Picture it: an exercise routine that fits seamlessly into your schedule.
A sparkly-clean sink greeting you each morning (instead of an overwhelming one filled with dirty dishes).
A calm, sanity-preserving approach to sorting the mail and keeping your office free of clutter.
The ability to ensure that the box of donations actually gets donated, versus sitting in your mudroom for weeks on end.
Nope, we’re not describing some unattainable Tidying Up utopia…just the power of developing small, simple habits.
The foundation of a happy, successful, engaging life is a well-organized system that reduces your need to stress about the little things, so you can focus on what matters. That system will look different for different people, of course, but it all comes down to setting yourself up for success. And setting yourself up for success, it turns out…all comes down to habits.
When you form a new habit, you’re training yourself to make a certain behavior part of your regular routine. We highly recommend starting with simple changes, but knowing which habits to develop is a totally personal choice depending on the areas of your life that could use an overhaul.
Once you’ve identified them, there are lots of tried-and-true ways to help you commit to those new habits (working with a partner for support, getting clear about what your motivation is, etc.).
But as with most things, we at Truvani believe in the power of simplicity.
So instead of overloading yourself with dozens of rules and restrictions, here are 3 of our favorite powerful (but easy-to-implement) ways to help you stick to your new habit.
1. Embrace your “but”
Negative self-talk is often one of the biggest barriers you’ll encounter when attempting to start a new habit. Your brain is used to the old way of doing things. It will try to tell you that you “can’t” or “shouldn’t” or “won’t” follow through with the changes you’re trying to make. Well, your brain is lying to you…
Experts recommend pushing back against these instinctive thoughts with the word “but.”
For example, if you find yourself feeling defeated, thinking “I don’t understand this” or “I’m not good at this,” interrupt that negativity with “but if I stay focused I’ll probably improve” or “but I’m better today than I was yesterday.” It might sound hokey, but it’s a surprisingly effective way to tell your brain to stop being such a downer.
2. Consistency is King
Something you do every day is a habit. Something you do once, or even twice a week is an obligation. And there’s a big difference…
Increase your likelihood of sticking to a new habit by incorporating it into your daily routine (as in, every. single. day.) for at least thirty days. Meaningful progress happens when you go all-in on one small change at a time…not when you just dabble. By going into this behavioral shift with the expectation that it’s something you’ll do every day, no matter what else is going on in your life, you’ll be way less tempted to make excuses.
3. Take Note
Don’t underestimate the power of a post-it. Before embarking on your quest for a new habit, take some time to think about what triggers might make it hard for you to stay on track. If you’re trying to make more mindful food choices, a visual note for “future-you” on the fridge or pantry could be helpful. A note on your phone could help you resist the urge to check social media first thing in the morning.
Whatever habit you’re trying to make (or break), a handwritten message of from you, to you, can go a long way. It’s an unexpected interruption when you start to slip into the autopilot of your old ways.
How does the decision you’re making now get you closer to your end goal?
Keep the promise that you made to yourself yesterday. (You can do it.)
Are you thinking long-term, or just about what would be easier at this moment?
Small steps every day will make a big difference.
Are you choosing courage or comfort?