Often times we think of habits as being negative: nail biting, skipping breakfast, or binge-watching Netflix. However, the power of habits can be used for good.
Imagine making a habit of flossing your teeth regularly, cleaning 15-minutes every day, or making your bed before you leave for work . . .
Take it one step further: imagine clearing your inbox every day, studying a language, or finally running that half-marathon you've always wanted to run.
The secret behind highly successful people are good habits—things that require hard work, discipline, and consistency. Grit, we know, is the key to success. As psychologists have learned, successful people are not always the smartest; they're simply the ones who are willing to show up every day and put in the work.
So, how do those of us who don't have the natural tendency for grit force ourselves to form a good habit? First, by understanding the process, and then by holding ourselves accountable.
Just like with most things, we have to understand the stages of forming good habits:
1. The Honeymoon Stage -
Just like with relationships, starting a new routine/habit may feel easy, exciting, and like no work is required. While it does have an expiry date, the feel-good beginning is crucial to getting you to commit. Use the enthusiasm to your advantage.
2. The Follow-Through -
As the inspiration wanes, it's important to do the following:
- Recognize that you're in the fighting stage.
- Ask yourself two things: "If I continue this, how will I feel?" and "If I stop this, how will I feel?" Let your own response be your motivator to continue.
- Envision the Future: If you're still struggling, think about your life 2, 3, even 4 years from now. If you've continued with this habit, how do you think your life will look? Will you be better for it?
3. Second Nature -
After a while, you'll find you're in the rhythm of whatever habit you've tried to form. You're bound to come across uncertainty, disruptions, and the illusion that you don't need to continue your habit; if you start to falter, revisit the questions you asked yourself in step 2.
The second-half to habit forming is accountability.
To complement your journey, consider downloading the free, coach.me app.
Depending on your goal/desired habit, you'll find yourself surrounded by thousands of others who are working toward the same things and the possibility of having coaches along the way.
Simply open the app, check in on your habit, and force yourself into becoming a better you.