Achieving success and excellence is not random happenstance. Success and excellence come from intentionally interweaving goals and habits together. Making good habits work for your benefit takes awareness and deliberate design.
Being creatures of habit, we are what we repeatedly do. If excellence and success are your life’s outcomes then it stands to reason that you have learned how to get your achievement habits to work for you and how to keep your habits of failure at bay.
Most of us however, are still trying to figure all that out. Below are 6 ways to make your already established good habits work for you.
- Design Routine
Benefiting from habits that stick and result in victory is far easier when the habits become part of routine and are built around the environmental triggers that amplify achievement. For instance, if your goal is to make a habit of regular exercise, but your schedule is tight, try this. Assuming your routine is to drive to work, continue to do that and add an element. Give yourself an additional ten minutes, pack tennis shoes, drive to work, park a block away, put on your comfortable shoes, and walk one block to the office. Without disrupting your entire routine, you just incorporated regular exercise into your day.
- Reduce Options
Sometimes having too many options makes deciding impossible. Narrowing, limiting or even cutting choices can help make your good habits work for you. For example, if you want to reduce your snacking, stop buying snacks. If you want to eat healthier, stop eating out at lunch time. Instead, embrace the power of routine and daily pack a healthy well-rounded lunch. The habit of packing a healthy lunch will propel you towards goal success and keep you from compulsively making a poor hunger-motivated choices.
- Visualize and Affirm
Visualization is a great motivator. When you visualize your completed goal, reaching it becomes promising. Affirmations fertilize the right mindset to establish a new habit or keep an existing one working for you. Together, visualization and affirmation allow you to imagine and feel yourself carrying out the behaviors that expand the habit(s) that ultimately bring the goal to success. Make it a habit to visualize your success and affirm your abilities daily.
- Create Convenience
If something is inconvenient we usually don’t stick with it. Maybe I will give it a try once or twice, but eventually the inconvenience will win and I will stop doing it. The solve? Make habits convenient. Habits are powerful and easy to stick with when they work well and don’t cause trouble. For example, it is easier to engage a habit within your existing routine than it is to change your routine to employ a habit. Get clear about what works in your routine towards excellence and what does not. You may be the type of person who is so ready to change and achieve success that you are willing to adjust anything and everything for the goal, even if it is inconvenient. But if that does not describe you, work hard within your already established routine to bring success. Good habits will work for your benefit if you are not continually sabotaging them.
- Know the Why
Habits have a purpose. They perform a task. Knowing your habits’ purpose and being able to answer why you employ the habit, plays a huge role in its ability to assist you towards your goal. Take time to analyze your habit’s “why”. For instance, if your goal is to read a book a week, but you just can’t seem to make it happen, analyze the habits you have surrounding your schedule, including your free time routines. Maybe you watch television in the evening to unwind. The routine of unwinding includes a T.V habit. What if you continued to use the evening to unwind, but instead of watching T.V you read a few chapters?
- Be Yourself
Success and excellence is birthed in you as you are, not as you think you should be. For example, if your goal is to start exercising and you are a hardcore night person who is slow to get moving in the morning and most creative and energetic late in the day, then waking up to take an early morning run may not serve you well. You may find that you enjoy your exercise habit in the evening and joining a 24-hour club, where you can exercise late, may serve you better. A good habit will work for your benefit when you use it in a way that works for you, instead of in a way you have been told it should be done.
Success and excellence are within reach. Making good habits work for your benefit is possible. Enjoy the process and go for it!
Karen Creasey is a Speaker, Author, Health Coach and Personal Trainer. She is passionate about motivating, inspiring and educating people to improve their health, wellness and overall life performance. Karen is the cheerleader everyone needs! Find her on www.karencreasey.com