You probably already know how important it is to form new, good habits on the road to achieving continual success. However, it’s sometimes much easier said than done, isn’t it?
My mentor gave me a great visual idea that helps drive home how to start a new habit.
In this video, I’ll share that visual metaphor with you, and cover the 4 essential elements to nurturing your new habits.
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Have you been struggling to form good habits? When you reflect on why you have been struggling, is it because you haven’t been doing the four things I’ve mentioned in this video?
Let me know in the comments what habits you are trying to form and whether now you might be able to take the right actions to help them grow up from sapling to large, solid tree.
Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:
There is a very good chance that at this point you are trying to create a new habit or get rid of an old one because it’s not really helping you in your business.
Forming Good Habits Is Hard
Now we all understand the importance of creating the new and good habits and how it helps us become better and do better. At the same time, forming new habits is one of the difficult things to do.
In fact, 80% of the habits and the intentions to create new habits, they fall by the side just in the first 3-4 weeks of making a head start.
Today, I want to talk about exactly that. What comparison can you have in your mind to actually help you form new habits, which will help you going forward.
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The Good Habit Gardener
I was sitting down with one of my mentors and we were having a discussion as to why forming habits is so tricky and what’s the best way to go about it. And as you can imagine, mentors being mentors, my mentor shared a good story with me. A very simple metaphor, analogy, story – however you want to see it. Let me explain the meaning.
What he said was, “Imagine, Shweta that you are a gardener. And you’ve got this beautiful garden which has got some amazing trees and plants, and maybe it has got some weeds as well. But now you are trying to plant a sapling. You want to make this garden richer and you want to plant some new saplings.
“Now as a gardener you have to think for yourself, how much attention and time would you give to your old tall, strong trees versus to a new sapling or saplings? Would you really be worried about the watering of the tree, or the nutrition, the soil, the sunlight, or would you be focusing on the sapling?”
I’m sure you know the answer to this, right? But really try to visualise this. If I were to plant a sapling, most probably I will put some kind of protective cover around it, make sure it has got the right amount of soil, has got the right level of sunlight, and yes pretty much every day I will be going there to make sure that it still has its support, provide any required support and water the sapling. I would make sure it’s nicely protected and it’s taking its roots and shape.
I wouldn’t be too concerned about beautiful tall trees, because nature takes care of it. They are there, they are well established already.
As soon as I heard this comparison, it really granularised for me what it takes to really build a new habit.
First: Are You Specific?
Now the first thing you have to ask yourself, when you are forming new habits, are you very specific? Are you very clear what would it require for this habit to be formed?
Second: Are You Consistent?
The second thing is are you consistent? With the attention, with the focus, with making sure that you are nurturing this habit properly]. Consistency is very, very critical.
The fact is sometimes, yes, you will miss out. You will forget to visit that habit of yours. Some cheat day will happen. But never miss twice. This is a simple rule for myself, and I remind my clients of this, never miss twice. As simple as that.
Third: How Frequently Do You Check-In?
Then the next thing is, how frequently do you need to go and look at that habit? Is it a daily check-in? Is it an hourly check-in? Is it a weekly check-in? The more frequently you check-in, the more you can make sure it’s getting the right support, the right attention, the right correction.
And remember 1 thing, the champions are not the ones that get it right all the time. Champions are very good at resetting. They keep resetting so that they are on track. And that can happen only when you are checking in with your new habit very, very often, especially in the beginning and the first few weeks.
Fourth: Are You Protecting Your Habit?
Then there is a very subtle point there when my mentor talked about actually putting a protective hedge and the support structure with the new sapling – which a smart gardener would do.
The point is are you really protecting your habit from people who are maybe cynical, sceptical, who maybe care for you but maybe not in the right way for that new habit?
Are you really protecting your new habit from others and from yourself? Maybe from your own impatience, your own cynicism, your own doubt? How protective are you being about that new habit? And are you supporting it on a regular basis?
Because yes, forming a new habit is hard work. It takes a lot of patience, it takes a lot of energy, it takes a lot of focus. But if you are clear about your ‘why’ – why are you so focused on building that new habit – then I would like to assume that the ‘what’ becomes relatively easier.
Reflect On These Questions to Form A Good Habit
So at this point, I really want you to go back and reflect on your intentions of forming a new habit. Check-in with yourself.
- Were you specific?
- Are you being consistent?
- Are you being protective of your new habit?
- And are you supporting it in the best possible manner?
- Are you being rigorous with your intention?
If you would like to discuss any of the points covered here, please feel free to request a free call below.