15 Mar How to turn a goal into a habit Part 2
Step 4: Take Baby Steps
The key to habit developing is to make micro-commitments and focus on small wins.
The danger of relying on motivation alone to form a new habit is that you don’t have a backup plan for when you’re not in the mood. Really, the only way to make a habit stick is to turn it into automatic behaviour. You can do this by taking baby steps and creating a low level of commitment.
The idea here is to create a micro-commitment where it’s impossible to fail. It’s more important to stay consistent and not miss a day than it is to hit a specific milestone. What you’ll find is that when you have a low level of commitment, you’ll be more likely to get started.
Examples of zeroing in on a micro-commitment include:
- Walking for just 5 minutes a day.
- Reading one paragraph of your book.
- Eating one serving of vegetables each day.
- Taking 5 minutes to meditate each morning.
- Waking up each morning 10 minute earlier.
Odds are, these activities seem overly simplistic.
And that’s why they are so powerful!
You want to commit to something so easy that it’s impossible to miss a day. Then, when you get started, you’ll often do more than you intended.
Discover the Power of Small wins
Step 5: Make a Plan for Obstacles
Every new habit will have obstacles. When you know in advance what your obstacles are, you can take preventative action to overcome them.
Examples of common obstacles:
The Morning Routine for Peak Performance
Prepare and anticipate that these obstacles will come. Then, you won’t be blindsided by them.
- “If I check the weather and it’s raining, then I will work out at the gym instead.”
- “If I don’t have time to food prep that day, I will start to wake up 30 minutes earlier and prepare for day before anything else.”
- “If I have a really bad day at work and don’t feel like working out, I will still walk briskly for at least 15 minutes.”
Step 6: Create Accountability for Your Habit
Track your efforts and make public declarations about your new habit. According to the lessons learned from the Hawthorne effect, you’re more likely to follow through with a commitment when you’re being observed by others. To stick with this new routine, you should let others know about your efforts and goals.
Post updates on social media, use apps like Chains and Coach.me to track your progress, work with an accountability partner, or post regular updates to our community page related to the habit. Do whatever it takes to get reinforcement from others in support of your new routine.
Never underestimate the power of social approval. Simply knowing you will be held accountable for your habit keeps you focused and consistent.