How to Make Change Easy (With Smarter Habits)
In many situations, making changes is hard. Learn how to make change easy by going with smarter habits.
How to Make Change Easy (With Smarter Habits)
In today’s article, I'm going to discuss actual ways to build better habits in your life. I'm gonna be diving into seven ideas that will help you to build habits that are generally just more impactful, that are easier for you to stick to. And that will just help you to build habits that make more sense. Because a lot of people are out here building habits in a way that just does not make sense. That's what we're not gonna do.
Choose Your Habits With Intention
Never have I ever had a habit that has worked when I picked it from a list of 20 habits of successful people. Habits work when you find a problem in your life. Maybe you are lacking energy, maybe you are lacking inspiration, and then you find a habit that fixes that problem.
Take out the habit of meditation because it's good for you. But if you notice how unkind you're speaking to yourself, and you decide that you're going to do a self-compassion meditation for 5 minutes every day to rewire the neural pathways in your brain for self-love, you're simply in with a way better chance.
Habits work when you pick value-based habits. So if you are a person who loves to read and loves to learn, the habit of reading 20 pages per day is going to work better for you than it might for some other people. The more aligned your habits are with your values, the more likely you are to stick with them.
A few examples of value-based habits are if you have a value of connection, setting a habit to calling your parents once a week is going to suit you. If you have a value of growth, the habit of monthly planning for your goals is going to suit you.
Choose High-Impact Habits
My favorite kind of habit that I think of as the most impactful and purposeful are push habits. So a push habit is something that either creates more time, money, a better mindset, more energy, making your other goals way easier to accomplish, or it achieves multiple goals, usually like a domino effect.
A push habit can be as simple as filling out a daily planner every night. You complete your daily planner. You wake up with more clarity. So you get more done because you're getting more done you are generally less stressed. You're also planning and time to work on your goals. So your goals are getting done with more consistency. It's a habit that has a huge knock-on effect.
Look At Your Habit From New Angle
When you start thinking about habits that you want to embrace, you usually have one idea of how a habit looks. You want to write a book so a writing habit to you looks like waking up at 6 am, writing your 250 words, getting on with life. But your writing habit might also look like heading to a coffee shop after work, alternating between one day of writing, one day of researching, one day of editing.
It might look like you're going to the nearest park every lunchtime. One day you write down a few bullet points. The next day you flush that out into a paragraph. When you attach yourself to one specific way of performing a habit, you cut out so many options. And amongst that pile of options that could be something that's way more suited to you that you'd be much more likely to stick to.
Approach Your Habits With Curiosity
A lot of research has been done on performance-only goals like going to the gym five times a week versus learning focus goals, like discovering how to get your body moving regularly and consistently. Unsurprisingly, when you approach your goals with this mindset of curiosity, with this mindset of I'm going to learn something new about myself, I'm going to discover how I work best. You’ve got the way more internal motivation. You are more persistent, and you are more resilient when you face challenges.
If you are starting a new habit, have questions on your mind like, how can I do this in a way that is really enjoyable for me? How can I make this more sustainable for me? What's going to make me more likely to keep going back to this habit? Don't rush the answers, but sit with those kinds of questions.
Focus On a Concrete and Quick Way
The next thing you'll wish to do is focus on a concrete and quick way that your life is going to be enhanced by said habit. For example, the habit of writing every day might just make you feel good. For me, I know when I'm taking notes, I feel energized. Focus on that versus writing every day to eventually produce a book.
Focusing on the more instant rewards so how you feel what you experience is much more likely to keep you going, than focusing on the end outcome.
Focus On The Habit Before The Habit
The magic that's in most of the actions that fill up your day, is at the very start of each action. Focus on making the habit before the habit as easy as possible. If you want to walk every day the habit before the habit is putting on your walking shoes, your sunscreen, getting yourself out the door.
If you want to do a weekly reset every week, the habit is sitting down at your computer, opening your checklist. Think about how you can make the habit before the habit is easier. Put sunscreen and choose in your entryway, have a reset checklist shortcut, and put a basket of clean socks right by your walking shoes. Do whatever you can to make your habits easier to start. Remember, once you've started, it's much easier to keep the momentum going. Starting is the hard part.
Make your habits more rewarding
They are very fragile motivational constructions. Only if the work itself becomes rewarding can the dynamic of motivation and rewards become self-sustainable and propel the whole process forward.
Basically external rewards like a piece of chocolate after a run, they're not sustainable, they're not really going to help you. You need to bake the reward into the habit itself. You need to find, or create the reward within your habit, whether that's within the act of running every day, or within the act of reading your 10 pages. Find or create the reward within your habit.
I appreciate you so very much, and I will see you soon.