"We become what we repeatedly do" - Stephen Covey
Making life-style changes isn't hard like most of us think. We only think it's "hard" because we haven't learned how to effectively make new habits work for us.
"Negative habits" have a tendency to sabotage our desire for change. To replace these negative habits for positive ones, some introspection is needed.
In his book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", Stephen Covey establishes that in order to change any given situation, we must first change ourselves and to do that we must be able to change our very own perceptions. We live in an era where everyone is looking for the next quick fix, but despite the hundreds of "quick fixes" out there the result is always a short-term solution.
Creating New Habits
To create new habits that'll work for you, first you must be aware of:
- Current habits that will stop you from making the changes you want.
- The situations that trigger your current habits (old habits).
- What new habits do you want to create?
- How will you reinforce your new habit when a specific situation triggers an "old habit"?
Consistency is KEY to Making New Habits
After a few days of following through with your goal(s), it can feel easy to say "I've done great all week, so I will skip today..." - Whatever you do, DON'T SKIP A DAY! By doing this, it makes your new habit formation harder.
Studies show the “What the Hell Effect” occurs most often after the first slip up. People give up believing that the work isn’t worth the effort. We all mess up; but when you do, instead of giving up—figure out what derailed you and plan ahead for how you'll deal with it the next time and start again!
Anchor New Habits to Your Daily Routine
This is the easiest way to make a new habit work for you. Rather than trying to change your daily routine to fit your new habit, make your new habit fit into your daily routine.
For example, if your goal is to walk 20 minutes after work 3-days/week for 30 days and your current routine is to come home, feed the dog and sit down to watch T.V.; try leaving your walking shoes next to the door the night before, so the following day you can come home, feed the dog, put your shoes on and walk back out the door.
Once you've had a couple of practice runs trying out your new habit, take a few moments to determine if this is working for you. If the answer is yes, KEEP AT IT! If the answer is no, ask yourself, "what needs to change in order for me to follow through with my new habit?" and make the change!