Hi, this is Garry from Next Actions

Forming habits is one of the most important things we can do when trying to improve our productivity.

It doesn’t matter how much time the new technique, tool or device will save us, if we don’t make a habit of using it we will go nowhere

Habits are not just about starting something, its about stopping things as well

We all have those little habits that we want to stop.

Why not make a new habit to stop the old one!

Join me now to discuss how you can create new habits, and then use them to drive your productivity

We all try to form new habits.

Many people come up with some New Year resolutions.

They start out with a bang, but do they really succeed?

What most people don’t realise, is that resolutions often fail.

Studies have shown that after 30 days less than 25% of people are still committed to their resolutions.

And only 8% of people accomplish them

This is a shocking statistic.

You may then be asking “why is this so”?

I see three main reasons for this

The first is a lack of clarity in the resolution.

A lot of people would make a resolution “I want to lose weight”, or “I want to get fit”

These are both excellent resolutions in terms of what they want to do

But this also leads to mistake 1 – they are not defined very well

How are you going to know you’ve succeeded?

When do you want to complete it by?

Why are you doing it?

When setting resolutions you should use the SMART goal method.

This techniques helps you to fully define your goal, or resolution

You make it Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and time-bound

This understanding makes it easier for you to see progress

It helps you to stay on track and complete the resolution

Taking one of our examples you may re-write your lose weight resolution to be more like

By 30 March I will loose 6kg of weight. This will allow me to be healthier and better fit into my clothes.

The second thing people make is they just come up with, and possibly write down the resolution.

They don’t spend the time to come up with a plan for achieving the resolution

Here it’s best to remember the 6 p’s

Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance

Most goals and resolutions fail because people don’t spend the time to come up with a plan

They just jump straight in and start doing something

When they hit the first roadblock they throw up their hands, say it’s too hard and then stop

With our lose weight example, they start out by buying all the low-calorie food

They keep control of what they are eating for the first few days

Then they start to feel hungry, or they go fo a meal with friends

Things start to slip

They phrase “I’ll start again tomorrow” starts being said

And bang – the resolution has failed

Spending a bit of time planning means they can avoid some of these issues

Rather than buying the low-fat food they can change existing food for healthier alternatives

Rather than meeting for meals, they can instead meeting for coffees or drinks

Planning and preparation helps you succeed

A really good way to do this is by preparing for your activities

Don’t wait until you are going to start the activity

If you do that you’ll always find something to stop you

Something that you could easily fix with a small amount of planning

Spend a few minutes each evening preparing for the following day

Get everything you’ll need ready

This means when you come to it you have everything you need.

You take away the excuse “I can’t do that because I don’t have what I need”

You’ve prepared everything so you can get straight into the work

An example of this, you want to go for a jog when you get up

Rather than leave everything in the wardrobe, get it out the night before

Put the exercise clothes where they’ll be the first thing that you see

Put your trainers by a chair

Put your water in the fridge

That means you have no excuse to not putting them on the clothes, so you pout them on

You find your trainers by a chair so you can easily put them on

You’ve got a cool bottle of water in the fridge that you can quickly grab

You’ve removed the blocks that could stop you going for a jog

You head on out and do your exercise

The result, you planned to do something

You prepared what you needed

You did it

Do as much preparation as you can and that makes it easier to get the task done

This leads into the third issue, they do not make the changes into a habit

People think they can quickly pick up a new habits

Unfortunately this is not so.

It’s harder to establish a habit than most people think.

You don’t suddenly wake up one morning and think “I’m going to start eating less”

We’ve all tried that – it doesn’t work.

What you need to do is look at how you can make it a habit

This is where routines can come in useful.

We all have routines, and most of us have multiple different routines

These can include

Morning routines – the things we do when we first get up

Workplace routines – the things we do at various times when we are at work

Evening routines – the things we do when we get home from work

Bedtime routines – the things we do before going to bed

Sunday morning routines

Kids activity routines

And the list it goes on

These routines are key in how we do things

They are often so automatic that we don’t even think about them when doing it

Can you think of some routines that you have?

Spend a couple of minutes to think about them

Try and identify what your routines are

Write them down, and also write down what you do as part of each of them

Can you share some of the routines in the comment below?

Doing this is likely to help trigger other people who may have similar routines

I am drawing attention to routines as these are they key things that you can use to develop new habits

What you need to do is to add, or remove, the habit from one of these existing routines

For example, if you want to stop smoking

Part of your morning routine may be when you hav your first cigarette of the day

You would then alter that routine so you do not have the cigarette

This could be by moving your cigarettes to somewhere you wont easily see them,

or changing the activities you do so you don’t go to the place you smoke

If you want to eat more healthy you may add to your evening routine to prepare the meals for the following day

This means the meals are there for you to grab rather than reaching for the unhealthy alternative

You may decide to start ordering your groceries online rather than visiting the supermarket

We pick up most of our unhealthy food when in the supermarket because of they way it is displayed and us thinking “that looks nice, I’ll grab one of them”

By ordering the groceries online we reduce that impulse buying

This changing of routines links t the planning

We decide on the changes we want to make

Look at the ways we are doing things now

Then make small changes to our routines to enable the new behaviour or habit.

Remember, small changes to things we already do are easier to keep than starting to do large new things

Have you had any success with forming new habits?

What are the tips that you can share to help others to be successful?

Can you drop those into the comments below

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To summarise

We all set resolutions or want to form new habits

The majority of these fail

To help us to be successful with these new habits we need to

Define them using SMART goal setting

Make a plan to achieve them

As part of the planning do as much preparation as you can to remove things that may block you from doing the task

Adapt your existing routines to include the new habit

This helps them to become a pattern that can be maintained

The start to get the habits rolling

Start to see the changes

Start to get the results you deserve

Are you struggling to set an maintain new habits

Why not give me a call to see how i can help you to set and plan for new habits

I so have an accountability service available, this is designed to help you to achieve your new habits and goals

Working together you can get the results you deserve

Please reach out to me on 0415 591672

I am based in Australia so please use the international dialling code +61 if calling from another Country

You can also email me on garry@nextactions.com.au

or visit nextactions.com.au where you will find a link to book a free short introductory call

Do you have any topics you’d like me to cover

If you do please drop a comment below

And I’ll add to the list of upcoming videos

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I’ll talk to you again soon