Why do we do the same thing over and over when we KNOW it does NOT work!
Forming New Habits: Change What Doesn't Work.
Why are you still doing what you know doesn't work? Is it because it feels safe, you feel comfortable with the same old process that still isn't working for you? Or have you tried to convince yourself that, maybe just maybe this time it will work?
Unless you step out of your comfort zone and into that scary place, you will continue to get the same results.
Once you have created some simple habits to change in your life, take a step back, and look at the results so far. This is where you can decide if you will continue with this habit, or if it might be time to call it quits, or just adjust part of it.
When a New Habit Doesn't Work
To start with, every new habit you start is not going to be something you stick with forever. There are some that absolutely will and will probably change your life for the better. But just like other things you attempt in your life, they are not all going to be perfect from beginning to end.
It is okay to take a step back, consider where you are, and whether or not your new habits are working for you. This doesn't mean you chose a bad habit, but that it doesn't work for you personally, for your schedule, your lifestyle, or where you are right now in your life. Remember that your priorities and goals can change as you go through life, and it's okay for your habits to change along with them; as a matter of fact, if you are growing so should your personal habits, right?
Did You Give it Enough Time?
Before you decide to ditch or change one of your new habits, give it enough time. The number of times changes depending on the type of pattern and your personal goals, but 30 days is a reasonable amount of time. This is long enough where it became something you did every day, and should have gotten to a point where you didn't even have to think about it.
However, if you have been doing one habit for two months, and you still don't see any benefits from it, or it still feels like pulling teeth every time you get up to do it, then maybe it isn't the right one for you.
Tracking Your Progress and Making Changes
This is why tracking your new habits is so important. You can actually see how long you have been doing it if you have been consistent, and in what ways it is benefiting you. If you start a new job and put in the work, you expect to be paid for your efforts. The same can be said for when you work extremely hard on a new habit or goal, and it just doesn't pay off in the end. You want to choose practices you can keep track of, and that will have some form of positive benefit for you.
Why is creating new habits even important?
Creating habits, whether it is an eating habit, sleeping habit, work out habit, or work habit. This sets the base of your daily routine and becomes a system you depend on to move you closer to your goals, but mostly a habit is something that is driving you to those goals without you even being aware of it.
Let me share a bad habit I had in high school that once I broke affected me my entire adult life. I hated mornings in high school, I mean seriously when you are a growing teenager, sleep seems to be a priority, that you never seemed to get enough of.
Every night when I went to bed, I had a “habit” of setting my alarm clock, so I would be able to wake up and get to school on time. I would sit in my bed counting off the amount of time; I would get to sleep, how long I needed to get ready and get myself to school, and then what that moment came to set the clock. I would set it 30 min ahead of the time I needed to get this all done. That gave me two 15-minute snooze buttons. By the way in each night when I went to sleep, I told myself the snooze was just back up. I had every intention of getting up when the first alarm went off.
Never happened; each morning, I used both snooze buttons. How many of you hit your snooze button, and plan for that when you are setting your alarm? Doesn't even seem like a big deal right? Later in life, after using that snooze button for years, I was sitting in a lecture, and the speaker asked us to raise our hands if we used the snooze button every morning, my had shot up! He looked around the room and shook his head, and began to tell all of us with our hands proudly waving in the air that we had set ourselves up for failure!
I saw all the hands around me quickly dropping. We had set ourselves up for failure. We all had expected to fail when setting our alarm clocks the night before; we planned ahead to fail. We set up our safety net not once but in some cases 2 to 3 times, and by doing this, we are setting ourselves up for failure first thing in the morning.
I immediately went home and started to create a new habit in the morning, one that started me off on a successful day. It took me a couple of weeks to break the habit of hitting that snooze button but making sure I didn't give myself that cushion and sticking to the plan changed the way I started my mornings through college, raising my children and even now when setting my intentions for my day.
Habits are nothing more than patterns our body becomes so accustomed to; it starts to do it without even having to think about the process. Imagine if you could add one new positive habit you want to incorporate in your life four times a year. That only one new habit a quarter. Maybe that habit is drinking more water, and you are going to add one 8oz glass of water to each meal? If you only had three meals a day, that would be 90 8oz glasses each month more than you were drinking before.
I would love to know more about the changes you would like to see in your life. Habits you might want to break but those habits you want to bring into your life. Life-changing habits that set you up for success and moving you closer to your life goals. Something as simple as not hitting my snooze button completely changed the way I think about success and failure and what I want to incorporate into my lifestyle.