Here we are at Day 8 with our new habits. If you are just discovering the October Challenge you can jump in today with a new habit you want to create. I am blogging daily tips to transform that new habit from a conscious instruction to an auto-piloted routine that supports your goal obtainment.
Today’s New Habit Challenge Tip is…
Set an Anchor. The process of anchoring is associating a sound, phrase, or behavior with a response, typically a desired emotional state. Similar to the pavlovian dog that salivates at the ring of a bell, you can select your own anchors and associate those with specific responses that serve as a reminder or facilitate an emotional state change that helps you perform your new habit.
This is a practice I found is my independent studies of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. I use it the most at work, but will also be using it to help me establish this new habit.
Emotional state change involves changing how you are feeling or what you are focused on. For example, when I am having a difficult time focusing at work I play a particular musical artist who is always on my iPhone. It is an easy listening artist my first fashion industry manager turned me onto in the early ‘90’s, Michael Tomlinson. Within a minute I am focused and in the flow of a project. I started this probably 5 years ago at work and it works like a charm for me.
This last year I was having a difficult time studying, then I read that classical music is suppose to be a good study aid. I tried classical music while I studied, but I was not finding pieces that worked for me. Then I found a classical guitar station on Pandora that did the trick. Now when I am studying I play Pandora’s Classical Lounge Radio. There is a theme here, isn’t there? Music is a great anchor for me.
Music is a great anchor, so are other behaviors, sounds and phrases. The trick is to find one that works for you.
Many people have bedtime routines that trigger their bodies to start preparing for sleep. This can be brushing ones teeth, changing out of their day clothes, relaxing with a cup of tea and a book, prayer, meditation, or other gratitude practices.
You probably have your own anchors and may not even realize it. What are your standard morning routines that signal your body to get ready for your day? When you sit down to blog, do you always sit in the same location with your favorite beverage? Do you start your day in the office with a fresh cup of coffee and e-mail? When you exercise do you have a specific warm up that signals to your body it is time to run? How do you unwind after work? Do you have a glass of wine and look through your mail or catch up on the day’s news before you cook dinner?
We all have a set of behaviors that signal to our subconscious it is time to do something specific. And we all have the capability to consciously create these behaviors.
Consider your specific new habit you are creating this month. How could you anchor this new habit into your life with a specific phrase, behavior, or sound? A few of you have shared the new habits you are creating so let me have a go at a few ideas for anchors that could relate to your new habits.
The new habit of speaking and learning more French so she can be English-Free in 3-months: Perhaps listening to French music in the morning would set the day up to speak and learn more French.
P90X Workout Each Day: Create a consistent time of day for your workout. This could make the preceding event your mental trigger that it is time to workout.
These are just top of mind ideas; obviously the best idea is the one you create that works for you. Give this a try and let me know how it works for you. I would love to hear your feedback.
If you would like support in creating new habits that could increase your life satisfaction consider my FREE Program 30-Days to a New Habit. You can receive the 30 daily action plans via daily e-mails when you send a blank e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org