As we’ve previously discussed, creating new habits isn’t easy. You could try these six simple hacks that may well make it a little easier for you. You can use them until you’ve internalized your new habit and don’t need them anymore.
Can you piggyback the new habit on an established habit?
If at all possible, stack your new habit on top of one that’s already firmly in place. For example, if you have a regular cup of coffee or tea at the same time every day and you’re trying to get more exercise, put the new habit in place by exercising and then having that cup of tea or coffee.
In my experience, it’s so much easier to bolt a new habit onto an existing habit. Thus, you create an entirely new ritual for yourself.
Make slip ups expensive
Remember the old swear jar at the office? Here’s a new spin on an old idea. Put a container somewhere prominent in the house and every time you slide back into your old habit or fail to implement the new one you have to put a large sum of cash in the container. It’s mighty motivating to see a large amount of cash accumulating--especially if you know you have to give it to your partner to spend on themselves--or you could donate it to your favourite charity.
Schedule it--put it on the To-Do List
Have you ever forgotten that you’re trying to implement a new habit? This hack will help. You know I’m all about the schedule.
Write it down and it won’t get forgotten. Once your new habit is part of your daily list of things to do, it will soon become automatic.
Be accountable--tell someone else
Tell your family and friends about the new habit that you’re trying to establish. Friends and family are always happy to hold you accountable if you don’t stick to your plan. They’re also fantastic at encouraging you to get you back on track.
If you’re really feeling brave, you may even go as far as sharing it publicly on social media, or if you’re a writer (like me) you could share your journey in a blog or an article. Just knowing that other people have read your declaration (I can attest) is usually enough to keep you on track when you feel like giving up.
Find a partner in crime and help each other
This is similar to being accountable to someone else--except this time, you find someone who actually wants to achieve the same goal that you want to achieve.
I have writing friends and we meet weekly to help each other meet our word count for the week. It’s incredibly motivating and a win-win for everyone.
My friends are depending upon me to turn up and I’m depending on them to be there too. No-one wants to be the one to let the other down.
Make it a group challenge
I have often been quoted as saying, “one is never enough” and it’s like that for accountability partners.
Get a group together.
It works. It really does.
You don’t even have to meet in person. You can meet online or via social media and still be accountable to each other.
Challenge each other to stick to your plan for a whole month. A great example of this (for writers) is Nanowrimo -- National Novel Writing Month. Hundreds of people are accountable to each other for writing the first draft (or 50,000 words) of their novel in the month of November.
I can assure you, plenty of words get written that month and that’s the power of the group.
Give one of two of these simple hacks a try. Find the one that works best for you and keep at it. You’ll find that you’ve made those ‘new’ habits into ‘old habits’ before you know it.
Lots of Love,