Developing Habits

"HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BUILD A NEW HABIT?"

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This is one of the most googled questions year after year, with all sorts of myths and speculations surrounding it.

 

Unfortunately, there is no magic number.

 

Habits are created based on repetition and frequency, not by counting the days until it becomes easy. It's more efficient to think of habits as a lifestyle, not a set of challenges you can sprint your way through.

Why are Habits Important?

The quality of your life is the sum of your habits. If you want to uncover the secret behind why a person is successful, in good health or happy, just pay attention to their habits and daily routines. What you spend your time doing and thinking ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality that you portray.

Not All Habits are Good Habits

The quality of your life is the sum of your habits. If you want to uncover the secret behind why a person is successful, in good health or happy, just pay attention to their habits and daily routines. What you spend your time doing and thinking ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality that you portray.

How Do You Develop or Break a Habit?

James Clear, in his book Atomic Habits, talks about how you can develop or break a habit in four simple steps:

 

1. Make it obvious

2. Make it attractive

3. Make it easy

4. Make it satisfying

 

His whole theory is based on various research indicating that behaviors followed by satisfying consequences tend to be repeated while those that produce unpleasant consequences are less likely to be repeated.

 

Be kind to yourself during the process of developing a new habit.

 

Think of habit building as a process: try, fail, learn, try again using what you've learned. Remember, a habit is a behavior repeated enough times that it becomes automatic.

Align Habits With Your Values and Daily Activity

In order to create a lifestyle you need to be able to track your progress and hold yourself accountable. To help you, we created the Building Power Collectively journal. In it, you'll be able to write down and align your VEST Her Statement (purpose), your core values, and the habits you need to develop to achieve your goals. Here is how you can align your purpose, values and habits leveraging your Building Power CollectivelyJournal:

1. Get Focused

To get started you need clarity on what you want to achieve. What is your ultimate goal, your purpose, your legacy? Get clear about what you really want and why you really want it. Make the reason so compelling you are excited to move forward, because what you focus on is what you move toward. Write it down.

2. Set Guidelines

Values are the principles determining what you go after and what you avoid. They determine your actions, influence how you treat others, how you interact in the world, and build your legacy. Being able to define your own personal set of rules and aligning this with your purpose is essential to achieving meaningful impact. Write them down.

3. Take Action

You’ve defined your target, a set of guidelines, now you need an effective and efficient game plan to reach it. It’s time to focus on building habits and a routine.

 

Yes, we know, a routine sounds so basic, but research shows routines are the most effective way to develop good habits.

 

So, write down the three habits or goals you want to tackle this year in your Building Power Collectively™ journal. Don't go nuts trying to develop more habits and achieve more goals all at once. It dilutes the most important ones, can overwhelm you, and cause you to give up. Instead focus on the ones that can create the most impact.

4. Track It

Track your progress by marking whether or not you were successful implementing the habit into your daily routine. You can put a star on the top of the page or a minus sign if you did not complete it. At the end of the month you can see how you performed.

Again, be kind to yourself during this process.

Remember, a habit is a behavior repeated enough times that it becomes automatic. But it doesn't happen overnight and adding guilt to the process doesn't accomplish anything but discouragement. The process of building positive habits begins with trial and error.

 

Try, fail, learn, and try again using the things you've learned thus far.

VEST Her