If you don’t know this already, habits are powerful things and have a massive impact on our lives, so it makes sense to follow good habits, doesn’t it? And there are numerous ways that will show you how to develop good habits.
Take a look on Amazon or in your local bookstore and you’ll see many books with “21 days” somewhere in their titles. In many of these titles, it has to do with some form of positive or good habit that the author is going to try to help you accomplish to change your life for the better.
Most of these authors will tell you this number is based on scientific studies. Whether this is true or not is irrelevant. On a personal note, I believe that 30-60 days is much more likely to succeed in instilling habits that last a lifetime.
When you perform the same tasks repeatedly for 21 days, they will start to become a routine. The problem with setting a hard number to this is that people may abandon it after they reach the threshold. In other words, if you do something every day for 21 days, after the 21st day, you may feel as though you accomplished the task and move on, but it is easy to “forget” your new habit and slip back into old habits if you aren’t careful.
A better approach for adopting new habits is to set up a plan that is longer term. Have milestones for the short term but project out for a much longer period. This way when 21 days passes, you still have a game plan to reference. This gives you something to shoot for after that time.
Another tip is to find people who are trying to form the same habits as you. Create times when you can all talk together, either in person or via some conferencing solution. It’s easier than ever to do this with the Internet. The members of this group can discuss what has worked for them and what has not been successful. Avoid the unsuccessful tasks. Try to keep the groups small. Large groups will force many members to become complacent and defer to the stronger personalities.
Being a member of a group gives you motivation, but perhaps, more importantly, it gives you accountability because you can make your goal public in the group and you won’t want to let them down, and they will push you to achieve it.
Here are 5 steps to developing good habits.
1. Start Off Small
It’s natural to want to make big changes to your life as quickly as possible but this is a mistake that many people make. They take on more than they can handle and become frustrated with lack of progress and eventually give up.
Does this sound familiar?
Instead, try to break down your big goal into smaller chunks and keep going until you can identify small daily tasks that you know you can achieve, and this will inspire you to keep going. It all adds up, and you will reach your goal in next to no time and you can have fun along the way 🙂
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I also have a nice infographic that you can view all about enjoying your journey 🙂
2. Get Crystal Clear
When deciding on which habit you want to instill in yourself, you need to get crystal clear on what it is, and what the desired end result is. There is no room for vagueness here. If you don’t know exactly what you want, then you will not stick to it, plain and simple.
Visualise what you want to achieve and be intentional. Use If/Then types of scenarios to trigger you to take action, such as “If I’ve got out of bed, then I’ll do 10 pushups before breakfast. This way, getting out of bed can act as a trigger for you to reinforce the habit you are trying to instill.
In a similar vein, you can simply add your new habit into your daily schedule. If it is important to you, then it is important enough to be put into your calendar and using online calendars, they can send you a reminder a few minutes before time. Simple, but very powerful.
3. Reward Yourself
Human nature means that we are so much better at berating ourselves over something we haven’t achieved, rather than rewarding ourselves for something we have achieved.
You want to flip this behaviour on its head and reward yourself for even the smallest of wins.
If you don’t reward yourself, you won’t be motivated to keep going (willpower simply isn’t enough), so use rewards as a positive reinforcement to encourage you to stay the course.
Whenever you reward yourself for making progress, you activate the “reward areas” in your brain.
This releases some key chemicals, such as dopamine, serotonin and endorphins, which make you experience feelings of achievement and pride. These emotions, in turn, empower you to take action and create bigger successes in the future.
4. Use your environment
Many psychologists will tell you that your environment can have a huge impact on the way you think and feel, so you need to use this you your advantage.
For example, Have you ever walked into your kitchen, spotted a plate of cookies on the counter, and eaten them just because they were in front of you without even thinking about it? Come on, admit it 🙂
The good thing is that we can use the environment to trigger good habits too, so what can you do to accomplish this?
Do you watch too much TV in your living room when you know you should be reading? Why not put a book on the chair where you sit, and put the remote control on the other side of the room? A simple enough thing to do, but you are much more likely to reach for the book, than get up off the sofa to grab the remote!
5. Go Public
I have already mentioned the power of accountability by going public, but you can also take this a step further by pre-committing to your habit publicly and attaching a penalty for not sticking to it.
This could be feeling guilty if you promise to meet someone at the gym and you don’t show up.
Or it could be financial, by paying that person an amount of money whenever you don’t show up. This can be a powerful motivator to stick to your guns.
