Welcome back to the GinAdmin Blog…I’m Gina Koran, your host and as always, I appreciate you visiting my page! Today I want to talk about Creating New Habits! (I heard that groan!). I’ve never been a New Year’s Resolution person. I’m more of a goals person, so this post will revolve around that. As a Freelancer, I know that there are some things that other Freelancers like myself, as well as business owners and entrepreneurs would like to change in order to achieve the goals we’ve set for our business and personal lives. And some of that revolves around creating new habits.
Now, we’ve all wanted to change our behavior for the better and create new habits for ourselves somewhere along the way. Maybe you want to eat healthier and drink more water. Or it could be moving more and taking the dog for a daily walk, which by the way…my pup INSISTS on several times a day! Or it could be work related, or spiritual, or… There are so many areas in our lives that could be improved and made easier if we created new habits.
And I get it – getting into the habit of doing something outside our norm is often easier said than done. We seem to acquire bad habits without any effort, but getting into a “good” habit can be a little more challenging.
You know the mysterious “They”? Well “They” say it takes 21 days to create a new habit. Weird, to think that it doesn’t take that long to form a bad habit. And sometimes no matter how hard we try, it takes us a lot longer to form a new habit.
So how long does it REALLY take to create a new habit?
The answer is that it depends. (That sounds totally like a “Mom” answer). But, it depends on your mindset and it depends on how big of a change you want to make from what you are doing now. Brian Tracy has a great post about developing new habits, and in that article he explains that while 21 days is the scientific answer, the bigger the goal, the longer it may take to achieve.
According to the experts, it takes about 21 days to break or form a habit pattern of medium complexity. Habits which are more complex or difficult to incorporate with your lifestyle may take longer.https://www.briantracy.com/blog/personal-success/seven-steps-to-developing-a-new-habit/
Remember, it will be different from one person to the next and even from one habit to the next, there are a couple things to keep in mind.
It’s easier to make a new habit than it is to get rid of an old one.
Be prepared to work a lot harder to give up checking your email every 2 minutes or snacking late at night. Whenever possible, try to replace an old habit with a new one…if you’re wanting to give up coffee, brew a cup of herbal tea in the morning and throughout the day when you would usually reach for your cup of Joe. And just so my friends reading this don’t pass out – giving up coffee is NOT one of my goals. Although maybe cutting back a bit on my pot and a half a day habit would be a good goal. I can quit whenever I want. Harharhar
Create a Vision Board
A constant reminder of why you’re trying to change your behavior is also helpful. Keep your reason why you’re changing front and center and then be prepared to stick it out. I am a maniac for putting pictures of my goals in front of me, even sometimes on my computer’s desktop so that I am constantly looking at it and remembering why I’m doing what I’m doing. And yes–it will take some time to make new habits and replace old ones. But it will be worth it in the end.
3 STEPS TO CREATE A NEW HABIT
The first step is to decide what you want that new habit to be. And you have to be specific–you can’t just say that you want to exercise more. Instead, make your goal something like “I will go for a 30 minute walk every single day”. Deciding what your new habit will be and committing to when and how you’re going to do it is half the battle.
For me, this is a simple one: I’m going to get up every hour and MOVE. Whether it’s to walk out and check on my husband and the dog to see what they’re doing or do a little dance to the music playing in my head. Ok, to be fair…it’s probably going to be a trip to the coffee pot, but hey…baby steps, right?
For the first few days, it’s going to be smooth sailing. You’re motivated and excited to get this done. Sticking to your new habit isn’t an issue. But after those first few days, you’ll notice that it’s easy to slip back into old habits.
Maybe it’s raining and you don’t really want to go out and walk. Or maybe your day just gets away from you. This is when it’s important to have a reminder. This is the second step: Set an alert on your phone or add the new habit to your daily task list.
And I’m with you, believe me…I get it. I’ve set my alarm to remind me to get up from my desk and move around. I turn the alarm off and tell myself I’ll just finish this one teeny, tiny, little task. And (as the famous chef says) BAM…it’s 40 minutes later and I never once moved from my chair. How am I going to get around this? For starters, I’m setting my alarm to be the absolute, most obnoxious, hard-to-ignore noise. I can also “name” my alarm on my phone, so I’ll name it something that will remind me that if I DON’T get up and move, my cranky back and bum hip will remind me ALL NIGHT that I ignored that alarm.
If you’re not good with alarms, schedule your new habits or make them part of your daily to-do list until they become something you do automatically. My digital calendar allows me to create reminders and a task list. Maybe that will work better for you – just remember to check your list (wink).
Maybe it would be helpful to you if you add the new habit to one you already have. Let’s say you fix a cup of tea or coffee at 4pm, and you want to get in the habit of taking a daily walk. Make the new ritual to go for your walk and THEN come back and enjoy your tea. Then it seems like a reward for completing that “task”.
Choose an accountability partner to help you build a new habit
I find that having an accountability partner helps me the most, and this is step 3. When I have someone who knows what I am trying to do and will call me out on it, I tend to not want to have to say to them, No…didn’t do that today. It’s easy to tell MYSELF, but when I have to tell SOMEONE ELSE that I didn’t stick to it, I find that I push myself harder to complete a task.
Remember – It’s going to take some time before this new behavior becomes a true habit. If you miss a day, give yourself a break. Tomorrow, maybe go for TWO walks. Making this new behavior part of your daily routine is going to help you make it a permanent habit, so set those alarms and find yourself a good accountability partner!
I’d love to hear what habit you want to create, or maybe already have…leave me a comment! I’ll cheer you on!
And if you would like to know more about how GinAdmin can help you in achieving your business goals, head on over to GinAdmin.com and find out how I can make your job easier!