Research shows that we repeat forty percent of our behaviors everyday. So forty percent of what we do is driven by our habits. Change your habits and you can very well change your life!
A habit is basically a learned pattern of behavior that is repeated so often that it becomes automatic.
For those of you that saw my earlier post, you know that I’ve been reading Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before – a book that provides a number of strategies around creating and changing habits.
In this post, I’m going to outline a very crucial first step that we all need to take BEFORE starting up a new habit.
In the hopes of experiencing similar success, we often try to mimic the behaviors of productive, creative and successful people. In fact, a lot of the advice and strategies for success that exist, ask us to do just that. ‘Do as I do and get the same results’.
What’s the problem with that?
It rarely ever works!
The fact is, no one-size-fits-all solution exists.
What works for one person may not necessarily work for you. Even if it makes sense to use the same strategy, the way it needs to be applied (in order to make it work for YOU) will likely be very different.
I come across this issue in my work every day. New clients come to me for ‘the answer’ that will solve all their problems. The truth? I don’t have THE answer. I have several potential answers. And TOGETHER, through coaching, we will find the one (or combination thereof) that will work for YOU.
After all, aren’t you ONE OF A KIND? Why would you want to be treated like everyone else?
When it comes to forming habits, the same logic applies. When making a change, some people need to start small and take baby steps. Others need to go BIG. Some need external accountability while others resist it. Furthermore, my experience has shown that our preferences differ by the particular situation. For example, I don’t need accountability to go to the gym but I definitely need it to do my monthly expenses. It’s no wonder forming and changing habits can be so hard!
So what should you do?
BEFORE making a change, Identify your core attributes.
Something I frequently tell my clients:
The goal isn’t necessarily to change yourself. It’s to learn about yourself and then work with yourself to achieve the outcomes you desire.
So the goal is to get to know yourself a little better and then to structure your habit to the fundamental aspects of your nature. To put you on a path. A path that works for YOU.
To get you started on this very important first step, I’ve created a handy worksheet that you can use. This will help lay the foundation on which you can build your habit!