When people are successful, we often want to know how they do it. Well, the answer is by developing powerful habits that help them achieve their goals. While ultimately we want to develop habits for morning, afternoon, and evening to support us on our path, it can feel overwhelming if we don’t have any of these already in place.
Author, and one of my personal business mentors, Natalie MacNeil, from SheTakesOnTheWorld.com, offers that the easiest way to start is to pick one time of day, and then list out 3-4 things that would constitute an ideal habit list for you to do at that time. For example, my ideal mid-day routine would consist of: eating my lunch consciously with no distractions, taking a 15-20 minute walk or doing some yoga, and a focused work period of 30-60 mins, not necessarily in that order. Taking my example, if I just tried out of the gate to do all 3 things, it would be unlikely that I could do everything every day right away, and I may get discouraged and just give up altogether. So MacNeil suggests to start with just one of those habits for a few days, until you feel comfortable with it. That way, you feel you can positively achieve part of your goal, and you feel motivated to continue building on your habit.
So take a moment and write down a time of day that you’d like to establish some habits, and then list the 3-4 habits you’d want to practice. Choose one of those to start, and practice it for around a week before you think about adding another habit.
Need some motivation along the way? MacNeil also suggests using an app or even a chart with gold stars you give yourself. There are many apps out there; I chose to use Habitica to track mine. Maybe I’m revealing a bit of my inner dork here, but I grew up on video games, and loved our Sega Master System 8 bit style quest games. Habitica makes your habits into one of these quest style games to help motivate you. You create your avatar, and set up your habits, and then as you practice them, you earn gems and coins and so forth. If you don’t do your habits, you lose health and while I haven’t done it yet, I’m guessing you can kill your avatar. Guilt has prevented me from totally killing my avatar so far though, and it’s that guilt that keeps me motivated to practice my habits! Plus, the more stuff I earn, the more things I can buy and I can get pets and go on quests and all sorts of cool stuff. It could end up super complicated, I’m not sure, since I just recently started using the app, but if you’re a little nerdy like me, that could be a great app for you!
Don’t want to do quests? Productive is an app used and recommended by MacNeil’s community manager for their program The Conquer Club, Kelly Azevedo. It is definitely a little more straight forward. If neither of those resonate for you, or they are not available on your OS, then type in “habit tracker” in your app store and plenty will show up. Just make sure to read the fine print because many only come with a free trial and after a certain number of days or habits, you have to pay. Paying can also motivate you, but just know what you are getting into.
I hope these tips have helped- I’d love to hear what you’ve chosen to do and how it goes for you!