"If you have good habits, time becomes your ally and success becomes your constant companion!"
I first began "binging" on becoming an expert in creating truly great and sustainable habits 23 (ish) years ago when I decided I would no align with a long-standing limiting belief.
What was that limiting belief?
'I am just an athlete, but not very smart."
This limiting belief took root in at the ripe old age of 8, when in the second grade I had a teacher point and laugh at me for sharing a, 'wrong answer' to a question. And if that wasn't humiliating enough, the entire class chimed in as well... I wanted to run away crying and never come back.
To this day, this stands as most humiliating moment of my life.
But what's more important is that this became a defining moment that set into motion a collection of habits that set me up for nearly two decades of academic and career mediocrity.
Until this point in my sweet little 8 year old life, I had had a bit of difficult with reading comprehension, but didn't think all that much of it. And then this dreaded day happened and I remember making the decision, that I was a talented gymnast, but school wasn't my thing because I 'wasn't very smart'.
And just like that, a path was set!
Until a life-changing day when I was about 27 or so, when I had a moment of profound clarity, and asked myself the question, 'could I become smart?'
I figured, maybe I wasn't born smart, but maybe I wasn't dumb either- and just maybe I could learn to be smart...
My next question, 'What do smart people do?"
My best answer: They read lots of books.
So... for the literal first time in my life, I headed to the bookstore to buy and read my first book (and yes, I did make it through grade school, high school, and 3 years of undergrad without ever reading an entire book!).
I had no idea what I was looking for, so I wandered around until a book literally fell off the shelf and hit my foot.
Susan Jeffers, Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway!
How is that for instant positive Karma! The Universe certainly has a sense of humor! The joke wasn't lost on me, so I bought the book immediately and headed home to dig in!
CHANGE EVERYTHING WITH HABIT-SYSTEMS
People ask me all the time how I became so disciplined in my habits and routines. Honestly, I am NOT naturally disciplined. What I am GREAT at, is creating and implementing successful habit-systems.
Here are a few areas where habit-systems can totally transform your life! And these are the areas where I see the most opportunities for stress, overwhelm and frustration.
Trading driving frustration (road rage :)
Connecting and communicating with your partner
Work habits, productivity, effectiveness
Meal time" meal prep, who is responsible for what and when related to meal time
Kids: homework, taking and picking up, bed time
Evening rituals (going to bed on time, not watching too much TV, etc.)
Over-coming bad habits: over-eating, over-working, over-drinking, too much social media, gaming, pornography, or other escapes or ways of numbing out)
Food and fitness: sticking to eating plans and fitness plans
Within this list lies a mountain of overwhelm, frustration, conflict and stress!
Which ideas on this list rang big bells for you and your life?
Most of them?
I get it! And you're not alone. MOST people struggle with consistency and feeling like a failure for not maintaining 'good or great' habits in these areas.
BUT... creating habit-systems are much easier than people think, they just don't have the right set of tools to make changes or habits sustainable.
But when you do have great habits, life runs so smoothly. Habit systems is one of the first things I do with clients, whether they are looking to build a new business, get rid of anxiety or depression, or rehab a marriage.
Because when you have great sustainable habits, you eliminate a HUGE portion of problems in your life. While making space for a ton of peace and happiness, and reclaiming hours upon hours of time!
Think about it. If you ditched your top 3 bad habits, and engaged great habits around food, fitness, smooth communication, and joyful or inspiring morning and evening routines...
How would your life change?
No really, how would your life change?
How would great habits in these key areas impact your life, relationships, free time, stress levels, work, health, fitness and CONFIDENCE?
Here is how my life changed when I began reading.
The new habit-system was this: I began reading for 1 hour, every single day at the exact same time, and just before dinner.
Well... just about everything!
I became more confident, and eventually very confident
I realized that I was actually quite intelligent and creative, but in unconventional ways!
I gained the courage to finish undergrad school with all As!
Then the courage to get a masters degree and a PhD
I then read enough books to believe that I could start my own business
And... 20 years later, I still read (or listen to audible) every single day. I lost count at about 500 books and that was about 10 years ago.
So you see, with just ONE new, sustainable habit-system, an entire life can be transformed!
Habit-System PRO Tip 1: Stacking
When you are working to change a habit or create a new one, STACK it with something you already do. For example, Chris and I wanted to begin doing some kind of physical activity in the morning. So, we first began with the commitment of doing strength or flexibility work BEFORE our morning coffee.
This way we were sure to remember, because we make coffee every day (this is a habit that has been long standing) and then we are rewarded with coffee when we are done. So when you stack a new habit with an existing habit, you set yourself up for success because you are creating a habit-system.
Habit-System PRO Tip 2: Start SMALL
The second thing we did was start very small. When initiating habits, people usually try to overhaul an entire situation... This is a set up for failure. This is why people don't stay on diets. It's too much too soon, and you don't have the emotional bandwidth to sustain.
Chris and I began very simple. 50 squats and 10 push ups. This was easy and achievable and there was not an ounce of 'dread' in engaging these 2 exercises and the took only a few minutes.
Once this habit was very well established, we added on another exercise. We may or may not do other strength later in the day, (though we do bike, hike or walk 7 days a week) but now we do at least 3-10 strength / flexibility exercises every day- which is 3-10 more than we were in the HABIT of doing previously!
Now it's your turn?
What habit do you want to change or create?
What habit would really impact your life?
How will you make a habit-system out if it?
What will you stack it with to ensure memory and to make it a system?
How will you begin VERY small?
Want some help renovating your life, love or business with habit-systems? Hit me up, I'd love to help! You can email me at: DrHaywood (@) LiberateMyLife . com.
Or just hit 'reply' to this email!