“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit” – Will Durant
I am so invested in the power of our habits. Positive or negative, they have a direct effect on what our lives will look like a month, a year, a decade from now. The key to progress in any area is consistency, and habits are the easiest way to maintain that consistency over time. When it comes to success and goal setting, I’m all about purposefully creating those healthy, daily habits. As habits are an almost unconscious thing rooted in our daily schedule, we must be intentional with creating them.
Here are my five steps to building healthy habits into your daily routine.
1. Find Your ‘Why’
This is the most important step! This foundational mindset work is the key to staying motivated, focused and energised.
Talk it through with a coach or friend. Write it down in a journal or on a big piece of paper on your wall. Get it out into the world WHY you want to create this habit – what the outcome will be and how it will benefit you.
Be really specific. E.g. If I go for a 15-30 minute walk every day it will improve my physical and mental health, keeping me active on a daily basis. This benefits my productivity, energy levels, mental clarity and how well I sleep – it’s great for my health and will help me create great progress with my business goals. Now I know why I truly care about forming this habit, it’s 10x easier to get off my bum and go for that walk!
On the days where the struggle is real – you’re tired, you’re unmotivated, you just feel like giving up – remember your WHY. It will keep you going.
2. Be realistic with your schedule
There is no point attempting to create a habit that doesn’t fit with your lifestyle. Daily habits should be easy and effortless, so make them work for you! Figure out the best way your habit can fit into your day to day schedule.
Back to my walking example – I make the most of my lunch break and get my walk in. Making the most of free time and slotting the habit into my regular schedule. This applies to work hours, shifts, parenting, school or any other responsibilities you might have. Find those pockets of time in your week where a habit can easily fit in.
3. Start small
Success is created from small habits repeated daily.
Small, easy habits are the key to sustainability over time. Don’t overwhelm yourself!
10,000 steps is the ideal step count. At the moment, I come no where near this most days. But what I do know, is I’m starting – because getting started, no matter how small of an inch you progress, is better than being overwhelmed by an unrealistic expectation and falling at the first hurdle.
Start small, and you can always build up from there. Send one email. Write one paragraph. Eat one portion of fruit or veg with every meal. There are loads of examples you can use relating to your goals. Pick a small, easy habit that feels do-able for you.
4. Factor them in as appointments
Whilst you create your habits, treat them with the same importance and urgency as you would a doctor’s appointment, a meeting with a client, a dinner with your friend or a shift at work. If it’s not in the calendar or on the to do list, it’s going to be forgotten or pushed aside. Get it in your calendar and show up! Don’t be a flake to yourself and your goals.
5. 21 Day Challenge
It takes 21 days to form a habit. Challenges are a fun way to add accountability and competition. There are loads of models of this online, particularly with health and fitness, but I’m sure you can find something relevant in your area.
Participate in a group challenge if you need a team behind you to support, or set up your own mini challenge. For me, something as simple as a checklist on my weekly/monthly calendar can be enough to make sure I maintain my habit – not checking off one of those boxes kills me!
Now, I want to hear from YOU!
Let me know in a comment below what healthy habit YOU are trying to create in your daily schedule. I’d also love to hear your feedback on this post, so include the ways in which you’re making your habit fun, easy and sustainable.
Cheers to healthy habits!
Love, Kat x