5 Steps to Making Habits that Create Your Future
Making habits is easier than breaking habits.
“You are what you repeatedly do.”*
The things you repeatedly do create your future. Tell me the things you do every day and I’ll tell you what your life will be like next year.
The quality of your leadership distills into making habits that create your future.
5 steps to making habits:
#1. Notice habits.
Notice the things you repeatedly do. Making habits includes noticing current habits.
Ask people you admire about the habits that helped them succeed.
#2. Tap your imagination.
Imagination is key to making habits.
Imagine who you aspire to become. What repeated behaviors take you there?
Imagine the team you would love to lead. What repeated behaviors build your desired team?
Imagine the life you aspire to enjoy. What repeated behaviors build your preferred life?
Spend two weeks writing an imagination journal. Set aside 5 or 10 minutes every day to let your imagination roam. Look for patterns when you’re done.
What do you really want?
#3. Begin small, very small.
Create the flywheel effect with a series of tiny wins.
Design an intervention and lower it by 90% to begin.
Don’t commit to working out for an hour everyday if you haven’t worked out for a year. Commit to showing up at the gym at 7 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Don’t even commit to working out. Just show up.
#4. Practice habit stacking.
I wanted to drink more water. My new habit: Every time I go to the restroom it reminds me to drink water.
#5. Include others.
Everyone needs a ‘with’.
Find a partner. Encourage each other.
Tip: Write this phrase on a small piece of paper: I change best by feeling good, not by feeling bad. BF Fogg
What tips might you add for making habits that create the future?
How to Build Healthy Habits – The New York Times
*Will Durante summarizing Aristotle.
Dan, I recall in another post you had recommended to commit to very small acts embarrassingly like doing one push up per day..to build habits..
Hi CV. Yes, Stephen Guise wrote a book called, Mini-Habits. The point is get started and set a goal you can achieve, if you’re in it for the long-haul. Better to aim low in the beginning. You can always up your challenge later. Thanks for jumping in today.
Hi Dan, #3 is the basis of what I recommend for achieving goals and your advice is spot on. Too many people end up quitting before good habits are created when they take on too much in the beginning. Start small, build confidence, and keep improving!
Great tips, I really resonated with #3 “Begin small, very small”. Oftentimes we try to build new habits very aggressively, which more times then not ends in failure. Remembering to start off small and make subtle changes that lead to permanent change is the best method.
Dan, I like the idea in your #2 point regarding imagination. I think you correctly point out that you must imagine or have a vision for something to manifest itself into reality. In the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, James discusses the idea of imagining what you want to be known as or what you want to achieve and then being that person. His example is if you want everyone to know you are healthy, then order a meal like a healthy person. If you want to be known as a leader who listens, then be a leader who listens. I see a lot of similar points being made by you in the imagine section.