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Set Yourself Up For Success

One month into the year already!

How have your new years resolutions turned out? Have you been able to stick to what you set out to do or have things fallen off track?

If you seem to be struggling, you're in the right place because today you're going to learn about how to create goals and set yourself up to stick to your habits.


Step 1: Write a list

You want to start by auditing your current behaviours and habits.

Set some time aside and write a list following these three prompts;

  1. What habits did you say you were going to do and have continued doing? (reward for effort)

  2. What habits did you say you were going to do but have stopped doing? (go to step 2)

  3. What habits have said you would stop doing but are still doing? (go to step 2)


Step 2: Pros & Cons box

I know, I know, these are so primary school.

But this one is a little different.

Take the habits which you said you would stop doing but have continued doing, and the habits which you said you would do but have stopped and add these to the table, be as detailed in the answers as possible.

For example: if I wanted to stop buying my lunch out each day I could say,


Good

Bad

Staying the same

Buying lunch saves me time in the mornings. I really enjoy the taste of the lunches I get Buying lunch allows me to fit in with my co-workers who also buy their lunches

Buying lunch each day is getting expensive I am working on improving the quality of my diet and not every lunch option fits well with that

Changing

I will have more control of the health and quality of my diet. I can learn new meal prep recipes and techniques

I will feel more of the odd-one out at work I can be forgetful so if I don't bring it to work it will just be a waste of food

This will help you find out your barriers and your motivators. This may help you decide if you really want to pursue this habit, or can help identify areas you need to strengthen to make it work.


Step 3: Find enjoyment

Sometimes the reason we don't start something is because we actually don't enjoy it and the reason we don't give it up is because we really do enjoy it.

Which means that the habit we are wanting to replace it with, needs to be equally enjoyable.


Take the example from above, if I wanted to stop buying lunches out, but I really enjoyed the taste of those meals, I would have to find lunches I can make at home which I also really enjoy the taste of to make it more sustainable.

If I was to just bring a boring salad to work that I didn't actually like, I am much more likely to not eat it and buy something instead.


Step 4: Make it easy

The other reason we don't start something is because it is perceived as too difficult or too time consuming.

Which means we have to make the replacement habit feel effortless.


Using the same example, it is easy to just buy lunch and not worry about cooking and cleaning. So as a replacement, if I was already cooking dinner the night before, I could just cooked extra and use that as lunch the next day. That way it does not take up any extra time or effort from what I am already doing.


Step 5: Time management

I hear it over and over again, "I'm just don't have the time".

And for some that is true, maybe it's just not on the right time to try and focus on changing these goals.

But if you know it is the time to make changes, you have to make the time for change.

That doesn't mean you need to spend 6 hours every Sunday meal prepping. It just means that you need to figure out what would be manageable for you.

Here are some strategies below:

  1. Be more calendar smart. Block out your time at the start of the week and review it each morning. Use that time block to do the activity you said you were going to do. Be realistic in the time you're giving for each activity, and give yourself some 'buffers' throughout the day just in case something runs over.

  2. Habit stack. Choose an old habit as your prompt to do your new habit. Eg, after dinner I will pack my lunch.

  3. Double up. If you're already doing something similar for another purpose or for someone else, double up and do what you need to do as well. Eg, If I was cooking dinner, I can cook more and use it as lunch. Or if I was packing lunches for kids, pack some for myself too.

  4. Prime your environment: Make it as streamlined as possible to make the right choice regarding your habit. Eg if I forget to bring lunch, I could put my keys in my lunch box to remind me to take my lunch in the morning.


Step 6: Discipline and accountability

At the end of the day, you could have all the right things in place, but it still takes the hard work of showing up for yourself. There are days where making the choice to get you closer to success is going to be the hard choice.

You need to remain accountable to your goals. If you say you will do something 3 times a week, make sure that at the end of the week, you've done it 3 times.

Which brings me to being realistic, if you say you will do something every day, ask yourself is that realistic, what would actually be achievable and manageable to accomplish each week. Set the bar low to start, and work it up from there.


And there we have it!

Happy habit making friends :)

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