The 5 Steps and The 3Cs to Ensure Your Habits Serve You

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

Did you read my last blog about habits, and what your next steps are?
You’re in luck — because here are five of them!

Step One — What even ARE my habits?

I know how difficult it is to work out what your habits even are! Even when I say that everything you do is habit-based, you’ll still likely leave some things out, if I ask you to make a list!

So, here’s what I do every month or two. I set an alarm on my phone to go off every fifteen minutes, between when I get up and when I fall asleep. Every time it goes off, I make a note of what I am doing. When I do this for a couple of weekdays, and a weekend day, I can find my habits.

Don’t try to ‘prettify’ what you’re doing. If you’re writing a blog, with the TV on in the background, write down both of those things. No matter how you feel about the fact you weren’t concentrating on one thing!

You’ll be shocked at some of the things you engage in that don’t serve you. For example, who knew that I spent so many minutes of my day simply procrastinating?! (Yeah, that’s how honest you have to be with yourself, when that alarm buzzes!)

Step Two — Do I WANT that habit?

You now have a list of all the habits you have in your everyday life, and it’s time to think in depth about three categories. Every habit you see needs to fit one of two of these categories:
1) Habits that are serving me and my purpose;
2) Habits that are not serving me and my purpose.

And the third category?
3) Habits that would serve me and my purpose that I don’t already do.

This is your opportunity to sort through exactly what you want to look like. Remember, in previous blogs I said need to live as if you are the person who already has what you want from life? That comes into play here too — your habits need to be aligned with who you need to be to get all that you desire.

Step Three — How to act on my habits?

To drop a habit you don’t want, you have two choices: a direct swap for a habit that serves you; or, simply, not doing it anymore.

Let’s think first about the simpler option: just STOP. As soon as you desire to perform that habit, change your focus of attention to something else.

Don’t ever think “I must not <think of a purple elephant>.” We all know what we’re all thinking about now, right?
Simply move your focus away from what you want to do, onto something else.

Whether you want to replace an old habit or to start a new habit, the process is the same. Begin by working out exactly what the new or replacement habit is, and then work out how you’re going to remember to do it.

I have recently started a skincare regime — for that, I’ve used an activity prompt. I do it at the same time as I brush my teeth.
Activity cues are very useful — you twin the new habit with something you already do without issue. The other option is a time cue, and this is one I use for going to bed: the clock hits 2030, and I know it’s bedtime. In the beginning, to start a time cue, you may need to set a reminder alarm, but it will soon become ingrained.

Consistency is huge for both stopping and starting habits. Do the same thing every single time you are cued to do it, whether that’s dismissing the old habit, or doing the new habit. The more consistent you are, the quicker that you will see progress.

Step Four — How do I know the method is working?

Tracking is really important for any habit that you want to start or perfect.

The only decision you have to make on this is what tracking method will work best for you. A planner on the wall with checkmarks may be a great prompt for you, if it’s somewhere you pass multiple times a day. It feels uncomfortable to look at it without the checkmark, right?

Who wants to break a streak of getting that habit down?!

Step Five — Can I start another habit yet?

In my experience, having two to four weeks of a new habit under your belt is when it’s time to bring in another one. If you go too fast, you’ll feel overwhelmed and none of them will become a habit. Go too slowly, and you’ll find the remaining unserving habits denigrate the new habit you’re trying to build.

Remember to watch your feelings about starting another new habit — listen to your intuition.

Conclusion

That really is it: the simple process that has led to abundance in my life, and habits that serve me (mostly! Helloooo, Netflix binges!).

To conclude, I want to sum up the 3 Cs that I use to make sure I stay on track:
Consistency — all habits, serving or unserving, are built by doing them regularly.
Cues — if you don’t have a link to when / where you do the habit, how will you remember?
Creativity — sometimes you’ll need to ‘think outside the box’ to make sure you keep up your habit. (E.g. lockdown getting in the way of your gym routine? Buy some dumbbells!).

You can choose all the habits you want, but without the 3 Cs, you will struggle to get them ingrained into your life.

Originally published at https://wildeaboutwellbeing.com on November 7, 2020.

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Wellness podcaster and writer, and manifestation coach. Sharing my journey through life and the bumps along the way! Hoping you’ll come along for the ride!

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Jessica Wilde About Wellbeing

Jessica Wilde About Wellbeing

Wellness podcaster and writer, and manifestation coach. Sharing my journey through life and the bumps along the way! Hoping you’ll come along for the ride!

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