Do you think about whenever you wake up? No. Your mind already knows what you will be doing for the day. Your mind is formed by the habits every morning.
Habits play a very important role in our life. Habits can control most of your life outcome. You become controlled by your habits, but of course, you can always change the situation and be the organizer of your day. Shaping habits could be very hard, but everything is possible is you are persistent and you are ready to spend time to form new habits.
It takes about 21 days to form a new habit. It might be long, but it is definitely worth it. If you can form good habits to support yourself and help you succeed in goal, it will be worthwhile.
Here are 5 tips on forming habits:
1. Make "micro quotas" and "macro goals"
In a fascinating study on motivation, researchers found abstract thinking to be an effective method to help with discipline. In the most basic sense, "dreaming big" is a pretty good advice after all. There are a lot of researches around self-determination theory which show that creating intrinsic motivators (being motivated to do things internally, not through punishments or rewards) is an essential process of building habits that stick. It is important to find a way to balance this desire to dream big with your day-to-day chores, which often do not result in quick dramatic changes.
The answer is to create what "micro quotas" and "macro goals." Your goals should be the big picture items that you wish to someday accomplish, but your quotas, are the minimum amounts of work that you must get done every single day to make the bigger goal a reality. Quotas make each day approachable, and your goals become achievable because of this.
Nathan Barry, a writer, has made a great case study of the use of these quotas as someone who forced himself to write 1000 words per day come hell or high water. The result was three self-published books resulting in thousands of dollars in sales.
2. Create behavior chains
Creating sticky habits is far easier when we make use of our current routines, instead of trying to fight them. The concept of if-then planning is built around environmental "triggers" that we can use to let us know that it is time to act on our habit. For example, create an environment that is a trigger for you to get to work. A coworking space might just be perfect for that. As you arrive at a coworking space, it triggers the habit to work.
3. Eliminate excessive options
It might be boring to not have too many choices in life, but there could be great power in it. One's brain is only capable of making so many choices per day and eliminating choices could help with decision making according to a research by Kathleen Vohs and her colleagues.
President Barack Obama was a great example for this study. He stated in an interview, "I am trying to pare down decisions. I don't want to make too many decisions about what I'm eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make."
So, being boring might be great in maintaining a habitual life. Cut out unnecessary choices to live a more effective disciplined life.
4. Process plan (but don't fantasize)
The step that many people skip when they fantasize about building a certain habit is they never clearly answer why they want the change to occur. It may seem like a small detail, but it plays a huge role in keeping motivation for change up over the course of changing habits. BUT research shows us that excessive fantasizing about results can be extremely detrimental to the stickiness of any habit. It is time to set the expectations realistic.
5. Stick to Your Habits
It is really hard to make the new habit stays most of the time. Ever told yourself you would be at the gym in the new year and never stuck to that habit?
Ramit Sethi found a solution to his own gym problem by simply finding where things will slip.
"When I sat down to analyze why I wasn't going to the gym, I realized: my closet was in another room. That meant I had to walk out in the cold to put on my clothes. It was easier to just stay in bed. Once I realized this, I folded my clothes and shoes the night before. When I woke up the next morning, I would roll over and see my gym clothes sitting on the floor. The result? My gym attendance soared by over 300%.
Find the failing factor to make your habits stick.
Make sure to make your new habits stick this year!
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