There are so many things we all want to start doing.
But changing our behavior is not an easy thing. Not only do we need to stop doing something we’ve always been doing, get familiar with a new habit and find a way to make room for it in our days, but we also need to figure out how to make it stick and stay motivated.
Otherwise, it won’t really matter and it won’t really be a change.
So here’s a quick and simple guide on how to do that:
How to Start a New Behavior and Make It Stick
1. Just start.
Sounds quite easy, but why do we struggle with it so much then?
Most often that’s because we’re having the whole picture in our mind, and it’s too overwhelming.
We think how much effort we need to put every day from now on so that the new habit can stick, we imagine the times when we won’t be in the mood to actually do it, the things we’ll have to say ‘no’ to, etc.
Let’s leave all that behind for now.
Letting go of expectations and fear of failure (here’s how to do it), not comparing it to other experiences with new behaviors from the past, and not focusing on the hard part, is what will help you take the very first step. Which is also an action without which we can’t go any further.
So once you throw your ideals, negatives thoughts and fears in the ocean, you’ll have the chance to actually begin. And it’s easier than you think.
2. Start small.
Another important part of the whole ‘starting a new behavior’ thing is that you should start really small.
Many people forget that and don’t start at all. It scares them.
When, in fact, that principle is made to simplify things, to make it easy to begin, to make it impossible to say ‘no’ to the little action that needs to be taken in order to begin your journey.
3. One habit at a time.
A quick reminder: you shouldn’t try to achieve more than one thing at a time. It distracts you, you think about both (or more) of them (goals, habits, etc.).
Instead, you need to pay full attention to the one thing you’re working on right now.
Once it’s been a month or two, you can move onto the next.
Now chunk the habit down into a few steps, then break them into even smaller pieces.
Do that until you have tiny actions you can take with no effort.
This way it won’t be overwhelming. And you’ll know what to do every day.
5. Daily commitment.
Every day. No excuses.
That’s a must, as once you skip a day, it leads to two, and then three. And without even realizing, you’ve fallen back into your old habits. Consistency is key.
That’s all there is.
Ignore all you’ve ever heard about starting a new behavior, changing habits and making them stick. And focus on these 5.
When was the last time you tried to develop a new habit? How did it work?
Who doesn’t want to be successful? Whatever our purpose in life may be, we want to achieve success with it. Although success is usually perceived as career growth, it also encompasses personal growth. These two things go together.
So what can we do to reach the personal and professional growth of uber successful people? Maybe we can imitate some of their habits. Their morning rituals, in particular, set the pace of the day.
Did you know that the way you start your mornings affects your entire day?
You probably felt that, but guess what: science proves it as a fact, too.
In a study called “Waking up on the wrong side of the bed: start-of-workday mood, work events, employee affect, and performance,” researchers found that whatever the mood of workers was during the morning, they preserved it throughout the entire day.
So if you start off in a good mood, you have greater chances of having a great day. That’s why morning routines are so important.
Let’s learn from the ultra successful people, shall we? How do they start their mornings?
What The Most Successful Do in The Morning
1. Spend Time with the Partner.
As we said, success is not only about professional achievements. It also means having the right person by your side.
Waking up next to the person you love makes every morning special. Appreciate that moment. Have a coffee together. Talk. Be glad you’re there for each other.
Yes; mindfulness is a habit.
Successful people are always busy. Can you imagine a hectic morning with dozens of urgent email messages, business partners calling, and the kids yelling? And they are still in their pajamas! That’s why they practice mindfulness.
So how do you practice mindfulness in the morning?
Just wake up. Take few deep breaths. Be aware of the present moment. Be aware of the responsibilities the day ahead will bring. Relax, and tell yourself that you’re ready.
3. Plan the Day.
A good plan will set you on the right track.
Plan your tasks for the day in the morning. When you have such an outline, it will be easier to handle all responsibilities. You’ll know you’ll have time for all tasks.
If you realize there’s not enough time, you should plan how to outsource. If, for example, you cannot complete a business report, you can hire assignment masters to write or edit it for you.
I know; it’s a cliché. However, it’s also an activity that works.
Physical exercise makes you fitter, but it also makes you happier. When you’re done with your morning exercise ritual, you feel at ease, and things start to clear up.
Most successful people exercise. Hillary Clinton does yoga. Obama works out for 45 minutes six days per week. Mark Cuban does cardio fitness. Follow their example!
5. Practice Patience.
Too many things ahead? If your schedule is busy, you’ll be eager to get things done ASAP. The morning is the period of the day when you should practice patience. Relax.
You already made a plan. There’s time for everything. You’ll get through the day. For now, cherish this precious moment of morning relaxation.
6. Juice Up.
It’s no wonder why so many celebrities are into the latest juice detox trend. Healthy juices give you valuable nutrients and make you feel more energized.
Have a different juice every single morning. Sure, the juicer will take some cleaning after, but the juice will certainly give you enough energy for that.
7. Eat Breakfast.
You saw this coming, didn’t you?
Uber successful people know that the breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s even better when it’s healthy.
Yes; the juice can be your breakfast, but it won’t make you feel full for long. If you don’t intend to have a standard breakfast, pack some fruit for work. A banana and an apple are mandatory!
Have a glass of water as soon as you wake up. Hydration is essential for the way your entire system functions.
9. Be With the Right People.
In Tools of Titans, author Timothy Ferriss refers to a so-called “five chimps theory” in zoology. According to that theory, you can predict the behavior of any chimp if you analyze the five chimps they usually hang out with.
There’s a lot of wisdom in that theory. When you surround with nervous people, you’re nervous, too. When you surround yourself with positive characters, you reflect good vibes, too.
The first people you contact in the morning will set the mood for your day. Choose them carefully.
10. Celebrate Achievements.
When you wake up with a positive mindset, you’ll boost your chances of spending a good day.
Instead of thinking about all obstacles ahead, you should take time to think about all achievements you’ve made towards your current goals. This appreciation will convince you that you’re on the right track. When we sum things up, all these morning habits of the ultra successful people seem pretty simple, don’t they?
However, it takes tons of persistence and commitment to stay true to them. Start by making small steps. Pick few of these activities and repeat them every day, until they turn into habits.
*** Cathy Baylis is a personal growth expert who writes insightful articles that motivate and challenge others. She has worked as a writer for a little over a decade now, and owns several blogs that she updates on her free time.