We’ve spoken about how bad habits burn a hole in your pocket, but what we didn’t do, is tell you how to make a good one. Making good habits is a key concept that you have to have in place to be successful. You don’t see Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla and SpaceX) sitting on the couch for three hours a day – he works hard from 7am to 1am (an 18 hour day) and manages to fit every important meeting, job, and other happenings for each company into that timeframe and be able to sleep for 6 hours a night. On a smaller scale, there are so many individuals that hold their good habits, you may even idolise one of your colleagues and envy their persistence around these sorts of things.
All you need for a good habit is perseverance, dedication and 66 days…
– Start Extremely Small.
You can’t expect yourself to go from zero to hero in one day. Start with little things (mini-goals) that will eventually grow into your initial, overall goal.
Example: you want to increase your workload, go to the gym three times a week and learn Spanish… this is okay, however, it takes a lot of willpower to complete all of this for a prolonged period of time.
• Instead of increasing work levels, define your current work and increase your productivity
• Instead of going it alone at the gym, start with one session, and make it fun – do a group class or take a pal with you.
• Download an app on your phone that will teach you
– Have Clear Intentions
You can’t succeed if you aren’t clear and harsh on yourself. Goals like “I’ll try to increase my workload by 50%” just won’t do. You have to know exactly when and where things are going to happen.
Three powerful strategies for doing this are:
Create an “implementation intention”. Reframe your habit as in “if/then” statement, e.g.: ‘If I finish this report, then I’ll reply to that email.’
Use habit stacking. Link your new habit to an existing behaviour, e.g.: ‘After I’ve finished my daily report, I will plan the rest of my day.
Implement scheduling. Make space for your new habit in your schedule. Create a timeframe for it where you can clearly see it, whether it be in your diary or on the calendar – if it gets scheduled, it gets done.
– Get Hooked
If you’re serious about your habit, get make it as enjoyable as you can. Want to get fitter? Invite your workmates, or a friend group to join you for a walk after work, or through lunch time.
If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’re more likely to stick to it.
– Celebrate Yourself
We all know we’re more likely to beat ourselves up over a bad performance rather than reward ourselves for a good one. If you start rewarding yourself for the good that you do, you’re brain releases chemicals that help you experience feelings of achievement and pride, which in turn leads to a drive to create a bigger, better success.
– Why 66 days?
It’s been proven that it takes 66 days for a human to create a habit, so it’s so important that you stick your plan, make it fun, drive yourself through the rough times and don’t forget to reward yourself for the good things that you do!