Habits have gotten a bad rap. Why? Well, they’re really hard to stick to, and as we struggle to form them, we become discouraged. This leads us down a path lacking confidence and enthusiasm, preventing us from developing those all-important problem-solvers.
But lack of discipline is not a genetic deficiency. It’s not a weakness or flaw of your personality and character. You can, in fact, cultivate discipline and control.
If you’re looking to create these positive, productive habits, I first want you to spend time in your own head and change your mindset. I have to do this all the time, and you can too.
Here’s an example of shifting your mindset. Instead of, “I can’t eat sugar,” try “I don’t eat sugar.” This habit isn’t being imposed upon you; it’s your choice.
Habits help us solve all types of problems and challenges that we come across in our daily lives. Don’t view them as burdens or deprivations or limitations. Realize that they have the power to improve your life, get you closer to what you really want and make things a lot easier along the way. But you must commit to them.
I also think the best way to stick to your positive habits is by starting your day the right way. This “routine” will be unique to you, but it should give you a proactive--instead of reactive-- start to the day. If your morning is doomed the second your phone alarm goes off and you look at how many emails, texts and social notifications you have, make a commitment to yourself that you won’t be touching your phone until you’ve moved through your morning routine. For me, the only way I could ensure this was to trade my phone alarm for an old-school alarm clock and keep my phone out of the bedroom. It removed the temptation, kept me from starting my day anxious and stressed, and my clock looks really cute on my nightstand. Win-Win-Win.
Remember, you’re not supposed to be perfect, and you will stumble, make mistakes and drop the ball on your habits. The trick is to get back on the habit horse as soon as possible; I only allow my stumble to last a day or two. And don’t try and implement too many at once. Tackle a few at a time, gaining a track record of success and confidence. I include a "Have It All Habits Log" in my new book, which will walk you through how to figure out what habits will help you get closer to achieving your Goals and how to make them stick. Which will get you closer to the life you really want. Definitely a Win-Win-Win.