22 Mar How to turn a goal into a habit Part 3
Step 7: Reward Important Milestones
A new habit doesn’t have to be boring. Focus on building a reward system into the process so you can take time to celebrate the successful completion of your goals. The reward you pick is up to you, but it’s important to celebrate those big moments along the way.
Keep in mind, a reward doesn’t have to break the bank. You could check out a new movie, enjoy a night out with your significant other, or simply do something you love.
We tend to underestimate the importance of having “fun” while building habits. Often, though, having a clear reward for regularly completing an action will help you to stick to the new routine.
Step 8: Build a New Identity
Repeating a habit on a daily basis will only get you so far. You can do a lot by committing to a small action, doing it every day, increasing the effort over time and overcoming obstacles.
But at some point, you need to go from simply doing it every day to making it a part of your core identity. Only then will you stick to it without the constant need for reinforcement. The idea here is that you can build a lasting habit by making it a reflection of who you are on the inside. Simply put, you need to believe the habit is part of what makes YOU a unique person.
You need to identify with your goals and habits and make sure they are centered on a specific outcome (like working on your Olympic lifts in the gym or reducing your waist line to become healthier and decrease your risk of disease).
It’s better to decide that the habit is simply part of your identity and then use each “small win” as a way to demonstrate that it’s who you are on the inside.
Really, it starts with a shift of mindset.
With a new habit, reinforce this behaviour by saying things like: “I’m the type of person who regularly enjoys the ___ type of exercise.”
Then, follow through by doing it on a daily basis.
Eventually, your internal identity will match this daily routine.
As you can see, it’s not that hard to form a new habit. The secret is to relate to an important goal, make a commitment to work at it on a daily basis and use a series of micro-commitments to increase the likelihood of success.
If you think you need help shifting your mindset in regards to exercise and nutrition, please reach out and start doing something today that will benefit you tomorrow.