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A GUIDE TO BECOMING THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF!
Habits are a tricky concept to dive into. To form a habit, you must perform a specific action consistently over an extended period of time, which will create a permanent change in your behaviour and your personality. The catch lies in whether this action is beneficial or detrimental to you in the long term. Depending on the outcome of a habit, you will either want to maintain it or change it.
Habits often have a direct impact on your personal goals. Therefore, the consequences of a habit are crucial to the success or failure of those goals. For instance, if you want to be the kind of person [ideal version of you] that goes to bed earlier [the habit that the ideal version of you possesses], you might be fighting the habit of eating dinner too late [your current negative habit], which derails your night-time schedule. You might also be someone who likes to watch tv or work late, which makes you more inclined to sleep in.
I want you to keep the words I have underlined in mind. Some of them are goals and others are the system that leads to either achievement or failure of accomplishing something…. We’re about to get into that.
HOW TO CREATE AND MAINTAIN A NEW, POSITIVE HABIT
So… How do you create and maintain a new habit? With a STACKING REWARD SYSTEM. A reward system is the process of making an action desirable. You need to train your brain to WANT to perform your new habit! For instance, if you want to be the kind of person who works out everyday, you need to hardwire your brain to WANT to get up and go do it everyday. To be that person, you need to tether the action to something you already do daily.
Also, let’s not forget about those personal goals you have for yourself. We want to be working towards those in tandem with creating positive habits. How do we do that? How do we create new habits AND achieve our goals at the same time? Here are the steps:
ENVISION YOUR PERFECT SELF
In order to start the journey of developing new habits you need to have something or someone to reference – someone to look up to.
WRITE A LIST OF ALL THE QUALITIES/HABITS THAT PERSON HAS
Write down the best, most unrealistic version of yourself that you want to be. Describe (1) what that person does for work, (2) what their lifestyle looks like, (3) where they live, (4) how much money they make and (5) what kind of people they surround themselves with. Now get a little more detailed and write down that persons’ habits – what you think they do consistently everyday to be so incredible. Write all these down!
LIST YOUR CURRENT DAILY HABITS
Now that you’ve established who the best version of yourself would do, write down your daily habits. Get deep. Get into the parts where you snooze your alarm several times or watch tv a little too late – write everything, habitual or not.
ATTACH THE NEW HABIT TO A CURRENT ONE
Imagine your goal is to be more consistent with working out. This goal is different for everyone but let’s assume that by more consistently we mean five days a week for at least 20 minutes. To approach this goal you need to create the system.
The FIRST STEP is identifying something you do everyday that you enjoy. Let’s assume that that action is drinking your morning coffee (or tea or matcha!).
What you’re going to tell yourself is, “BEFORE I have my coffee on Monday morning, I WILL workout for 20 minutes.”
[Before (blank), I will (blank)]
This is the logic behind habit stacking; before you get to do something that you like and already do, you will perform the new habit that you are trying to implement.
If you notice that this habit stacking combo is not motivating enough, you can reinforce it with additional cues to help! Here are a few suggestions on how you can trick yourself into performing the new habit:
- Roll out your yoga mat the night before,
- Leave your phone beside your yoga mat to charge all night so you’ll need to go to your yoga mat anyway
- Place your 5 minutes journal with your yoga mat, which will create a nice morning environment for your journaling and your workout
- Lay out your workout clothes the night before and put them on first thing in the morning
You do things everyday that are already subconscious. For instance, you get up and make your bed or you brush your teeth. These habits seem insignificant because you’ve been doing them for so long, but they are habits nonetheless. The more you perform an action, the more you crave it, and the more likely you are to continue doing it. Eventually, you will feel out of place when you don’t move your body in the morning or read before bed because you will have formed a habit!
Remember, YOU ARE DOING ALL THIS FOR YOU, for the version of yourself that you WANT to become and you CAN do it! By approaching the act of habit forming tactically, you can train your body to do pretty much anything!
Now go make those lists!
FORMAT FOR CREATING YOUR LISTS:
_______ Description of the BEST VERSION of me:
_______ Description of this BEST VERSION’S habits:
_______ List of MY CURRENT daily habits: