Are you putting off starting a new habit? Are you struggling with completing your new habit every day? Are you giving up on your habit before it becomes routine?
If you answered yes to any of these questions then you are not alone. It’s not unusual for people to falter when implementing any new habit. In today’s post I will share with you 3 simple tips that you can use to kickstart any habit.
The first tip is to make the new habit so small that it becomes a no brainer.
I mean really, really small. Stupid Small.
Something so small that it will be easy for you to accomplish each day.
I recently added planking to my regular exercise routine. Planking is where you stay in the ‘up’ position of a push up for an extended period of time. It’s a great way to strength your core without putting strain on your back (like a sit-up).
To start this new habit of planking I decided to start with 10 seconds.
10 seconds was really really small. It was Stupid Small.
I figured that 10 seconds was something that I could do easily.
The usual advice that people give here is that once you do 10 seconds, you are already there so you end up doing 20 or even 30 seconds.
This is a huge mistake!
You don’t want to push past the limit you have set for yourself UNTIL you have turned the habit into a ritual.
When you push past your limit to soon you will overextend yourself, moving past your comfort zone.
This triggers your internal resistance and you start coming up with excuses as to why you shouldn’t be doing this.
Once it’s part of your regular routine, only then, do you start increasing the difficulty.
Flip The Switch
When regular people (not you) decide to implement a new habit they set conditions (aka loopholes) so they are less then 100% committed.
Our unconscious mind is extremely lazy. If we leave open loopholes, it WILL take advantage of them. Even going so far as to make up a story to justify why you don’t need to [insert positive habit] today.
These loopholes also take up mental energy. When we are only 80%, 90%, 99%, or even 99.9% committed you have to decide and push yourself to perform the task each and every time.
When you decide in advance that you are 100% committed you no longer need to decide each and every time, which frees up a ton of mental energy that you can apply to other things.
Imagine flipping an internal switch within you. Once flipped, you’ve set the intention to perform the activity NO MATTER WHAT.
So the second tip is to Flip The Switch by deciding in advance that you will perform this habit, each and every day, no matter what.
Never Break The Streak
This tip comes from comedian Jerry Sienfeld.
Jerry new that to become a great comedian he had to learn how to tell better jokes. So he picked up a wall calendar and drew a big red X for each day that he completed his task.
Jerry motivated himself to complete this task, day in and day out, by making a commitment to never break the chain of X’s.
This method helped Jerry maintain consistency and kept his streak of good behaviour alive.
The secret in this step is to measure your progress. It doesn’t matter if you use a wall calendar or a habit tracking app. You want to start counting each day you complete your new habit.
Before you know it you will see your chain of success getting longer and longer. Keep going! And make a commitment to never break the streak!
We’ve covered 3 simple tips that you can apply that kickstart a new habit:
1) Stupid Small: What’s the smallest amount of effort that you could commit to doing daily? Don’t overextend yourself UNTIL your new habit becomes routine.
2) Flip The Switch: Commit to doing this activity every day, no matter what!
3) Never Break The Streak: Track your progress daily and commit to never break the streak!
While each tip on it’s own may or may not produce radical change. When all 3 are combined together it becomes an extremely powerful rapid success strategy.
I’ve personally used this method to make very substantially changes in my life and I know it will work for you as well.