How To Create Easy Habits And Change Your Life
+ Free Printable Habit Tracker
Do you set goals? Do you set New Years Resolutions?
I am nutty about goal setting, working on action steps and meeting my goals. When I set my goals, I try to realise the action steps, and then I figure out what daily habits that I need to change or create to reach my goals.
If you only adopt new practices to meet a specific goal and then stop, you’ll end up back where you started. So you will want to build new habits that stick.
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
Jim Ryun (a three-time Olympic runner).
It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set goals and instead set habits; I think it’s a beautiful marriage of both.
1. Start with a habit that is easy. The low hanging fruit so to speak.
The best way forward isn’t a temporary focus on a small goal; it’s an entire lifestyle change, but that is scary as heck. If you begin with a little habit that you think you could implement into your routine with ease, the rest will be a breeze.
Don’t think “go big or go home” because you could lose interest quickly. If you start small, you can pick up the momentum later which can propel you toward achieving your goals.
2. What’s stopping you?
Do you seem to set the same goals year after year? Yeah, you need a lifestyle change. What is it that is stopping you from reaching your goal?
If you want to lose weight, you might stay on track for a month and then give up. What was it that made you think “ah screw it” before? Was it an emotional problem? Stress?
If it was stress, you could find better ways of managing your stress. (There’s a full self-care section in the Creative Happy Life planner to help you take care of yourself).
If you find yourself going to reach for the cookies, just stop and ask yourself “why am I doing this?”. It works, because I’ve done it. When I realised I was eating because I was over tired, I turned on my heels and went and snuggled with the cat and watched TV.
3. Create behaviour chains
Creating habits that stick is easier when you implement something small into your daily routine. And do it every single day.
Use the ‘If – Then’ technique. For example, ‘If I am drinking a cup of coffee, I will use Stumble Upon as part of my blog traffic strategy”.
This tactic involves picking a regular part of your schedule and then building another “link in the chain” by adding a new habit.
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4. Track Your Habits
I use a habit tracker and brightly coloured pens to track my behaviour chains. This habit tracker is part of the goal setting section in the Creative Happy Life Planner, but you can grab a free copy here.
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Use the blank space to write down your habit.
The numbers along the top represent the dates in a month so colour the squares as you go each day. Ideally, you don’t want to break the chain.
View my favourite coloured pens for the job here.
Do this for at least 21 days. There is some debate as to whether it’s 21 days or 30 days to make or break a habit, so I say, keep going.
If you miss a day or two, you can always start again and count that as your first day of forming that particular habit.
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5. Figure out your Why
Why do you want to achieve your goal and change your habits?
What do you envision when you think about achieving your goal?
What will you have? How will you feel?
Figuring out your why might give you the motivation you need throughout the year to work on yourself and your habits to achieve your goals.
I hope today gave you a little insight about why changing yourself and your habits are critical to achieving your goals!