So, there are 5 simple steps you can take to form new habits in yourself. However, if all else fails, you can seek professional help. There are plenty of coaches and mentors available to give you some guidance.
Make sure your coach and you both know what is expected of each other and have any provisions in place before you get started in case it doesn’t work out.
However, hopefully by following the 5 steps in this article, you won’t need a coach 🙂
So, what habit are you going to start building today?
If you search the Internet for quotes about success and/or failure, you’re pretty much guaranteed to come across this one:
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
This was alleged to have been said by Sir Winston Churchill but there is no evidence that he actually said such a thing, but the sentiment is a good one.
Do you believe that failure is not fatal?
You can’t let failure, or more accurately, fear of failure, hold you back from pursuing the life of your dreams.
Either that, or you chose something that was too easy to accomplish, and you got it right first time. If you continually look for the easy way, you may not be living up to your full potential. Eventually, you are going to be confronted with something you find difficult to accomplish, and you may even fail at it.
Living within your comfort zone is a nice, safe place, but you need to venture outside it if you ever want to grow to reach your true potential.
Most people look down at their failures and consider themselves losers when they happen. They look at the profiles of successful people and think that only those people are good enough to make things happen. What they don’t see, is the failures all of those successful people went through before experiencing their successes.
There are many instances of this. Just look at Thomas Edison, or more recently, Sylvester Stallone. These people overcame massive rejection and failure, but did they stop? No, and they went on to achieve great things in their lives.
But people never see the failures and obstacles they went through; they just see the success that they have accomplished – in fact, they often view these people as “overnight successes” when nothing could be further from the truth!
Why not try to view failure as a gift instead? It is something you can use to figure out what went wrong. When you observe your steps, you may find that it was a minor flaw in what you attempted. Others would simply give up saying it is too hard.
Of course, you need to hold the belief that what you want to accomplish is possible. If you don’t truly believe this, the chances are that you will keep failing over and over again and never arrive at a solution.
But, if you are confident what you want to achieve can happen, then you must be determined to stop at nothing to make it so. This is what differentiates successful people from unsuccessful people; the willingness to keep going in the face of adversity, and an unwavering belief that they can and will succeed.
Another way to look at failure is this; consider your failures to be a learning process for your projects. As long as you spend the time figuring out what you were trying to do, and analyzing why it didn’t work, you are gaining valuable insight into the problem. Keep going with your efforts even if you fail thousands of times. Hold true to your belief in the project and stop at nothing to get it done.
You may have heard of the phrase “Fail forward fast” and this is what you need to keep in mind whenever you fail; it is just a part of the journey, and not the ultimate destination UNLESS you allow it to be!
If there is any formula for success, it can all be boiled down to an unwavering belief in the possibility of the project happening, as well as being tenacious in your efforts to bring it to fruition. In this way, you should never put yourself down for failing. In fact, you should expect it and embrace it. Be suspicious if it doesn’t happen.
It’s sad that most people don’t have the self-compassion for failure. These people try once or twice and then give up thinking that whatever goal they were trying to accomplish just wasn’t not meant to be. If only they gave it a few more thousand or so tries.
It’s easy to give up, and the human mind will always look for the path of least resistance and try to convince you that giving up is best for you.
But is it really?
Of course, it isn’t. If you can only push through the pain and disappointment of failing and stop beating yourself up and allowing yourself to feel self-compassion, that all is not lost, then you could achieve so much more that you are currently.
I believe in you and that everybody has the capacity to become successful and the best versions of themselves. The trouble is that most people just don’t believe in either their ability to succeed, or (even worse) that they don’t believe that they are worthy of success.
With unconscious thoughts like these whizzing around your head, is it no wonder that people struggle from one thing to the next.
Failure is a part of success; you can’t have one without the other, so you need to embrace failure and enjoy the journey you are on to achieving your goals.
Whenever you encounter failure, it is okay to feel sorry for yourself. Most gurus will tell you to “man up” and “get over it” but that isn’t always the smart approach. I am telling you that it is okay to feel sorry for yourself, to feel dejected and frustrated. But also understand that it is a process and you can learn from it, adjust and keep going.
Achieving goals should be a lifelong process and you will fail so many times along the way but as long as you can keep the end goal in mind, you can pick yourself up, embrace the process and enjoy the journey you are on to success.
