You have decided that you want to change your life. You’ve got a goal in mind. What can you do to ensure that you achieve success? You know that you will need to adopt certain success habits. The following rules will help you ensure successful habit formation.
A word of caution first. Nothing happens in isolation and nothing happens unless you are committed to making it happen. As the adage goes, ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step and is completed one step at a time’.
Success habits don’t just happen by accident. They are created by design. Creating a plan will increase the chances of your successfully creating a new habit. Think of the plan like a road-map. Include your starting point, the final goal and all the steps along the way. Don’t forget to note down potential obstacles and how you will overcome them (including who can support you).
Many people include a vision board in their planning. This is a great way to see what your goal looks like and when placed somewhere that you will see it regularly can reinforce the goal you want to achieve. (Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash)
You must be committed to your goal of creating a new habit. If you are not committed, then the chances of succeeding in attaining it reduces dramatically. How many people have made resolutions only to break them soon afterwards?
It is important to believe that you will create your new habit and to be able to see yourself doing it. The journey is not the destination, but it is a movement!
One technique that some people use is to write down a positive statement that affirms you have created your new habit.
For example, if you want to be more effective at work (this would need to be broken down into chunks by asking what being more effective looks like and then prioritising the changes required) you may begin by stating that ‘before I start my work, I make sure that I plan my day and make sure that I know which tasks are important for helping me to achieve my goal.’ (Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash)
Self-knowledge is crucial to creating new habits, as well as eliminating old ones.
You need to understand your strengths and development areas. It is important to know where you are right now, where you want to be and what needs to change.
By knowing yourself you can create a growth mindset. This ensures that you understand that action is important as by acting you create change which leads to success.
By far, one of the best ways to know yourself is to ask for feedback. You can also complete an assessment or profile too. In any event, having a holistic view of yourself gives you a much stronger foundation to build on. (Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash)
Sidebar: Learning to receive feedback is a habit in itself!
Habits take 21 days to become routine, or thereabouts (the longer you do it, the more it becomes a habit. Sadly, this is true for bad habits too!). This means that you need to ensure that you build time into every day to practice your new habit, and that means every day.
To ensure that you complete the full 21 days you need to plan, and you need to identify any potential stumbling points that may cause you to want to skip a day. Knowing what might interfere in your daily habit practice ensures that you can put in place plans to overcome it.
A positive mindset is key as is commitment. If you are committed to creating the new success habit and understand why it is important to your overall plans and goals then you will be more able to overcome stumbling points and ensure that you practice your new habit every day until it becomes a routine part of your daily life.
When you set out to create a new success habit you have your plan for how you are going to achieve it and what your life will look like once that happens. Don’t forget to build in a reward. Make it something that you really want and value. It doesn’t have to be big, but it does have to be important to you. I would also add that it must have a positive impact. By planning a reward when you have created your new habit you will be more emotionally invested in creating the habit.
Write down your reward or get a picture of it and put it somewhere where you will see it every day. This will reinforce the desire to succeed and strengthen your motivation to achieve your goal.
By using the five rules above you will be creating a positive mental attitude towards creating a new success habit. Don’t try to create too many new habits at once. It is simpler and more realistic to create one new habit at a time. (Photo by Pietro De Grandi on Unsplash)
Never be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help and support.
This could be a family member, friend, partner, coach, mentor, doctor, therapist, counsellor, psychotherapist, psychologist or spiritual adviser.
It does not matter who helps you, as long as you end up with the results you are seeking.