Our daily habits have the power to transform our lives in an immeasurable way and catapult us to greatness. So why do we find it so hard to execute on them? Instead of following through, we often give up or let them fall by the wayside and end up with feelings of disappointment and self-loathing. Often it’s not just mere laziness that’s holding us back; but instead our beliefs, environment, lifestyle or lack of tools at our disposal. So what can we do to ensure we don’t slip up and keep forging ahead with unbridled enthusiasm?
We can’t move forward if we don’t know which direction we are going in. So in order to build good habits, first we must get clear on exactly what it is that we want to achieve. Write about what you envision your future to look like. Imagine your ideal day and write a list of your top goals. Discover who you want to be and what that kind of person does in their day to day life.
If you want to get fit, then committing to two hours of exercise everyday including a ten km run and weights session is too much too soon. The sheer size of the task will soon have you putting it off until the next day, and the next day and the next. Don’t overdo it.
Know your triggers
Often our routines need to get a shake up in order to steer us away from our automatic tendencies. We wake up and instead of getting out of bed, we reach for our phone and check our social media. This then morphs into an hour of scrolling mindlessly, making us feel stagnant and reluctant to start the day. Place your phone away from your bedside so you must get out of bed.
Telling others of your dreams and plans is a great way to ensure you follow through on what you have promised yourself. An even better idea is to ask them to entrust you with their goals also. That way you both keep each other on track and check in with one another. We’re less likely to postpone tasks if we know that someone will be checking in on us.
The Pomodoro technique
Procrastinating too much? Are you finding your day escapes you? You have the best intentions but before you know it, it’s evening and you don’t have much to show for the day. Try the Pomodoro method. Developed by university student Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980’s, who was struggling with completing assignments and studying. It involves setting a timer for a period of 25 minutes followed by a five minute break. Repeat this four times and then you earn yourself a 20 minute break. This creates a sense of urgency and pressure as you are up against the clock.
Design your environment
If you find yourself surrounded by clutter, mess and piles of clothes or paperwork, your mind will always be distracted by your domestic duties. It will be difficult to feel creative or motivated. It’s not inspiring to go for a run when we can’t find our workout gear from the laundry basket. Create a clean, fresh space. In order to invite in the new, we must release the old. Go through your wardrobe and belongings and donate or recycle anything which no longer serves you. It’s all about setting yourself up for success. Lay out your workout clothes in the morning. Have your laptop fully charged and ready to work. Prepare your meals ahead of time and have yummy but healthy snacks ready to eat.
Mix with liked-minded people
If you want to learn how to grow a successful business or career then start mingling with others who are also looking to do the same or even beter mix with those who are already there. If you can’t find any then look to social channels, influencers, and key figures who can inspire you. Immerse yourself in these worlds and learn from the best and get motivated. Whatever we are exposed to; has a direct influence on our thoughts and actions.
Don’t wait for motivation
If we only follow through on our daily routines when we feel like it, then we set ourselves up for failure. The days that we don’t feel like eating healthy or studying are the MOST important day to do these things. If we can push through those feelings of resistance we train our brain to treat our tasks as non-negotiable. It’s this consistency which creates real progress.