We often know what we’d like to start doing more and less of: eat healthier, drink less, go to the gym more often, stop checking social media so often, be more productive… the list goes on.
So with all the information that’s available today, why do so many people still struggle to start and maintain new healthy habits long term?
Well here’s the thing - if you start ‘doing’ something different, but haven’t yet developed the thinking required for it to stick long term, you will often revert back to (especially when under pressure) old patterns of behavior before those new rituals have become a part of your new identity.
So here is a 4-step system that I continue to use in my own life and with my clients as well, to not only get started, but ensure those new rituals lead to higher performance and become a sustainable part of your personal and professional life.
Understand what you’re wanting to achieve, why you’re wanting to achieve it and how you will feel as a result of achieving it. This will help turn this next level into a ‘must’ instead of a ‘should’.
You can say you want something to be different, but if you don’t truly believe it, self doubt will creep in, often stopping you at this step before (or very soon after) you start.
How To Know You Are Stuck Here:
Internal Language: It’s Not Possible | I Can’t Do It
How You Will Think/Feel: Doubtful
If you need things to go a certain way, you’re setting yourself up for a really challenging time. That might work in a controlled environment, but not in the real world… life happens, family happens, business happens.
Be flexible in your approach. Adaptability is vital for handling anything that comes your way, especially as the world continues to advance rapidly. The flexibility to change and adapt with external circumstances is becoming a common core value among newer organizations (Delivering Happiness included). When something doesn’t go as planned, instead of beating yourself up, be flexible in the moment and adapt your behavior accordingly.
How To Know You Are Stuck Here -
Internal Language: It’s Too Hard | Things Are So Crazy Right Now
How You Will Think/Feel: Rigid & Needing It To Go A Certain Way To Be Successful
Throughout this process, the old version of yourself can (and often does) creep back in… that’s what you’re most comfortable with and it is what you will tend to revert back to when under pressure.
Consciously build in reference points for how you’re making progress, while also showing how free you have become of the old patterns. Progress can be intentionally built into your job or role and can help you feel less stuck in your circumstances. It can be challenging to begin with, but gets easier with time.
How To Know You Are Stuck Here-
Internal Language: It’s Not Working | I’m Not Making Progress
How You Will Think/Feel: Up & Down
After a number of weeks, you’ll notice the new ritual becoming much easier. The more you become identified with this new level, the more you lock it in as your new identity. It’s no longer about what you do, but who you are.
As the new ritual becomes unconscious, it’s important to remember, that as long as you want this to be part of your identity, continue locking in key reference points consistently. This comes through consistently acknowledging how this new version of yourself is working well; the great team meeting you ran this morning, the deal you closed using your updated sales process, the healthy food you chose instead etc.
How To Know You Are Stuck Here-
Internal Language: I’m Exhausted
How You Will Think/Feel: Burnt Out
By understanding and implementing these 4 steps, you will now be able to uncover precisely where you are getting stuck, and more importantly, how to move through it as you step into your next level of excellence.
Do you want to create more Happiness Habits and rituals in your workplace? Learn more about the Science of Happiness: