Once you've decided on a new habit, it's vital to set it up for success. We often don't think about what can go wrong or how we can sustain the habit. We make it hard for ourself - we don't change anything in our environment, but we expect the change in our behaviour to somehow stick.
But we're going to change that today, by giving our new habit a fighting chance at being a lifelong habit.
There are 3 areas we can set a habit up for success:
- 1Remove an obstacle. If you can't remove it, ask yourself how can I deal with it or work around it?
- 2Add something to your environment to support the habit and make it almost inevitable.
- 3Clear space and time for the habit. Declutter an area of your home, or cancel some commitments in your schedule that are no longer a priority.
This is where a habit goes wrong... I decided this January I was going to make green smoothies every day. I have a blender, and had the ingredients and looked up some recipes. All good.
So one day when I was hungry for a snack, I decided to make a green smoothie. I walked into the kitchen. My blender was at the back of a cupboard. I hadn't used it in ages, I'd have to look for all the parts, give it a wash, prep the vegetables and hunt for that recipe I'd found a while back.
By contrast, there was a plate of fudge on the bench, leftover from Christmas. I'm already hungry at this point so of course I went for the fudge!
A better way to support my green smoothie habit would be to get rid of the fudge from the house, to set up my blender ready to go on the bench and to have the recipe to hand and some vegetables prepped. This way I could walk in to the kitchen and go for it.
So for any habit you're trying to implement, think of how you can get rid of an obstacle - in my case, the fudge; set your environment up to support you, such as keeping the blender on the bench and vegetables to hand; and clear space; for example clearing other clutter from the bench.
These are simple things but often overlooked, but are really important for the success of a new habit. Think about how your habit will happen and how you can support it. And let me know - how will YOU be supporting your new habit?