The new year is upon us. It’s a new decade, 2020! Surely, that means many of us are thinking about ways we can make that “New year, New me” concept into something concrete. Right? Of course! Me?… I have a few things on my current list I’m trying to get consistent in: A new type of scheduling, flossing, and keeping up with folding clothes. (I know I can’t be to ONLY one set to “fold clothes same day as washing” this year.. right?!). For the sake of transparency though, I planned on writing this post months ago when I shared about my new morning routine, BEFORE the littlest arrived, so I guess you could say I’m finally putting fingers to keyboard and capitalizing on the time of the year. Yep. I am. Regardless of when you’re starting though, I think having a few tips to making a new habit stick can’t hurt. Infact, after using these tips myself I feel fairly confident they can help you be more successful in turning those resolutions into habits too!
So, to get right into it…
Making habits isn’t easy. At least, it isn’t for me. What is easy is getting distracted, lazy, then discouraged, and ultimately quitting. I’m certainly no expert on making habits but I have found some productivity coaches and influencers that are and combining some of their advice has helped so much in the realm of making and keeping new habits.
First, a tip from my favorite productivity bullet journaler, Matt Ragland. I found his channel this past year and have loved his tips on using your bullet journal to be more productive. (As am wahm I’ve found his tips so helpful!). In one of his videos he talked about building habits. I’m sure he shared a few different things about it but the one I really remember was his “tow truck trick”.
Connect your new habit to an old one.
Even if we’re bad at making new habits we all have current habits that have come naturally to us. Those habits we already do (usually without much thought) can be an anchor for our new habits.
Want to start using a planner ever day? Maybe you drink coffee every morning and take those few minutes to sit before you start your day. Well, try putting your planner stuff with your coffee stuff or where you drink your coffee. Having it there and accessible in a place you’re already accustomed to being can make it easier for you to take the next step and do it.
Our sons dentist used this same tip when explaining how she used to be terrible at flossing. She had no problem brushing her teeth every day but flossing she really struggled with. What she started doing was exactly what Matt said. She connected her new habit of flossing to her established habit of brushing…. she told herself she couldn’t brush until she flossed, since she was already there and had no reason to put it off. It worked!
I’ve use this tip for a few different habits myself. At the moment though, I’ve been really digging a tip from another YouTuber I like watching.
The two day rule
Matt D’Avella made a video this past year sharing one of his tried and true tips for building habits, calling it the “two day rule”. You can watch his full video on it but to sum up what I took from it, don’t be so rigid with yourself that you set yourself up for failure… don’t expect perfection then throw in the towel when you fall short of that. Give yourself the ability to take a day off, forget, not follow through, etc, but also don’t let yourself just completely let it go. If you miss today you don’t let yourself miss tomorrow. Take breaks whenever you need but *tomorrow* you’re back at it. Matt calls it the two day rule, but really it’s more like a “one day rule”. Watch the video, he does a much better job of explaining and expounding on it.
The final tip I have for you is one of my own. Well, kind of my own. Okay, maybe not my own at all. I attribute it to the one and only, Marie Kondo. (If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo I highly suggest looking up her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up).
When we KonMari’d our home a few years ago I learned:
The importance of having a vision
Marie Konda said it this way, “Before you start, visualize your destination”. Now, this may seem like it only has to do with decluttering but in actuality it was about starting a whole new way of life. Essentially, making a new habit.
When making a new habit, knowing the why behind you wanting to live that way, getting concrete on what your life could look like with that habit, can help you feel more motivated to stick with it. (even when you’re not motivated).
Lately, I’ve been trying to start the habit of flossing my teeth before bed. (Yes, this is something I’m terrible at doing). My whole life I’ve loosely “wanted” to be the person that does this. My grandmother is a dental assistant and I can remember, even being very young, her flossing her teeth as she got ready for bed when we stayed with her. We even got floss and other dental things every year from her for Christmas and birthdays. You’d think I would have naturally been a pro at this. Nope. Not at all. This time though, I’ve gotten more concrete on why I really want to floss. Not just why flossing, in and of itself, is important but why it’s important to ME. I tell ya, it’s helping. Most of the times I’ve tried this habit I MIGHT floss twice then forget… then stop. This time, I’ve not given up yet and when I do feel lazy about it, reminding myself of the why has helped motivate me more than once to just do it. Combining this tip with Matt D’Avella’s Two Day Rule and I am on my way to (hopefully) becoming a consistent flosser! Woohoo!
So what are you trying to make for “new habits” this year? Tell me! And share your tips to make new habits stick with me!.. Lord knows I could use all the help I can get!
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