In my first post I briefly talked about habits and how they are created. Repeating any action gives it value. That value makes a neural pathway in our brains that maps out that action. The more that action is mapped out the less energy it takes to activate. So how do we use this to our advantage to create worthwhile changes in our lives? Let’s look at the biggest factors that go into creating a habit.
- The first one is the reason behind the habit. Why do you do this action? Is it something you do out of necessity or because you want to do it? Is it a means of achieving a long-term goal? Do you think it will be enjoyable? This helps complete the habit even when motivation and energy are low.
- Identity is the second factor. Who does this habit make you? Does it make you into the version of yourself that you want to see?
- Convenience. When and where does this habit fit into your day? Practicing a foreign language when you have your breakfast in the morning is a great example.
- Habits tend to be easier to stick to when you have a trigger for it. When you finish practicing your language lesson you could write your to-do list for the day.
- Small steps. Break the habit down. When you are first starting a habit it can be hard to do it consistently. Like going to the gym 3 times a week. Maybe start with getting your gym bag packed and walking out to the car.
- The last one is the best part, the reward. How are you rewarded for completing it? Do you end up being in better shape from your new gym habit? Do you learn a new skill? Start a side hustle from a starting a habit of writing every day?
Run your desired habit through this filter and see how to best fit your new habit into your life and watch as you become a better version of yourself. You can also use these tips to stack habits on top of each other. Use one new habit to trigger the next. Then take it a step further by taking a trigger for one of your bad habits or habit that no longer serves you to trigger your new habit stack that you designed. You could completely change the way you see life and how your day fits together in less time than you would expect.
Leave a comment below on a habit that you want to start but are having trouble with and let’s get it mapped out for you!