If you want to know more about how you can “enjoy the journey” then I encourage you to check out this cool training that can help you to do just that. You can find out more here: warr.pro/Journey-Full
At some point during your life, you may be put in a situation where you need to start over. Whatever the reason you find yourself in, setting goals for your new way of life is going to help you tremendously. It could mean the difference between making it work and stagnating. Pursuing the right goals can give you a boost in confidence that change is positive. This is crucial when contemplating starting over.
When starting over, you want to explore as many avenues as possible to see what may work for you. Take advantage of any training that may help you discover what direction you want to take. Setting up solid goals is going to help reduce your risk of becoming discouraged. This is a common affliction with people who are starting over. Writing down your goals and referring to them will ease your mind by showing you there is something to strive for.
While it is a scary proposition to start over, it can also be a time for encouragement. You can think of it as a fresh new outlook on your life and with that comes exciting new experiences that may have been missing from what you were doing before. Think back to when you first started out in your previous situation. Your memories are probably filled with looking forward to going to work each day as you were learning something new. This can happen again for you.
Whatever you want to achieve in life or business, you need to have a clear vision of where you are heading. Without this, how on earth are you going to know if you are on the right track or straying from your path?
Setting clear, distinct goals is like looking down the barrel of a rifle and can ensure that you are ALWAYS aiming in the right direction and keep you on track.
Having a clearly defined path also give you “stickability” because when you encounter obstacles (and you will) it will help you to remain focused on where you need to go.
Without this level of clarity, you are much more likely to give up when the going gets tough and that is doing you a disservice because you deserve the rewards that your goals will give you.
The power of goals shouldn’t be underestimated and they should be set and re-evaluated often (especially your short term goals). Use goals to give you momentum, and more importantly, to maintain it, especially when you are going through the major challenges you are going to face.
Stay strong, be resilient and you will succeed; you are just being tested to see whether you really want it and you do, dont you?
Now, sit down right now and set some goals, and take some immediate action; let’s go get ’em!
Often when we set goals, we inadvertently set ourselves up for failure before we even begin! Now, does that make sense to you? Of course it doesn’t but in our haste to have it all, many people set goals that have no basis in reality and are quite simply unattainable. And so you are in trouble before you even get off the ground.
Goal-setting is an incredibly important (and useful) part of the process for anyone who wants to achieve more success and have a richer, more fulfilled life. Realistic dreaming is the precursor to effective goal-setting. Let me explain what I mean by this…
The whole reason behind setting a goal is to accomplish something that is bigger, better, or more advanced in some way than what you have now, or where you are in your life at present. The trouble is that if you set a goal that is simply too big, you will know subconsciously, if not consciously, that you are going to struggle and this creates negativity at the onset, because you will likely be in a state of overwhelm before you even begin! A goal that seems unattainable may very well be that so you need to be aware of this.
Or, it may simply be a case of breaking this big goal into smaller interim goals as guideposts along the way. This is a good practice to get into whatever the size of the goal as it gives you a clear roadmap.
Dreaming realistically sets the tone for the big goals. A bigger home, expensive car, personal bests in any area of your life – those are the big goals, the be-all and end-all. The ultimate prize. But instead of only dreaming of the big stuff, allow yourself to have some goals that come after the initial start, but before the ultimate finish as these are the milestones that will keep you embraced in the journey.
So, if you set a goal to lose 100 pounds, and that’s the big, ultimate accomplishment, set smaller milestone for 10 pounds, 20 pounds, 50…you get the idea. Going from zero to 100 seems like it will take a lifetime and can cause you to doubt that it can be achieved. But going from zero to 10, on your way to 100, seems a much more realistic and attainable scenario.
Realistic dreaming isn’t negatively stating to yourself that you “can’t accomplish a goal that big”, or that “you’ll never be able to do that”. Rather, realistic dreaming is starting from the beginning with logical, realistic smaller goals that will help you to take the action you need to take to achieve the big end goal, while enjoying and learning from the process, as well. This will ensure that you are much more likely to stay the course and reach your eventual big goal.
And don’t forget to reward the small goals you reach along the way. Small successes turn into big achievements, so they shouldn’t be downplayed. In fact, just the opposite – even the small successes should be celebrated big time!
Start your goal-setting from the very beginning with realistic dreaming, and you’ll find that you reach your end goals easier, and you enjoy the process that much more.
