This session we have more people working on daily actions i.e. healthy habits than we ever have before. It’s become so common that we actually created a separate category for them in our weekly tracking sheets so that now we have headings for quarterly goals, healthy habits, and weekly commitments.
Personally, I’ve noticed that tracking habits separately is making them easier to stick to and the results are showing up fast! Focus on tracking food daily is leading to weight loss. Focus on calling clients weekly is leading to new business and more referrals. The important point is that these people are focused on the daily actions not the overall goal and that is making the results come faster. Why is that? It’s a mindset shift. When you commit to a goal you are focused on the result. When you commit to a habit you are focused on the action.
For example, when you make a goal to lose 10 pounds in three months you have to change your habits to reach it but your focus is the scale. However, if instead you commit to the habits your focus in not on the scale but on repetition and figuring out to make the habit as easy to do as possible. The result is you begin to get smarter and smarter about your habits.
I love what I’m hearing:
“I don’t have any weight left to lose.”
“I don’t have to commit to my healthy habits anymore.”
“I’m feeling so good about my habits I’m ready to up the amount of time I’m exercising everyday!”
These are amazing results. Seriously, when someone that has been trying to lose weight for decades doesn’t have to focus on a number anymore it’s a beautiful thing. When someone who has been committing to journaling and meditating every day for years suddenly realizes they don’t need to commit anymore it’s just part of who they are. I think to myself wow, you are so awesome.
Last year, I decided to track my habits – good and bad. Over time I realized that I could feel really good doing 4 things and limiting 2 others. They were the things I did when I felt my best and the things I did when I felt my worst. The tracking gave me enough insight to identify exercise, sleep, meditation, and journaling as my healthy habits and drinking too much alcohol and coffee as my unhealthy habits. As long as I kept these things in balance I had great energy, I was productive, and I had a positive outlook on life. Having that information is hugely helpful. Plus, I honed in on the one habit that made all the others easier. If I exercise at least 4 times per week, I am more apt to follow through on all my other healthy habits and less likely to give into my unhealthy ones.
Now, I’m extending my personal inquiry into my work habits. Right now I’m tracking my time every hour of my work day and jotting down a quick note about what I did in that hour. The first step in consciously creating a habit is noticing the habits that you have and then deciding how and what you want to change or what you want to implement instead. I’m noticing exactly how much time I spend doing things that are helpful to my business and also how much time I’m frittering away. It’s so enlightening! This new habit is helping me stay conscious and productive.
So here’s what I want you to do.
- Pick one habit you want to change or implement into your life. If you can pick a keystone habit. A keystone habit is one that makes other good habits easier.
- Do a thought experiment. Decide exactly when you are going to do it. Think about all the things that might get in your way and consider how you will handle each of those obstacles. See yourself doing it. How are you feeling? What difference has it made in your day?
- Do it. See how it goes. Tweak if necessary.
- Track your habit so you stay accountable. This is a key point. Those check marks will make you feel good.
- Acknowledge yourself with a kind word or affirmation every time you do it. When it doesn’t go well, don’t beat yourself up.
Remember that forming healthy habits takes time. You are consciously choosing to do something that might be very challenging at first in the hopes that it will one day be easy. When you get into that mindset you will approach your habits with more compassion. It could be weeks, months, or years before your habits become automatic. You are playing the long game and as long as you keep going you will win.
I’d love to hear about your healthy habit. What did you choose and why? Remember, sharing your intention is powerful!