Mike Hunder: How To Change Your Habits in 6 Practical Steps

Let’s start off with a few questions: Do you have a track record of good performance, but now find yourself stuck, overwhelmed and feel like giving up? Do you start new projects with excitement but can’t seem to follow through to the finish line?

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way for you anymore. Starting with small habits, and doing them consistently every day, you can permanently instil productive habits into your life while eliminating sabotaging habits. And you can take your life in the direction you desire.

If you feel like you’re not in a good place at the moment, here are 6 practical steps you can take immediately to change your habits and turn your life around for the better:

Determine Who You Really Want to Become There is a great reason for this. First, understand that your current behaviour is simply a reflection of your current identity. To create a new habit, you have to create a new identity. If you do not define who you want to become, you will end up someone else.

To help define the person you want to become, select the top three habits you want to adopt that support your most important goal, and three bad habits you want to drop. This will help you to point you toward your new direction.

Believe the New Things About Your New Identity You should sit down and make a list of thoughts, words, attitudes and behaviours that represent the person you want to become. You may read them out loud in your daily morning practice and see yourself becoming that person. Doing this will help you to believe in the new things about your new self.

Set up a Reminder System to Trigger Your New Behaviour You should set up a system of a good reminder, to make it easy for you to start your new habit. It is best to choose your reminder from a list of things you currently do every day without fail. This will help to remind you every day to start the new behaviour or habit you want to adopt.

Implement a Daily Routine A daily routine built on productive habits is actually what separates the most successful among us from everyone else. Create tiny tasks for yourself; it is important that you make it so easy that you can’t say no. Doing so will help you to carry out these small actions every day and consistently over time.

Find an Accountability Partner To hold you accountable and help you to stay committed, tell someone about the new you. This may be your wife, your mentor, or a friend. It may even be social media: you can tweet about it, say it on Facebook, or join a group. This will up your chances of success.

Celebrate your Successes All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. It is important to celebrate and to enjoy some of the fruits of your victories along the way. Reward yourself each time you achieve a small win, or for every week that you hold yourself to a new behaviour. It might be a positive self-talk, a TV programme, a slice of apple, crackers, and so on. This will make you feel good and help you to continue with the new behaviour. And the circle continues until it a new habit is born, leading to higher levels of happiness, productivity and a better life.

Now, it’s your turn. If you are struggling with changing your habits, you are not alone. The good news is that now you know what to do. No matter where you are with your habits at the moment, you can turn that around. Here’s a challenge to help you get started: identify three new habits you need to develop to put you on track toward your most important goal, and three bad habits that take you off course that you need to drop. Then go to work. The key is to start small.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

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