we go back to the running example, the craving could be to lose weight. If we put it all together: the cue is the alarm clock, the routine is running, the reward is the feeling of accomplishment and the craving to lose weight is the inspiration behind sticking to the habit.
- Identify the Trouble Areas.
Knowing the formula for forming habits is a good start but you have to actually do the habit every day. Realistically, it is not easy. There will be days you do not want to get out of bed and run regardless of what you are craving or what reward you might get. This is where identifying the trouble areas comes into play. You have to identify where you are most likely to give up and quit. Once you identify the trouble areas you need to…
- Write Out a Plan to Overcome Them
Once the trouble areas are found you have to physically write out exactly what you are going to do when you get to that trouble area. If the hardest part of doing the run is getting out of bed, you could write down, “the second I hear my alarm I am going to jump out of bed.” That way, when the alarm rings, you instantly jump out of bed and get past the trouble area automatically. Eventually, this too will become a habit in itself and you will begin to jump out of your bed every day without even thinking about it.
Those are the four tips to help you form any good habit! Have an questions or concerns? Meet me in the comment section to discuss further!