The start of a new year is the perfect time to track, audit, and edit your habits!
A habit is a routine or behaviour that is repeated regularly. Habits are the essential foundation for living and leading with passion, clarity, and purpose. Cultivating the personal and professional life you want requires self-discipline and is simply a collection of strong habits, carefully cultivated over time.
TRACK: The first thing we have to do is to bring awareness to what your current habits are. To do this we must observe our behaviour for a period of time. Get a piece of paper and divide it into three parts - morning, daytime, evening. As you go about the next few days notice what your routine is - jot down things you notice. You might start your day by looking at your phone and reading a specific news site, or checking your emails. Then what? Observe yourself for a few days and identify patterns of behaviour - these are your habits.
AUDIT: Next you need to make some decisions about what habits to keep, what to let go of, and what to add. Use these simple questions to help you audit your current habits:
What is one Habit I will START and why?
What is one Habit I will STOP and why? What is the current payoff I get from this habit?
What is one Habit I will CONTINUE and why?
EDIT: Finally, editing your habits is the process of taking small steps towards the habits you want to start and taking small steps away from the habits you want to stop. Effectively editing your habits requires three important elements:
Triggers - Determine when you want to add your START habit to your day and create a trigger (like a calendar invite) to remind you to perform this habit.
Swaps - Determine an alternate behaviour you can swap for your STOP habit so that you have a plan when you are cued to want to engage in your old habit. An example would be determining that you will take a walk instead of having a cookie at 3 pm.
Self Compassion - Editing the well-worn pathways that habits form in our brains takes time, commitment, and most importantly, self-compassion. Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism.
Tracking, auditing, and editing your habits takes knowledge, skill, and courage. You now have some tools that will add to your knowledge and skill level. Now it's time for some courage! I challenge you to take just one idea from this article and try it out - action creates momentum!
Please book a complimentary coaching session for some extra support to track, audit, and edit your habits.