Say you had an enlightening coaching session. Whereby at the end you were crystal clear on your next steps. You had a plan and knew what resources are available to you. But your coaching session also highlighted few habits that can pose as obstacles for you.
Habits impact our state of mind, which in turn impact our decisions and our behaviors. According to research, 21 days is a fair estimate of how long it takes for a behavior to change.
So how do we go about making changes to unhealthy habits? And more importantly, how do we make good habits stick? Below, I offer six tips to help replacing bad habits with good ones.
1. Make It Known
First and foremost, inform your loved ones of the habits you want to change and ask them to hold you accountable. This will make them ambassadors to your plan and encourage you on your path. Make sure to communicate with those who have your best interest at heart.
2. Remove Triggers
Observe and analyze your habits to find out what causes them. Your environment, people around you, or particular circumstance can all be triggers to a habit. Identifying triggers can pave the path to eliminating a bad habit.
3. Piecemeal Habits
Tackle one habit at a time starting with smaller habits that are easier to change. Early successes will motivate you to continue the momentum.
4. Plan SMARTLY
Goals are no good unless they are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound). Make sure every goal you set is a SMART one and document your plan including the habits to demonstrate or eliminate. It is not enough to have it in your head.
5. Be Forgiving
Forgive yourself if you slip-up. It is OK to step backwards as long as your next step(s) are forward. The point is to stay focused and adamant to what you are trying to do. Refer to your coaching session and remember the ‘why’ behind each action.
6. Measure & Celebrate
Measure impact of your progress, no matter how small, and celebrate successes. This will put you in a good frame of mind to continue in your journey.
Remember, by controlling our habits, we take control of our lives. For more material on behavioral change, checkout Atomic Habits by James Clear.