“If we keep doing what we’re doing, then we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting” Stephen F. Covey
Do you really think it takes 21 days to create a habit? How about 30 days? Those are not really good questions to ask.
The question that should be asked is this: Is your habit a purpose you’re willing to create and keep permanently for the rest of your life? Or is it only temporary?
Are you willing to change your life for the better? Do you want to live a healthy life? Is this a big life decision you’re deciding to take? If you answered yes to these questions, then you have the strength and the determination to create and keep your new habit.
However, if you need a solution to how you can develop new habits effectively in your own terms, then keep reading.
This post will be based on Stephen R. Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
It’s an insightful book to read, especially if you want to learn more about developing better habits, how to be successful in life and self-improvement.
Here we go.
1. Being proactive
So how long does it really take to form a new habit? The answer is to that is it really depends.
“Our behavior is a function of our decision, not our conditions.” ~ Stephen R. Covey
When you make a decision to change something in your life, whether big or small, you’re responsible for it.
If you want to lose weight, then you better make sure it’s a decision you’re willing to go through with.
If you decide to not eat ice for 2 months (which I am actually doing at this time), then you better make sure it is something you’re willing to go through with.
It not only depends on your mindset but it also on how big of a change you’re making.
For example, if you’re going to tell yourself that you’re going to walk for 10 minutes one time a week, then it should be an easy habit to form and implement into your daily schedule. However, if you said that you were going to walk for 1 hour and five days a week, then that’s a big decision you made compared to walking only for one day a week.
So being proactive not only means productivity and managing your time, it also means knowing that this is your life and you are responsible for how you live it. How proactive you live is your choice, not anyone else’s.
2. Knowing your end results from the beginning
Are you thinking about your end results? Do you think about how you’re going to see yourself in a few weeks? Months? Years?
Is the habit you’re creating really important to you?
It’s hard creating a habit, especially if it’s going to be long-term. And there will be hard times during your transition while you form your new habit.
That’s life in general. There will be different obstacles along the way, but how it’s going to affect you is your choice.
When you think about creating your new habit, don’t think about how hard it is going to be in the present, but think about how much better your life will be in the future. Creating a new habit is not simple but it’s definitely worth it, depending on how much of a value it is to you.
Think about how easier, richer, and fulfilling your life will be as you consistently form this new habit.
In addition, when you think about it, creating a new habit is not just a simple habit that can change your life in a short time, there’s a reason this habit matters to you.
Is it something that can change your life for the better? Is it something that can help you spend more time with friends and family?
When creating this new habit of yours, whatever it is, make sure that your end result is important to you. Make sure that it is something of a great value that will satisfy you in the long run.
According to Stephen R. Covey, when you know you’ve made that decision to take that step in creating a new habit and you’ve determined its value in your life, then the third act you need to do is determine how strong of a priority it is going to be in your life.
What this means is since this new habit is going to be integrated into your lifestyle, you now need to make it your priority to stick it out. You need to make a plan on how you’re going to work through this habit, which involves discipline.
Make it a priority to implement this habit daily or weekly. If this habit is important to you, then make sure it is something you’re going to prioritize every day and constantly as you develop this habit.
This means you will have to be disciplined. You will have to manage your time wisely and you will have to independently be willing to create this new habit to turn it into a normal automatic routine.
If your schedule gets hectic one week, then restructure it so that your habit is still within your weekly schedule.
4. A Successful Mindset
Creating a habit does not happen without a winning mindset. This means that your mind is constantly thinking about success, accomplishment, and positivity.
“As we clearly identify or values and proactively organize and execute around those values on a daily basis, we develop self-awareness and independent will by making and keeping meaningful promises and commitments” ~ Stephen R. Covey
Overall, creating your new habit and maintaining it also means changing your perspective on how you see things in life. What I mean by that is that you don’t let anything stop you because your mind is programmed for success.
Even if you were sad, angry, or doubtful, you know how to get back up and change that mindset to turn it into a positive and successful thought.
5. Listen First, Understand Later
You don’t have to be by yourself as you’re on the path of forming your new habit. Accountability partners are great when you may find yourself on a negative path. Talking to someone who is willing to understand what you’re going through by listening first is a great way to vent at times.
That way, when you talk, your accountability partner can emphasize with you, with what you’re going through as you form your new habit.
Right then and there, your accountability partner can help you get back on your feet.
Having a journal is also another way to listen first and understand later. Journals are great tools to help you write down your thoughts about your day and life in general.
When you write down your thoughts on your journal, you learn to listen to yourself. Did you know that? This can help you really understand your strength and weaknesses as you form your new habit.
This way, you can also learn how to modify certain things about your new habit and yourself. By writing down your process, you can find out many things that can help you continue on forming your habit successfully.
6. Being Creative
Forming new habits also takes creativity. If losing weight is a habit you want to form, then alternate your work out. For two days you can dance to Zumba, while the rest of the week you could walk or lift weights.
If it rains when you needed to walk or run outside, use those times to invent some sort of indoor exercise to consistently form your new habits.
Habits will form faster if you stick to the same time and environment each day. Instead of going for a walk whenever, keep your sneakers next to the door and schedule your walk every day at 6pm, right after dinner for example.
7. Be The Change
While it will be different from one person to the next and even from one habit to the next, there are a few things to keep in mind.
A constant reminder of why you’re trying to change your behavior is also helpful. Remind yourself every day that you’re exercising so your body stays strong. And as you form those thoughts and see results, this leads to a whole new mindset change. Then, you can think of new ways to exercise or trying out new healthy foods.
If you want to travel the world, start now and save money. And as you begin to save money, your mindset begins to change for the better. You may learn to save money in a better or find new ways to earn money.
When you become the change, you will see the change.
So there we go! I have presented you 7 effective ways to create a new habit, based on Stephen R. Covey’s book. You learned that forming a new habit means making a decision to take it on. Second, you visualized the end results of your new habit in how much it’s really going to change your life in a good way. Thirdly (that may not be a word), you made your new habit a priority in your life and promised yourself to stick it out.
Fourth, you learn that hardship will come but being positive and having a successful mindset helps you to continue. Fifth, writing down your thoughts in your journal can help you understand your journey to forming a new habit and how you can make it better.
The last two, being creative and being the change, allows you to see the change in yourself. This brings out the best of you, which in fact brings your new formed habit into an automatic routine.
As I said, the book is a great read. It really helps you to understand yourself and the world around you.
Even after reading (or skimming) this, you may tell yourself it’s hard or I don’t know if I can do this.
If you make yourself think and say things like that, then yes you’re not going to be able to create the habits that you want. It’s all up to you, as always. Not anyone else’s. However, if you decide to change your life and keep at it, it will be worth it in the end.
Have you formed a new habit? Leave it in the comments below! I would love for us to communicate!
Until Next Time,