5 Rules of Successful Habit Formation
Updated: Sep 16
You have decided that you want to change your life. You've got a goal in mind. What can you do to ensure that you achieve success? You know that you will need to adopt certain success habits. The following rules will help you ensure successful habit formation.
Success habits don't just happen by accident. They are created by design. Creating a plan will increase the chances of your successfully creating a new habit. Think of the plan as a roadmap. Include your starting point, the final goal, and all the steps along the way. Don't forget to note down potential stumbling blocks and how you will overcome them.
Many people include a vision board in their planning. This is a great way to see what your goal looks like and when placed somewhere that you will see it regularly can reinforce the goal you want to achieve.
You must be committed to your goal of creating a new habit. If you are not committed, then the chances of succeeding in attaining it reduce dramatically. It is important to believe that you will create your new habit and to be able to see yourself doing it.
Write down a positive statement that affirms you have created your new habit. Post it someplace so you can see it.
For example, if you want to create the success habit of waking early then you could write, 'I wake at 5:00 am every day refreshed and ready to start my day. I use my extra time to run for 20 minutes and to eat a healthy breakfast. I spend 30 minutes reading a motivational book because I know that it helps me improve my knowledge and will inspire me. Before I start my work I make sure that I plan my day and make sure that I know which tasks are important for helping me to achieve my goal.'
Self-knowledge is crucial to creating new habits, as well as eliminating old ones.
You need to understand your strengths and weaknesses. It is important to know where you are right now, where you want to be, and what needs to change. If you don't know your "official" strengths, try taking the Clifton Strengths Assessment. I highly recommend it for finding out where you're at. This has been so powerful for me that I even include my top 5 strengths in my email signature.
By knowing yourself you can create a growth mindset. This ensures that you understand that action is important as by taking action you create change which leads to success.
Habits take 21 days to become routine. This means that you need to ensure that you build time into every day to practice your new habit.
To ensure that you complete the full 21 days you need to plan and you need to identify any potential stumbling points that may cause you to want to skip a day. Knowing what might interfere in your daily habit practice ensures that you can put in place plans to overcome it.
A positive mindset is key as is commitment. If you are committed to creating the new success habit and understand why it is important to your overall plans and goals then you will be more able to overcome stumbling points and ensure that you practice your new habit every day until it becomes a routine part of your daily life.
When you set out to create a new success habit you have your plan for how you are going to achieve it and what your life will look like once that happens. Don't forget to build in a reward. Make it something that you really want and value. It doesn't have to be big but it does have to be important to you. By planning a reward when you have created your new habit you will be more emotionally invested in creating the habit.
Write down your reward or get a picture of it and put it somewhere where you will see it every day. This will reinforce the desire to succeed and strengthen your motivation to achieve your goal. This is another place where a vision board can be handy.
By using the five rules above you will be creating a positive mental attitude towards creating a new success habit. Don't try to create too many new habits at once. It is simpler and more realistic to create one new habit at a time.
I have faith that you can do this. Need an accountability partner? Hit me up. I've changed MANY bad habits in my quest for physical and mental health over the last two years.
Rebecca Paciorek is an Online Business Manager specializing in assisting in the growth of your business through traditional and digital means.
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