I’m a huge fan of habits. In fact, creating habits in my day helps calm my sometimes unbalanced anxiety. Habits or routines throughout my life helps me be a better person especially when it comes to raising my kids. As a single mum with 3 kids there are a lot of tasks to do. So creating specific habits around the most important things I need to do to keep them healthy (and alive) can make our days run a whole lot smoother.
Whether you are aware of them or not, your days (weeks, years, and your entire life) are made up of habits. They can be beneficial habits like brushing your teeth or eating a healthy meal. They can also be more destructive habits like turning to alcohol to relax each day or spending most nights on the couch watching Netflix. The habits you do each day make up your whole life. So it’s important to start being aware of them.
If you are focused on personal improvement then you have probably tried to create new habits once or twice. You’ve probably tried to overhaul your whole life by creating a LIST of new habits that you absolutely are going to stick to this time. The problem is that when we try and create too many habits at once, they rarely stick. It’s like throwing a basket of tennis balls at someone in the hope that they will catch them ALL.
All of the experts on creating habits tell you to choose ONE and then stick to it for 30, 60, or 90 days. If you are anything like me, you’ll get impatient at the sheer thought of taking THAT long to make some changes in your life. The thought that it would take me 100 years to implement all of the changes that I want in my life stops me from making any. OR I get really bored at just trying to improve myself a tiny little bit at a time. I’m more of an ‘all or nothing’ kind of girl.
Over the years I’ve come to tackle habit creation a little differently. I focus on ‘The One Habit’.
The method behind this is that your key habit is to be able to identify what is the ONE HABIT that is going to move the needle (aka have the biggest impact) the most in your life right now. Now, this method isn’t for the beginners in habit creation. In order for this strategy to really work, you need to know where the fuck you are going in the first place! Where are you heading in life? What is your end goal? What kind of life are you focused on creating?
If you know your end goal and you’ve got the vision board stuck up on your wall then this habit creation strategy is for you.
To determine what your ONE HABIT is I want you to think about the next step that you need to take to get to your end goal. I’ll use my life as an example. For me, I know that part of my end goal is to speak on an international stage all about my new book. In order to do this my ONE HABIT is to write daily. Makes sense right? Sometimes it can be that easy for people. Sometimes you need to go back a step. For me, writing daily is fucking hard! I’ve got beliefs to overcome, I’ve got kids to feed, I’ve got Netflix series to watch in order to procrastinate a little. So what I did is I focused on the ONE HABIT of planning out my week every Sunday night. This meant that I would schedule my whole week; including the hours I would be working in my job at the office, when I would do my workout, when I would take the kids on adventures, and most importantly my daily writing block.
When it comes to my daily writing, it’s not necessarily always writing on my book or writing anything that other people might read. It’s often journalling through my own fears of putting a book out there or general life insecurities. However, I know that writing is an important habit that will get me to where I want to go, and mapping out my week on Sundays has helped me create that habit.
I’ve been mapping my week out for about 6 years now. This ONE HABIT has helped me move the needle in my life to incorporate new habits a lot easier. However, this might not be the ONE HABIT that you need right now. You need to think about how you work, what motivates you, and your own end goal. I want you to think about what is ONE HABIT that would really move the needle in your life?
Once that ONE HABIT has truly become a habit (you don’t have to think about doing it anymore, it’s just part of your life) then you can start working on the next ONE HABIT. There is no right or wrong. You might think this new habit is going to be a game-changer in your life, it might not work out that way. The solution? Pick another habit. Don’t stop. Don’t stay stagnate. Don’t cry about it. Get up and pick another habit.