I know that at the start of the year so many of us are focused on setting goals for our business, implementing changes, and identifying the need or desire to do things differently.
There truly is NO secret to success. The “secret” is showing up, doing the right things, and creating habits that contribute to the success you desire.
Plans and goals are great, but it’s the habits we create that bring them to life!
I often hear people say things like “I’m not someone who…. XYZ” or “I just don’t do…. XYZ” or “XYZ is NOT easy for me”.
And ya know what? A lot of that might be true, it might be mindset blocks, but even more so… it’s probably just because those things aren’t a habit.
So the mindset shift is realizing that you aren’t necessarily someone who doesn’t “XYZ” you’re just someone who hasn’t made it a habit.
Let’s talk examples…
- I’m just not someone who blogs every week
- I’m just not someone who can be consistent in business
- Writing is NOT easy for me
- Are you in the habit of blogging every week?
- Have you DEVELOPED the habit of showing up consistently?
- Are you making writing a habit so it GETS easier?
So often we chalk things up to personality traits that really can be shifted with the smallest desire to create a new habit.
This also helps to DRAMATICALLY reduce decision fatigue, stress, etc. because things become habitual rather than taking up a ton of brain power and mental energy to get them done.
So today, I’d love for you to reflect on the stories you have around why you can’t accomplish something, and feel into how dropping that story and developing that thing into a habit could change how you show up.
What’s a story you have around feeling like you “can’t” do something? Do you have an experience where you thought you couldn’t do something but then realized once you developed it into a habit it was much easier? Tell us your thoughts below!
The strategy to creating habits is both pretty simple, and kind of difficult.
It’s simple, because it’s all about picking it, and making it happen for 21 days straight
It’s difficult because you have to SHOW UP for those 21 days even when it’s still not a habit.
So for example, say I want writing for my business so I have amazing content to share and so it becomes easier and less stressful. I decide I need to write daily and I need it to become a habit that I don’t have to THINK about or make so DIFFICULT.
That means for 21 days I commit to doing that daily even when it feels hard, even when I don’t want to, and even when I don’t feel like I “have time”.
And day by day… it starts getting easier. And eventually… you don’t have to think about it, or try so hard.
One of the most important strategies around this is to only start 1-2 new habits at a time.
That’s often the issue with New Year’s Resolutions, lots of goals, total changes to business/weight loss programs, etc. Our brains literally do not have the capacity or willpower to implement 5 new habits all at once. We’ll usually end up falling off ALL of them and not accomplishing anything rather than doing one thing well.
So the strategy is to know your PRIORITIES, and to implement 1-2 habits AT A TIME that are in line with those priorities.
That’s how you create momentum and results. You may not be able to turn the whole ship all at once, but that’s how you sink. You can course correct one habit at a time, and watch your business transform.
One of my first tips is to practice self-care around this new habit. For example, say my new habit is daily writing, and perhaps it feels really frustrating/challenging/time-consuming. All of this is just a story that I’ve ASSOCIATED with writing.
So I need to associate it with something new. Maybe I take a bubble bath after I write, maybe I give myself 5 minutes of meditation time before and after. The point is to create self-care rituals that support your new habit and make the uncomfortable, slightly more comfortable.
Rewards are also another way to motivate yourself. If you get through the first week of doing your habit every day what will you do for yourself? Give yourself a new item you’ve been wanting? A mid-day nap? A relaxing pedicure? Mini-rewards help motivate us, remind us of our progress, and keep us focused on the ultimate goal of implementing our new habit.
Finally, remember that you do have to push yourself to show up, but that it doesn’t have to be uber painful. You can put helpful, happy rituals around your new habits that make it feel like a stretch but a GOOD stretch…. Rather than torture or something you “know” you won’t accomplish.
I encourage you to stay consistent with your habit even when it feels frustrating, but also be patient with yourself!
If you miss one day of your 21 days, don’t let that derail you! Jump back on and pick your habit right back up the next day. You don’t have to start at square one again, or be perfect. You simply just have to keep going, and remain consistent.
When I worked as a therapist in substance abuse rehab one of the things we used to say was, “Relapse is part of recovery” and I feel like that’s so applicable here.
Falling off your consistent habit is PART of making it a habit. Seriously. And it’s OK as long as you see the next day as a new opportunity.
When you frame it in this way it helps you to take off the pressure, trust yourself that you’ll keep showing up, and demonstrate that when you put your mind to making something easier or doing something differently it’s 100% achievable with time, focus, and consistency!