Creating good habits can seem like an easy task – until it is time to create a new one. In both personal and business, creating proactive, healthy and consistent habits means that you have greater momentum, enjoy taking action and are better at solving problems. If you have found that your good habits have slipped over the last few weeks during the uncertainty of the COVID-19 period, then now is the time to create your new normal and get your good habits back on track. Below are our five tips that will help you create, and stick to, those good habits that will help you make it count now and in the long term.
Although the information around how long it takes to create a habit varies quite drastically, the most commonly accepted timeframes to form a habit is between 21 and 30 days. However, if you want your new habit to be automatic and engrained into your daily routine, then you want to keep that consistency for around two months. The best way to do this is by tracking your daily achievements on a calendar or Habit Changer such as the downloadable document below.
Are you ready to make your new habit automatic? Commit to our 8 Week Habit Changer by downloading the PDF above. Write down the three habits you are creating and tick off each day as you achieve them. In just eight weeks, your new habit will become an automatic part of your routine.
If you’re having troubles with how to start creating good habits, behavioural psychologist James Clear, suggests creating habits that are hard to say no to by starting with a habit that is small and simple to achieve. For instance, if you are wanting to increase the number of leads for your business, begin with a goal to make three cold calls a day. This small goal takes under five minutes to achieve and, by proving that you can commit to this for 30 days, you will have the confidence to increase the intensity once the habit has been created.
The best way to create consistency in a new habit is to perform it regularly. One way to do this is through a technique called anchoring. Anchoring is where you use an existing key behavior in your routine (such as drinking your morning coffee, brushing your teeth or showering) to trigger the new habit that you are wanting to create. This technique is especially effective as it serves as a reminder and, once automatic, could become one of the key behaviours that you anchor other habits to.
For example, if you are wanting to improve your mental health as a business owner by meditating for five minutes each day, then you may choose to anchor this new habit into your daily morning routine by using brushing your teeth as your consistent habit.
Without being pessimistic, creating a new habit will often mean falling off the wagon during the initial habit creating period. The difference in creating good habits is what happens once you make the mistake. You can harshly judge yourself and feel guilty or take a more proactive approach as you focus on getting back on track as quickly as possible. One recommendation that Clear makes is to develop a never miss twice moto, meaning that you allow for one mistake, but do not let it happen for a second time in a row. After all, slipping up on a new habit does not make you a failure. It makes you human.
This final tip is about bringing some short-term gratification to a longer goal. Because you have committed to eight weeks of this new habit, it is important to mark out smaller milestones into your calendar or Habit Changer. This may be at the end of each week or each fortnight and is a good opportunity to reflect on the positive effects of your new habit and to reward yourself for your commitment to maintain motivation until your habit becomes automatic.
Creating new habits is not always an easy task. However, with both personal and business payoffs such as greater productivity, more focus and an overall more positive outlook it is worth the time to create them. Committing to a timeframe, being realistic with yourself and in creating your new habit and using your current routine to anchor, are all tools to set yourself up for success.
If one habit that you want to create is to consistency have clarity around your business finances, numbers and compliance then talk to our team at Walker Hill by emailing us at email@example.com or calling our office on 07 3367 3155.