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Creating a New Habit - Lessons Learned

Creating new habits starts with the small stuff first. These small changes can really add up and create some big wins. I look at my morning routine as an example and where I started about 8 years ago to what it looks like now.Here are some things that I learned during this process.

Learning #1: It is easier to add something new than to take something away.

Learning #2: Get clear with the reason you have set this habit, in the first place. This will make it easier on those tough days to get back into it if you have that clarity. It does not hurt to write your reason down and have it placed somewhere visible too. Learning #3: These healthy habits need to be for you and what you need for yourself. What everyone else is doing may not resonate to you. Find things that make you feel good and look forward to doing. Learning #4: Focus on one thing at a time and be patient before introducing the next new habit. Allow yourself to explore the ebbs and flows of your newly added habit and make any tweaks as you go. Making sure that you are successful and consistent in the first habit will bring greater success to whatever is next. Learning #5: When building up new habits smaller sticks better. When I decided I wanted to wake up earlier each morning, getting up 1 hour earlier was not working at all for me. When I decided to try setting my alarm clock only 5 minutes earlier instead and focus on just doing that consistently, it made adding another 5 minutes a couple weeks down the road seem like a piece of cake. Then I started wanting more which was a completely different energy than when I jumped in deep with a full 1 hour. I kept adding 5 minutes over a span of 1 year where now my morning routine is about 2.5 hours. (Now some mornings do not always work out like this but I am now at a point in this habit that I get many more days with this than I do without.) Learning #6: Not everything is going to workout like you planned. Get curious when something does not work, what is the actual root cause? As an example, when I was starting to struggle with the longer morning routines, I realized I needed to go to bed earlier. You will have to evaluate what you need and is important. So, allow yourself the compassion to tweak, change or even remove a habit completely if you cannot make it work. Sometimes change can better get better results. Learning #7: Should make an effort to protect your healthy habits but also be mindful that as we age and change, along with the world too, your habits may also have to evolve.

So, what is it that you are needing for yourself? Take a good honest look at your habits and get clear with your why.

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