- Habits take time to develop. It’s common to read that a new habit takes 30 days to become ingrained. It actually depends on the person and the habit! Studies have shown that it can take as long as 7 months to develop a habit or as short as 21 days. Be patient.
- Willpower isn’t what it seems. You might admire the willpower of someone that works out every single day. But it doesn’t require any willpower to hit the gym if you have the habit of working out.
- Willpower is great for developing new habits. However, it’s insufficient for consistently taking action. Use your willpower for habit development.
- Willpower is limited. If you find that you’re struggling too much, more willpower isn’t the answer. The solution is to reduce the demand on your willpower.
- Focus on the habit of getting started. If you want to go for a walk each day, the first step might be to put on your walking shoes. For some it might even be buying a pair of walking shoes! Let that action be your focus. Put some things in place now before the New Year arrives
- It’s not just a cliché. Getting started really is the hardest part. If you can put on your walking shoes and get out the door, you’re walking.
- Have a trigger. Think about the habits you already have. You wash your hands after using the bathroom. You turn on the evening news after putting the kids to bed. A preceding action or event triggers most habits.
- An effective trigger happens on a regular basis. Using the bathroom, starting your car, going to bed, and eating a meal can all be effective triggers. Find something that happens every day and makes sense for the habit you’re seeking to develop. Stack a habit on top of a habit you already do.
- Start small. If you want to write a novel, creating a habit of writing 1000 words per day might be too much. Set a goal to write for at least five minutes after putting the kids to bed. Is five minutes too much? Then set a goal of writing a single word! Interestingly, if you write a single word, you’ll probably end up doing much more.
- A very small goal might not seem to accomplish much, but you’re creating the habit of getting started with the activity. When you’re consistently taking that small step, you can begin increasing the demands you make upon yourself.
- Reward yourself. It seems silly to reward yourself for writing one word, doing one pushup, or cutting down by one cigarette. However, it’s a wonderful start. Reward yourself for even the smallest accomplishment! Tell yourself that you’re doing a great job or do a little dance. Those who watch my Instagram stories know I love a 15-second dance party. Whatever feels good to you is a viable option.
- Ensure that your reward is intelligent. Giving yourself a cookie for taking a long walk might be counter-productive!
not just for parents, it’s also for those who wish to parent themselves to greatness!
Catch the latest episode of the ParentSauce. I share my life as a parent and bring you tips not only to help raise amazing kids but to make sure you parent yourself before parenting your little ones. It’s my mission to help people become the best version of themselves so if they choose to have children they can give them the best life has to offer.