If you want to create solid habits that are sustainable, you first need to understand the fundamentals of cultivating habits and how to outsmart the human mind’s tendency to undermine the process of change.
Leo Babuta over at Zen Habits wrote a great article recently on this topic. In it he very clearly lays out the four steps (or habits) to form good, solid, sustainable habits. He does not mind if I refer to (or borrow) some of his ideas and since they’re good ones, I’m doing just that… Read Leo’s full article here.
This is so important. As with anything else worthwile in life, you need to learn the process first. Learn how to study, before you study. Learn how to read, before you can consume books, learn how a vehicle works before you try to drive, and so on. Learn how to create habits first, then creating them will be simpler and more effective.
Mini-Mission: Practice Leo’s four habits of habit formation…
Habit 1: Start Exceedingly Small
“Make it so easy you can’t say no.”
Such a tiny amount of exercise, writing, work, diet change, whatever might seem worthless, but what you doing is laying the foundation.
Habit 2: Be Mindful of Negative Thoughts
“Watch the thoughts. Learn to let them go. Get good at discomfort. Triumph over the childish selfish scared mind.”
We all have those negative undercutting thoughts in our heads, the ones that play on our fears and doubts or tempt us back to our old ways. But here’s the thing…we don’t have to let them dictate our behavior.
Habit 3: Savor the Habit
“Learn to enjoy the habit, and the habit will become its own reward.”
Instead of viewing new habits as necessary torture, or a nasty, chore we detest, look at them as a start on a better life, new experiences, and growth. Better habits should be a good thing, a positive thing. Learn to enjoy them and your progress while creating them.
Habit 4: Have a Plan for When You Falter
“Get in the habit of re-starting when you falter.”
Have a back-up plan, a ‘get back up and keep moving’ plan. Find an incentive, motivation, accountability, and an alternative strategy for when you get stuck or backslide…because you most likely will at some point…we all do.
How do you put these habit-forming habits into practice?
Slowly and simply.
Creating habits is not about who gets there first…it’s about who stays there longest. (My words – Feel free to Tweet that!)
Your thoughts? Share your new habit ideas here or post on our Facebook page! We can support each other…
Just joining us… Find all of the Mini-Missions here…