Yesterday I spoke about my ambitious new habit of reading a book per week and some of the strategies I’m using to stick to that commitment.
And while I firmly believe we’d all be better off by reading more consistently, I also realize that might not be everyone’s idea of a good time.
I even had someone on Linkedin say “That’s pretty intense.”
My response? “Exactly.”
We ain’t gonna become the versions of ourselves we’re most inspired to step into by setting mediocre goals.
So if reading’s not your thing but you’re still excited by the thought of setting and sticking to a new daily habit, how can you remain just as consistent?
I got you! In no particular order, here are some of my favorite strategies to finally crush your new daily habit.
How to stick to a new daily habit
1. Stop stopping. I spoke about this before, but the 80/20 of sticking to a habit is to stop stopping in the first place. I have this theory that the reason we slip up is that our attention is constantly being hijacked and we’re unable to remain focused and present enough to stop ourselves before it’s too late. So how do we fix this? With number 2 (mind out the gutter)…
2. Use a mantra. Practice using a short statement every time you feel a little resistance to executing your habit. Eventually, you won’t need to consciously remind yourself to say it. My favorite? “Don’t break the streak.”
3. Get someone to hold you accountable. The times I’ve been most consistent with my habits is when I’ve shared them publicly, whether that’s with my audience or simply my wife. This includes things like announcing I’ll be reading a book per week, writing a daily article, or podcasting every week. Who can you reach out to?
4. Just for today. Here’s the funny thing about daily habits. If you wanted to, you could reframe them as only needing to do them once for the rest of your life. And then tomorrow, same thing. How much easier would it be to go to the gym if you had to go just for today?
5. Do it first. Speaking of ‘just for today’, I would find a way to fit in the habit as early in your day as possible, preferably first thing in the morning. That way, your willpower is at its highest and there are fewer distractions from the rest of the world trying to steal your attention. If it’s important to you, do it first.
6. Connect to your why. Besides being the most “life-coachy” thing I could have said, there’s actually a lot of power behind getting clear on why something is important to you in the first place. The thing is, if something’s not that big of a deal to you, it’s gonna be difficult sticking to it when other options seem more appealing in the moment.
7. Make it a non-negotiable. I already mentioned doing it first, but I’m gonna take things a step further here. Whether you do your new habit as soon as you wake up or not, put it in the calendar like you would any other meeting with someone. See it as a meeting with your best self. (“Oh hey you, let’s crush this.”) And then, most importantly, show up on time. No matter what. Non-negotiable.
8. Let go of attachment to the outcome. This one might not feel as sexy as the others, but it’s possibly one of the most important. Our goal here is simply to build momentum by showing up day in and day out. This applies both on a micro level (not every performance is going to be a slam dunk) and on a macro level (not being attached to the final outcome looking a certain way).
As I shared on social media recently, we don’t rise to the level of our hopes and dreams. We fall to the level of our standards and habits.
In order to experience true reinvention, we need to hold the image of who we want to become, and then raise our standards to that level by adopting the habits that will get us there. Try these 8 tips the next time you do so.
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