When you are on the goal setting journey, you WILL suffer from the inevitable setbacks. Those setbacks are a normal part of the process of expanding and growing as a person and should be treated as such. Easier said than done, right?! Being able to endure setbacks, and even embrace them as a valuable learning experience, will go a long way towards making the process of achieving your goals faster and easier.
When we deny the setbacks, we are also denying the opportunity to learn from the lessons they have to offer. If we resent these temporary road blocks, we can create our own misery and lose momentum. This often begins with stories in our heads telling ourselves about the way things “should be”. Anybody who sets out to achieve a goal will already have a story and a narrative in their mind describing exactly how they want things to go, and how they feel things should work.
Any setback that you encounter will inevitably challenge this story, so the key is to create a flexible story that can be challenged without falling completely apart. The key is in adjusting your sails so that no matter what is thrown at you, you can come back.
Become stronger and smarter about the process than you were before.
These lessons will also sort the wheat from the chaff and show you your mettle so you’ll learn what you’re made of! You’ll see how quickly you can come back and whether you can come back with enthusiasm and determination. You’ll learn whether the desire for the end goal is strong enough to carry you through the challenges that occur. And remember that everyone has these challenges, and only those who are able to rise above them will succeed.
It’s okay for you to decide that the goal isn’t worth the trouble, but you need to be honest with yourself and absolutely clear that you’re not simply giving up because things got rough! Nothing worth doing ever came easy, and when you consider all the things you’ve done in your life, haven’t the really rewarding things you’ve accomplished all come with a bit of challenge?
Think of the stories you’ll be able to tell about the problems that arose, and how you solved them and rose above them! This can be very motivating and inspirational to those around you, as well, so your journey isn’t really just your own. There is a ripple effect that is important to consider as well. You can become a role model of success for your friends and family to aspire too; how’s that for stroking your ego?!
It is a great thing to set goals and start off on the journey towards their achievement, so long as you’re aware that you’ll need flexibility to endure the hard times, and the motivation and momentum to bounce back and get back on the proverbial horse again!
There is no greater pleasure than achieving a goal, and when the journey there has allowed you to grow as a person, it’s an even sweeter ending. So grit your teeth, knuckle down and keep grinding until you get there, but also allow yourself to enjoy the process and reward yourself when you do overcome these obstacles! Keep hustling!
Goal setting may appear to be a rather intuitive process that results in you reaching some sort of achievement. But you need to follow a few specific rules regarding your goal setting to make the process much more efficient, and ultimately effective in helping you reach a successful conclusion!
Set Yourself Up for Success From The Start
Everyone should have big goals as they are incredibly motivating and it is a chance for you to see the future in advance! The end goal, the big one, can be as big as you’d like, but make sure that’s not the only goal you set as it can appear to be overwhelming and this can cause you to start procrastinating and stop taking action, thus losing momentum.
Break your big goal down into smaller interim goals as they will appear to be much more achievable and will help to smooth the road to success. It can easily become too overwhelming to set one goal of “I will buy a bigger home next year” (although this can be an excellent end goal)!
Break that big goal down into smaller, more readily achievable goals such as; “Pay off all credit card debt”, “save 20% down payment”, and “raise credit score”. Achieving these smaller goals will keep you motivated and this really sets you up for success in your major end goal!
Set Realistic Goals
If buying a house next year just isn’t going to happen, don’t set yourself a goal that big, or you’ll only be setting yourself up for failure from the start and this may cause you to feel like a failure and disempower you, the exact opposite of what a good goal should be doing! Instead, try to set more realistic goals that you actually have the chance to achieve. It’s ok to dream big, but be realistic in how you are going to reach that big goal.
There are usually many smaller goals that make up large goals, and there’s nothing wrong with setting a pace for yourself so that you stay on track. This is definitely preferable to getting overwhelmed and ending up endlessly negatively analyzing your every move. Setting realistic goals will make sure that you achieve them!
The Power Of Visualization And Belief
The goals you set become so much more concrete in your mind when you can also visualize them and believe that you’ll reach them. The first step in effective visualization is to become completely engaged and to put all of your senses into the process. If your goal is a new, larger home, imagine how it feels to walk around in that house with ample room. Visualize yourself making a meal in the large kitchen. You’re surrounded by the sounds of a happy family, the smells of good food cooking and the feeling you have everything needed, organized and at your fingertips.
Utilizing the senses in this way when you visualize will help secure this goal within your subconscious mind, and effectively make it easier to take the actions you need to take to work towards your goals. Your actions will follow your thoughts, so make visualization a part of your daily routine!
In life, in business, in everything, there comes a time when you need to start setting goals, and the journey to those goals must be started; remember the first step is always the hardest. Most people who are striving for success in their lives choose to focus on the goal instead of the journey towards that goal but in doing so, they truly miss out on the myriad lessons to be recognized along the way and are missing out on the joy that comes along with their growth.
When you begin a journey toward a goal, there is always a period of excitement, of renewal, of momentum and motivation. And when you accomplish the end goal, there is a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment. The starting point and the ending point are to be celebrated, but so is the journey in between!
To ensure that YOU don’t miss out on the many lessons along the path from start to end, here is a helpful little technique for you to use:
Depending on the goal you have set, whether it be weight loss, business-related, better relationships…it really doesn’t matter…keep a journal of the process you are going through.
Keeping a written journal of some kind (this may be paper and pen, or online) can really help you identify thought and behavior patterns, positive and negative habits, and can help you discover things about your thinking and the actions you take. Some of these things will be obvious to you – no surprise there. But you may learn some things about yourself that will come as a complete surprise, and herein lies those valuable lessons.
By learning what works, what doesn’t work, how you tend to react to when things go well and when they do not, you begin to learn to adjust your course based on where you are at that moment. And being “in the moment” is a life lesson that can’t be underestimated!
When you really take the time to sit down and analyze the how and why of your journey, you can learn some incredibly valuable lessons about your action and reaction. And once you have learned these lessons, they can be used in all areas of your life to help you create and achieve even higher, stronger, more important goals. Once you have identified your strengths and weaknesses, you can use that knowledge to your advantage and ensure that you always try to play to your strengths and avoid your weaknesses. This will skyrocket your chances of success now and in the future!
But, the thing is, if you are blissfully unaware of the intricacies of your journey, you will never know this as you will be missing these incredibly valuable insights and lessons.
So, if you can keep your eye on the goal while you are on your journey, this will help you to reach those successes that you are after much quicker! So, go and set your goals, and keep one eye on the journey and enjoy the process!
One of the most important steps that you can do in the goal setting process is to give your mind a positivity makeover. You know that being positive is important right? So doesn’t it make sense to create an environment of positive thougth and feelings that surrounds you every single day to move you forward and also make you feel great?
But this can be easier said than done and how exactly can you surround yourself with positivity? Well, I have some good news for you; it isn’t really all that difficult at all! If you just follow a few simple steps you will boost your feelings of posititvity and this will support you on your journey towards your goals. Here are just a few of the steps you can use!
Remove Any Obvious Negativity Immediately
What do I mean by this; well the answer is twofold. It could be the things you surround yourself with but it could also be the people you surround yourself with. They are both equally important to the larger journey you’re on. If you have things around you that instantly conjure up negative emotions, get rid of them, or at least get them out of your immediate surroundings.
If you are surrounded by negative people, it can be very difficult to break free from that mold and live a positive life. This takes some deep introspection, and you must be willing to remove these people as much as possible from your immediate surroundings. Now, I do understand that this can be incredibly difficult, especially if some of these people are your close friends. But be honest with yourself and ask “what are they really bringing to my life; do they enrich or impoverish it?” You need to find the courage to remove these negative influences fast and, believe me, the reward you will immediately gain will be very obvious once you’ve accomplished it.
Clutter stresses most people out, and the last thing you need when trying to cultivate a life of positivity is negative stress. So get rid of the clutter!
Clean off and organize all “horizontal surfaces” – tabletops, desks, counters, windowsills. These are generally problem areas in the battle against clutter.
But how do I decide what gets thrown away? Easy! Hold the object. Does it evoke a joyful feeling, a happy memory? If it does, great but if it doesn’t it is time to get rid of it. Your life is far too short to hold onto things simply because you feel you “should”, or because someone bought it for you and you feel obligated to keep it.
Those areas that typically house a lot of “stuff” should be organized, with a place for everything, and everything in its place. Your desktop is a perfect example – it’s much easier to sit down and work when you have a clear, positive space in which to do so!
Stack The Positivity!
The final part is to start adding in positive things to your environment. Art, music, living plants, or maybe even a small, calming aquarium! By adding things to your surroundings that you love and enjoy, you’ll have a much more positive experience when in those surroundings. Your productivity will increase, and you’ll be well on your way to those end goals!