If you’ve ever learned a new skill, like learning a new language or taken up a new personal interest such as learning to play a musical instrument, you’ll know how satisfying it can feel to reach a significant goal. You have changed yourself for the better – that is a truly empowering thought!
Good habits lie behind many of these positive and empowering changes. A habit is an automated behaviour that occurs without much thought. Although, the term ”habit” usually denotes negativity and engagement in a destructive activity. But, what if you could change that all around and turn a ”habit” into a positive? One that serves to promote well-being and success.
How do goals affect habits?
It has been proven that, we are more likely to achieve our goals if we have good habits. Studies have shown that it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a habit to form. Once we have decided on a goal, we are more motivated (on a day-by-day basis), by the habits we have put in place in order to reach the goal, than by the goal itself. We are also motivated by reflecting on our progress towards reaching these goals.
Creating good habits:
Following these great tips on how to develop good habits and, therefore, kick-start positive change and success:
The first, and most important step is to write down what your personal and professional goals are. It is important that you are clear about what these are,as you’ll need to develop new habits, in order to achieve these goals. Choose one goal (make this achievable), and think of all the habits you need to incorporate this into your daily schedule to reach it.
For example: Jane has always wanted to complete her AAT studies. Jane’s goal is to become a fully qualified bookkeeper so she can further her bookkeeping career. Jane, therefore, decides to study for 45 minutes each morning to reach this goal.
Find ways to build habits into your daily routine. Block out a regular time for it in your schedule. Google calendar is a savvy tool that can be used to help you achieve this. The mobile version allows you to add the goals you would like to achieve, with a deadline to achieve this by, and adds it to your calendar automatically. It is much easier to establish good habits if they fall during your most productive time of day. For example: if you are a morning person, try to focus on your new habit in the morning.
As you progress with your new habit, it is important to reflect on how it is working for you. If you are struggling to stick to it, think of why this is the case. Could it be because you are trying to focus on it at the wrong time? Were you too ambitious? It is vital that the habits you put in place are achievable, this is guaranteed to give you success!You may need to tweak your habit to make sure it is delivering change.
It can take between 18 and 254 days to form a new habit. It is important to keep motivated where self-discipline is key. A good way to strengthen your self-discipline is to create a visual representation of the end goal. This will remind you why your new positive habit is so important to you, and can be exactly what you need on days where your enthusiasm is lagging.
It can be difficult to stick to your new habit when your motivation is lagging and when you are on your own, Share your goals with your friends or work colleagues and ask them to support you, there are also various apps you can use to help keep track of your goals. Use the tools around you to make the difference!