If you want to become more productive you need to start off by planning good habits that you will find easy to embrace. Habits are a great way to start becoming more productive and more organised. Good habits that is.
So you need to start discarding the bad habits and starting some good habits. But this is not as easy as it sounds. How do you start developing good habits? The first thing you need to do is start planning your future good habits.
Formation of Good Habits
Isn’t it annoying how some people just seem to have the knack of getting things done? They will say something like, ‘I am going to start exercising next year’, and they do!
Yet when you try, it’s quite another matter. You stick to it for a bit and then somehow you seem to stop doing it. It can very easily make you discouraged and frustrated.
You feel that you shouldn’t bother starting something new as you know you won’t stick to it anyway. However, with a bit of planning it is possible to develop good habits that stick. Here are some tips to help you start planning good habits, and keeping them up.
To Maintain Good Habits, Start Small
Most people want to plunge in at the deep end and change things overnight. You probably want to start now and accomplish the end result very quickly. But if you want to be successful, it is best to start small and build up slowly.
Sustaining good habits does take a lot of willpower. Research shows that willpower is like a muscle, once you use it, it gets tired, and when it’s tired it wants to stop.
The solution is to start small without using too much willpower. So if its exercises we’re talking about, instead of plunging into 50 push-ups a day, start with five. It is easier to establish your habit behaviour first. So start with something small that you know you will be able to do without undue pain and stress. Don’t even think about increasing the amounts until what you have started becomes a natural part of you.
You have heard the saying ‘don’t bite off more than you can chew’? Well, this is especially true when planning good habits. Don’t be forced to break the habit because you have chosen something that is very difficult to achieve.
Get Attached to Your Good Habit
Maybe you’ve started a project at the office and worked hard on it. You kind of don’t want to let it go because you think of it as ‘yours’.
Use this mindset to your advantage. Use a visual reminder of the investment you have made into your good habit.
It’s a good idea to get a calendar, with a marker next to it, marking the date you started and watching its progress – with the intention of never breaking the chain.
Plan Your Habit – Are Your Intentions Clear?
Being serious about your new positive habits means cutting out non-serious intentions. Research, once again, shows that you are much more likely to follow through if you have thought through your plans beforehand and you know exactly what you will do and when.
It’s no good saying, ‘I think I will exercise 3 times a week’. You have to actually start doing it, otherwise, you won’t cut it. You have to plan the 3 sessions otherwise you find you only have 2 days of the week left and you haven’t done any exercise session yet.
Reward Good Habits & Celebrate Wins
When you are managing yourself well with your positive habits, reward yourself. Rewarding yourself releases good-feeling chemicals in the brain, feelings of pride and pleasure.
Rewarding your wins empowers you to carry on with your good habits and create bigger wins in the future. It is up to you to decide how to reward yourself. But try and increase the ‘value’ of the reward as the good habit becomes more ingrained or bigger and harder.
To Keep Up Your Good Habits Create your own environment
Many times, our environment is what drives our behaviour. Create your environment and shape it to support your positive habits.
Each of your new habits will require energy to get it done and the more energy and action need to follow it through makes it less likely that you will follow through with it.
Make it easy for yourself to action your new habit. If you want to start eating more healthily, don’t fill the house with chocolate and biscuits. It’s creating the right environment so you can promote the change.
Don’t Start a New Routine Alone – Supporters Will Support You
When you live with, or come into regular contact with, other people, they can impact on your behaviour a lot. For instance, if your best friend becomes obese, you increase the risk of becoming obese yourself by as much as 57%!
Research and experience show us that we kind of feel the same way and even act sometimes the same as the people we spend a lot of time with. That means you need to be with the same kind of people who think like you.
If you want positive things to happen in your life, you can’t surround yourself with pessimists. You need positive people around you who make you feel positive and act positively.
Don’t just spend time with people who are like you. Spend time with people who are similar to how you would like to be.
Set Goals & Be Accountable
Unfortunately, 99% of people who set audacious goals don’t execute them because they don’t plan them out.
You can’t be accountable for positive changes and habits if you haven’t thought, planned and put them into action.
A goal without consequences is just wishful thinking. You need to make positive goals and put stakes on your new habits to hold yourself accountable.
Setting positive goals, and accomplishing them requires energy, commitment, and discipline, plus some really hard work. Do you have what it takes? Of course you do. Start planning those good habits now. Just remember:
- Start small.
- Visual reminder.
- Clear intentions.
- Celebrate wins.
- Conducive environment.
- Supportive supporters.
- Be accountable.
Let us know in the comments section if you have any great tips for planning good habits.