Habits make a HUGE difference in so many areas of life.
I built a new habit this week of leaving my phone in the bedroom from 7 – 9pm each night. I actually wrote instructions for this on piece of yellow paper and stuck it on my fridge (a place I visit a lot).
7 – 9PM. NO SOCIAL MEDIA. PHONE IN BEDROOM. IAIN / DENNIS / READ 🙂
(Iain is my boyfriend and Dennis is my cat, FYI)
Already made a really positive difference.
This week I’ve spent less time flitting back and forth between social media apps and notifications. And a lot more time being present enjoying the company around me or peacefully reading a book.
I log back on from 9-9.30 to answer comments on posts and respond to messages from clients, then the phone goes in flight mode and we wind down for bed.
If you find yourself distracted and losing time to unproductive scrolling I highly recommend putting your phone in another room for set times of the day.
The book Atomic Habits by James Clear is fantastic for learning and forming better habits.
Here’s some tips and ideas I’ve picked up from it.
Write your specific intention.
What habit do you want to create exactly?
Get really specific here – this will help you know exactly what’s happening and be able to follow it through.
What will you do, at what time and where?
- I will walk for 30 minutes on my lunch break each day
- I will drink 2 litres of water each day – 1 litre at home and 1 litre at work
- I will fill half my plate with vegetables in the kitchen at dinner each night
- I will do 5 minutes of yoga stretches at 9pm in the living room
Being realistic is extremely important too – notice these habits above are not extreme. A habit should feel doable right from the start – if you’re not at least 8 out of 10 confident that you can do it, make it easier.
Create an obvious cue.
This will of course help you remember to do your habit when you get caught up in busy daily life.
If you don’t see the cue, you’ll probably forget to consistently take the action needed to form the habit.
Here are some ideas:
- To help you walk more – a post it on your desk at work, or have your trainers next to you.
- To drink more water – have a litre bottle on your desk and at home that you must get through.
- To fill half your plate with veg – you could buy an ‘eat well’ plate where portions are marked on, or stick a note on the fridge and tell your family for extra accountability.
- To do yoga – have your yoga mat in the living room and an alarm set on your phone.
Track your habit
This can be really motivating. Get a calendar and cross off each day you complete your habit.
I have a habit tracking checklist I give to clients – send me a message if you’d like that and I’ll email it to you.
The goal is to create a chain that you don’t want to break until the habit becomes ingrained.
If you miss a day, that’s ok, then just make sure you never miss twice.
Get back on it the next day and you’re winning.
Remember you don’t have to be perfect, just consistent.
Make it attractive.
Our brains like to do things that make us feel good.
Find a way to make your habit more attractive, and you’ll be far more likely to repeat and ingrain it.
- For walking – buy yourself a nice comfy or cool-looking pair of trainers.
- For drinking more water – you could get a really nice bottle to use that you enjoy keeping with you (Chillys bottles look great, keep drinks cold and are eco-friendly)
- For vegetables – buy veg you like and experiment with different colours so it looks good on your plate. Keep a bag of frozen mixed veg in the freezer so it’s always easy to do.
- For yoga – get yourself a good quality yoga mat, and play a song you love while you do it.
Make it satisfying
For extra incentive you could plan a reward for when you stick to habits and do things well.
Some ideas here could be to book a massage, beauty treatment, or buy yourself a new item of clothing.
Keep track of your progress and the benefits – energy, weight loss, better sleep, less aches, feeling fitter and healthier – all amazing and super satisfying too.
To sum up…
These are your questions to consider (I’d highly recommend physically writing down your answers):
What is your specific habit going to be? When and where will you do it?
How can you make it obvious?
How can you make it attractive?
What easy method can you use to keep track of it?
How can you make it satisfying?
I hope this helps 🙂