Research shows that 40% of the actions we take are governed by habit not actual decision (Neal et. al. 2006). I use the power of habit to get me going each morning. The first few things I do in the morning are completely powered by habit. I wake up go potty, brush my teeth, pick out an outfit for the day, put away the dishes from the night before, fold laundry from the dryer, put another load in and set the timer for when I want it to start, and turn on the coffee pot before I jump into the shower. I built that auto-piloted routine through a series of minor tweaks over time that have made a world of difference in how I set myself up for a successful day.
Developing a new habit is about putting a small piece of your life on auto-pilot. As we consistently perform a new activity we start to move a behavior from deciding to perform or to not perform an activity into an subconscious performance. We build new neuro-pathways in our brain that incorporates that new habit automatically. All of a sudden we stop beating ourselves up for not having our act together and notice that we have (and can build more) processes that sustain us. And most importantly we develop a track record of success.
Consistently building new habits allows you to or add to your track record of success and demonstrates that you can do anything you set your mind and intentions to. Even if your habit is to make your bed every morning the process of turning this from a challenge to a success will show you that you can obtain anything you focus on. Every time you see that well made bed before starting the rest of your day you will consciously and subconsciously tell yourself that you are successful and will apply those same success processes to other areas of your life.
Each day in the month of October I will blog about creating a new habit and share my application of these tips as I create one better habit that supports my blogging goals. I invite you to join me on this journey by deciding on a new habit that would support you on your journey towards a goal in your life.
This month I have selected to re-add blogging to my morning rituals. I am completing my Certification in Applied Positive Psychology and the relaunch of this blog is my final project. There are other areas I will be applying the new training, but this blog has been near and dear to my heart. I took down all previous posts so I can make sure all are as accurate to the current science and findings in this field. Many of those post will be updated and re-posted in the future.
The habit I will put on auto-pilot is to wake up 3 hours before I need to be anywhere to give myself an hour every morning to “be a blogger.”
You may be asking “if you want to blog why not just make your habit to blog?”. I considered that but putting blogging on auto-pilot did not sit well with me. I want to be a fully conscious blogger. (I know it is a play on words, but our words send messages to ourselves and others – I’ll blog more about this another day). To get me writing again I want to auto-pilot into my chair with time and energy to blog, so a supporting habit sits better with me.
What is your biggest goal? Or what is the goal closest to your heart right now? Let’s build a habit that supports your goal. Share your goal and supporting habit in the comments section then join me here each day of October for another tip, or bit of coaching, that will bring both of us closer to the achievement of our goals.