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Are you intentional about creating new habits? You should be.
Building positive habits is one of the most powerful disciplines in the world.
Large results are created through the building of small, consistent habits.
But how do you build a new habit if you don’t have any time to spare? You know, if you think you’re “too busy”.
Everyone is busy and most people think they are too busy to add something to their life. They’re not. And you’re not.
Here’s what has worked for me, and it has also worked for many influential leaders…
Become Your Habit
OK, I admit it. “Become your habit” sounds like something out of a motivational book designed to help you “live your best life”.
This isn’t about “being one” with your habit.
I’m actually talking about something much more practical. Let me explain…
When you’re trying to build a new habit, your first priority is…drumroll please…building the habit.
You shouldn’t be focused on doing as much as you possibly can or beating world records, you should be focused on actually creating the habit.
Find your habit, determine how often you want to do it and simply do it. And become a person with that habit.
In the beginning, it’s not about how much or how many, it’s about doing it.
That’s what “become your habit” means. Identify yourself with the habit.
Let me give you some examples, to make this more clear:
- End goal: Becoming a daily reader. You will need to read everyday. That’s it. Set a certain amount of pages or time to read each day. If you can’t read the full number of pages or the full time, read what you can. One page is better than none. If you read one page each day, you are a daily reader. Chances are, you will be able to get in more than one page on most days.
- End goal: Becoming a runner. You will need to run several days a week. That’s it. Figure out which days you want to run and stick to those days. Sure, you can set a time for 20 or 30 minutes, but if you can’t run for that long, run for what you can. Even if you just run for 2 minutes, you’re building the habit of putting on your workout clothes and heading out the door.
- End goal: Becoming a daily writer. You will need to write everyday. That’s it. Set a time that you write and do it. Perhaps you set aside an hour each day for writing, but you can only write for 5 minutes one day…you’re still a writer. You still write daily. If you set down to write for 5 minutes, you will usually find yourself writing much longer, but the point is to do it, no matter how small.
It’s all about seeing yourself as a reader, a writer or a runner. And these are just a few examples.
Most times, if you start the task, you will spend more time on it than you think you will.
Habits are created by repetition. Daily habits are created by repeating a task everyday, no matter how small.
Lose the Time Excuse
The great thing about doing this is that you lose the excuse of not having enough time.
We live in a world where everyone is busy. Everyone! It’s not just me. It’s not just you.
If you want to create a new habit, you have to be flexible and understand that even though you’re busy, you can still create a new habit.
You’re never too busy to run for one minute, read one page or write one sentence.
How to Become Unstoppable
Studies show it generally takes a minimum of 3 weeks to form a habit (usually much longer). And that’s if you do it everyday.
Once you do it without thinking about it, you are the pround owner of a new habit.
That’s the point you want to be at. Then you can really start to grow.
Once you have your habit in place, start building on it by making slow, small progression.
Starting with 1 minute or 1 paragraph is great, but you don’t want to stay there.
Your habit is now in place. Adding small increments is easy.
Just figure out where you want to start and begin to increase by a small amount.
Every. Single. Day.
Here are 5 easy steps to accomplishing everything we’ve been talking about:
- Choose your habit
- Practice it everyday, until is becomes second nature
- Increase your habit by a small amount each day
- Track all your progress and set goals
- Become unstoppable
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
This is an easy way to add a new habit to your busy schedule. There’s really no more room for excuses.
Just remember: Start small. End big.
Source: Habit Formation Duration Studies