Recently my fellow coaches and I decided to dive into habits for our weekly coaching education series. I initially thought that I had good habits because I exercised five days a week and eat really well, so why would I need to spend more time on habits?
Before I discuss my experience, we should take a look at what is a habit. The dictionary says it’s a practice or tendency that is hard to give up.
"It's okay to take a step back and start small!"
When I read the definition I was a little bit confused because I thought we were going to be working on developing new habits, but in order to make any changes we need to be aware that change needs to be made.
Still with me?
The next step in creating a new habit is to identify what you want to work on. Seems easy enough but finding a new habit to form can be challenge.
Setting goals that are too lofty can be detrimental in my desire to create a new habit.
So how do you know if your new goal is realistic?
The best way to determine whether your goal is realistic is to ask yourself to rate the likelihood that you will follow through with the habit each day/week on a scale of one to ten. Is your new goal a nine or ten out of ten? If it is anything less than a nine you may want to re-think your new habit – it’s okay to take a step back and start small. The name of the game with new habits is to start small and build on your previous week’s successes so it becomes engrained in your daily life.
The first habit that I decided to work on was to eat more because I have been inconsistent with eating regularly most of my adult life. This new habit turned out to be harder than I thought because I didn't even know how much I was eating on a daily basis. How
do you find out how much you're eating? Track your food for a period of time.
I’ll be honest and tell you all that I didn’t have 100% success that first week but I did track all my food for six of the seven days (85% better than the week before). I was initially upset that I missed a day but one of my coaches pointed out that I should celebrate the success that I had the week before and he was right. Had I not celebrated my success I may not have moved forward with setting new habits.
"The name of the game with new habits is to start small and build on your previous week's successes so it becomes engrained in your daily life."
New habits don’t always have to be life-changing but they could end up being just that, so start small, celebrate your success and keep working on new habits.