We all share a basic desire to be happy, but we must cultivate that drive.
Making a good habit out of a desire is one of the most effective methods to realise it.
According to current studies,
-> Habits are responsible for 43% of daily behaviour.
-> Habits can take anything from 18 to 254 days to form, with the average being 66 days.
-> People who devote time and effort to developing new habits report higher levels of happiness and well-being.
Knowing what you desire is only the first step... knowing why you desire it is what provides momentum and the long-term change in your life.
Why is 'Why' Important?
It gives your actions purpose, by connecting your goal or habit with your identity, which fuels action and drives change.
Take a moment to consider why you opted to begin a new regimen.
Make a list of reasons why you wish to make a change. You may build concentration and significance in your new habit by connecting it to the deeper reasons for your aspirations. If you don't know why you want to establish new habits, you'll have a harder difficulty getting started and staying with it when distractions arise.
Connecting to your why also makes the trip more enjoyable, rather than judging success based on whether or not you take action or arrive at your destination.
What you do will differ, but the why is constant and fosters long-term transformation.
When I say be honest with yourself, I mean it. Shadow work can be tremendously useful in this situation because sometimes we can be ashamed of the fuel within us that could lead us to the very success we desire. I will share with you a personal example. I struggled to build healthy long-lasting habits (quitting smoking, eating healthy, working out, practicing gratitude, meditation...the list goes on) until I met a successful entrepreneur who said that such habits were what lead him to build a successful company. It was then that I accepted my 'shadow' self- that what I really wanted was to build a successful company, and in order for me to get there, I had to build such positive habits. I then attached all of those habits to my identity- someone who wanted to be a successful entrepreneur. There was no use attaching my habits to a why that was anything on the lines of 'I wanted to be a better person, I wanted to be more mindful, I wanted to appreciate the little things' because that was just not the person I was at the time. The funny thing is, once I started building such habits I actually moved away from rather 'superficial' goals such as money, praise and all that, but much higher values. As I became more self-aware and vibrated at a higher frequency I soon realized that what I wanted was purpose and to 'make a difference', as cliché as that sounds. However, I had to go with what truly motivated me at that time and I had to be honest with myself about that, even if society deemed it a rather 'dark' motivation.
Tip: pick a why that withstands time, money and age. For example, if your why to working out is 'to look good for the summer' then once autumn hits you're going to loose all motivation to work out. However, if your why is to stay fit and healthy, or even feel good about yotu body, then that will last throughout your lifetime.
Simon Sinek's "A QUICK Way to Find Your WHY" could potentially help you with this question, so check it out, or better yet, get his book 'Know Your Why'.
Overcoming Life's Obstacle Course
Life throws you curveballs, it's not a question of if, but when and that's okay... in fact, it might even make you more resilient and wiser. You see there is a reason why you are not where you want to be yet and that's because you have not become the person that you need to be in order to have your desired goal. Therefore, see challenges as merely strength training in order to build you into the person you envision.
One morning, something will appear. You may have overslept, awoke feeling tired, been pressured to make a deadline, or you or a family member is sick. The list of potential stumbling blocks goes on...
This is the perfect time to reconnect with self-compassion techniques. Relax and take it easy on yourself. Make an effort to be kind to yourself. Pause for one minute and focus on your breath as a technique to develop self-compassion.
What can I do today to offer kindness to myself?
What is the tiniest act of self-care that I can do to love myself and support myself?
What do I have to be thankful for?
Create a Plan A, B and C
It's also beneficial to anticipate potential problems so that when they do arise, you'll be prepared. Make a backup plan to ensure you don't fall too far off track.
What are the most likely roadblocks?
What modifications am I able to make?
What is my contingency plan?
What is the least amount of time I can spend on my habits for me to feel relatively successful?
Bullet proof your plan
If you are struggling to build lasting habits or can't figure out your 'why' then maybe I can help. Feel free to join my waiting list here.