How To Implement A New Habit Successfully
If you've read any number of my articles it doesn't take long to realize I'm a big believer (and implementer!) of habits.
From habits that'll improve your mental health and physical well-being such as cold showering and power posing, to rich habits that'll help you build wealth and live free...
If you have a cold shower once here and there or perform some power poses twice a year you're not going to be reaping any of the great benefits of these tiny habits - in order to see results and reap the rewards, like most things in life you need to maintain consistency.
This is where most guys fail.
Be it new years resolutions or a single, small habit. We'll do it once, we'll do it twice, we'll say that we're going to do it... but for one reason or another we don't.
Failed habits result in stagnation and a lack of confidence as we didn't follow through with what we said.
Say you're going to do it and then stick to it. If you've failed time and time again to implement new habits make sure you're covering all bases in the 3 step process below (this is how I successfully implemented the 48 habits I share in 'Becoming A Lion Among Sheep').
Step 1 - The Reason
If I told you to raise your arms above your head and plant your feet in the ground while looking in an upward direction every morning for 2 minutes you probably wouldn't do it. If you did for some odd reason you'd last a day, maybe two or three at the longest. That's nothing out of the ordinary.
If you're a gym-goer however, and I told you to raise your arms above your head and plant your feet in the ground while looking in an upward direction every morning for 2 minutes followed by the immense benefits of power poses, such as increased testosterone, increased energy and relief from anxiety you'd do it every day and twice on Sunday.
The takeaway here is you NEED to have a reason, a strong WHY for each habit you implement into your life.
It comes as no surprise that habits fail when individuals don't know what the benefit of doing the habit is, let alone whether it aligns with their goals or not.
There are hundreds upon hundreds of positive, life changing habits out there - but there's only so much time in the day... this is why habit selection is key. Choose the habits that align with what you want to do and be.
Step 2 - The Queue
Every habit must have a queue or an anchor.
This is essentially the first domino that sets off the chain, the chain of your positive habit.
For example, getting out of your bed in the morning is a fantastic queue, the second your feet hit the floor and your body is out of your bed you're ready to start that new habit.
Everyone has a number of different queues and anchors throughout their day...
A few I utilize include:
- Getting out of bed
- Getting into the car in the morning
- Starting my workout
- Finishing my workout
Brainstorm a number of queues in your day and match them up with suitable (positive) habits that align with your goals.
Step 3 - The Reward
Did you endure that cold shower? Did you spend 45 minutes smashing those heavy dumbbells in the early AM of the morning? Did you meditate for 20 minutes like you said you would?
Provided you did what you said you would, it's time to reward yourself.
Now, when we're talking about rewards I don't mean going out and eating a 4,000 calorie meal when your goal is to get shredded, nor do I meet watching porn, gossiping or anything self destructive for that matter.
Finished reading 100 pages of that biography?
Go outside and get some sun, go and shoot some hoops with some friends - whatever it is that you consider a small fun 'reward' for seeing through your habit.
Wrapping It Up
For any and every habit to be successful in your regime (long term) you need a solid reason WHY you want to do it, a queue to trigger you to take action throughout your day and start your habit, along with a non-self destructive reward for seeing it through.