Welcome to DAY 16! According to most researchers on behavior change you are 2/3 of the way through turning this new habit into an auto-piloted behavior. I am very happy for you (and I) for making the commitment to move forward with this challenge even when it feels awkward and perhaps a little frustrating. A long time ago I heard that frustration is a good thing. And acknowledging that we are frustrated is a good thing. Frustration is our mind searching for the pieces, the meaning, and the process. When we are frustrated and allow frustration into our lives we allow ourselves to find a better way, a better process that serves us better. We allow new answers to surface. If you are still feeling frustration with this goal, but know it is not too big; allow the frustration so the answers can surface over the next week.
Today I want to run through a quick reminder of all the New Habit Tips I have shared so far so you can identify your keys to success. If you have been with me on this challenge for the full 16 days you have read most of these tips and found a few that really spoke to you. Those tips that resonated with you on this journey are your success patterns. These are the tips that you applied, or feel a need to apply, and have been the allies of your new habit. Here is a reminder of the tips and links to their posts if you’d like a reminder or missed any:
Tip 1: Engage All Your Senses. When we engage all our senses we fully experience the benefit we seek. Think in terms of sight, smell, taste, sound and touch. All may not be completely relevant, but incorporate as many as possible to allow yourself to fully embrace the change in a positive manner.
Tip 2: Harness the Power of Consistency. At the heart of habit creation is consistent action. Performing your new habit at the same time, place, and circumstance everyday will move this new action from a place of conscious deliberate action to subconscious routine.
Tip 3: Keep it Simple Sweetie (KISS). A habit supports your goals. Goals are typically bigger and possibly complex. Habits are simple behaviors that done routinely help you move towards your goal. Keeping your new habit to a simple, single faceted act ensures consistent action towards your goals.
Tip 4: Trust the Process of Success. Many scientists have established that it takes 21 days for a new habit to become an established subconscious process. During the early days of new habit building your mind is still figuring out how to make this new habit a part of daily life. There are obstacles and old habits that this new process needs to navigate or bypass. Allow yourself to go through this process of new habit creation and you will establish your own process of success.
Tip 5: Replace Lost Needs. Sometimes a habit we are not all that happy with is actually fulfilling some type of a need. If we are going to make a successful habit change we need to identify that lost need and figure out how to find fulfillment in another way.
Tip 6: Three Zones of Comfort. When it comes to behavior change, goal setting, and new habit creating there are three zones of comfort. One zone will not challenge you or lead to lasting change. One zone will require a lot of effort beyond what is necessary or productive. One zone will require some attention and focus, but the effort will build you and turn your new habit into a comfortable practice.
Tip 7: 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.
Tip 8: Forgive Yourself and Keep Going. One of the most sustaining things we can do is forgive ourselves. Creating a new habit is not about perfection every time, it is about consistent action until the desired habit becomes an auto-piloted daily action. In the early stages of habit creation you may forget to take your desired action, rush through it, or have to make adjustments to it along the way. That is the process of new habit creation, so forgive yourself of your imperfections and keep going.
Tip 9: Check Your Thoughts and Phrases (Use But). What we think and say have a direct impact on how we act. If we think we can or think we can’t, we are correct. Often what we think comes out in our words, and often our surprising words influence our actions. When thinking or speaking about your new habit use the word “but” to transform any negative phrases and thoughts into positive statements that acknowledge your consistent steps towards positive change.
Tip 10: Remove Temptation. If there is something causing you to falter from your habit on a consistent basis, a change of some sorts needs to occur. Either remove the things that tempt you to not create your new habit or rearrange things so the temptation is no longer standing in your way.
Tip 11: Associate with Role Models. There probably are people who have the new habit you are trying to create. Find these people and learn from them. Observe their actions and behaviors. Your habit is a goal achievement strategy, if you find someone who has achieved your goal or one similar, observe them and talk to them about their habits. Which of their habits support them and which would you like to consider for yourself?
Tip 12: Consider this an Experiment. Sometimes when we think we are making a permanent change, we find some internal resistance to the permanency even though it is what we want. Our mind will start to think about the comfort or familiarity of that old habit and tries to convince us that a permanent change is not necessary. If we approach our new habit process as experiments then we can calm the internal struggle. We can give this new habit a try and see what we think about it at the end of the experiment.
Tip 13: Know Your Natural Approach to Challenge. As we go through life we develop our approach to challenge. According to researchers this was not a conscious choice, it just became our preference. Aligning your goals and habits to your preference will ensure the habit you are creating works effectively for you.
Tip 14: Seconds Easier. Making your new habit seconds easier to do will enable you to take action more quickly, the biggest barrier to success and improvement is not knowledge it is action. Making your new good habit 20 seconds easier to do and your old bad habit 20 seconds more difficult to do will put you more naturally on the path of your new good habit.
What are the tips that work best for you? I do not expect you to apply each one to this new habit. I expect you to apply a few that really work for you, discard what does not, and hold a few in your back pocket when you are feeling you need to try something different.
Well I am not done with the tip and we are not done with this new habit process, we are just half way through the month. So please come back tomorrow for another tip and more encouragement to continue on this process.
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