Happy new year! I hope your 2020 is off to a great start. This year is your year! In this first installment of Five-Minute Fridays, we talk about building healthy habits for 2020. I spent a lot of December helping build 2020 budgets. But no matter how good of a budget we build, what really counts are the habits that get you there.
So, this week we start in on how to build healthy habits that will keep you on track for 2020. My favorite book on this is Atomic Habits by James Clear. In the book, the fundamental principles of how to create a good habit or how to break a bad one. The four principles are:
1. Make it obvious
2. Make it attractive
3. Make it easy
4. Make it satisfying
For these first four important weeks of January, we’ll break down each principle and help you start building habits that you can stick with. The first principle is “make it obvious”. We want to make this new habit – whether it’s keeping a budget, working out, or doing laundry – something that will be easier to follow through on. And we can do that by creating awareness around the habits you already have and then using that information to create the new habits that you want to do. And we can do that in four ways:
1. Keep a habits score card: Write down your current habits so you become aware of them
2. Use implementation intentions: “I will [behavior] at [time], in [location]
3. Use habit stacking: After [current habit], I will [new habit]
4. Design your environment. Make the cues of good habits obvious and visible.
Creating awareness around your habits, making new habits specific and tied to current habits and designing your environment can help ensure that you consistently keep up with the new habits you want to set.
Quote of the week
“Your goal is your desired outcome. Your system is the collection of daily habits that will get there. This year, spend less time focusing on outcomes and more time focusing on the habits that precede the results.” – James Clear, Atomic Habits
Task of the week
So here we go. Your goal of the week is to apply these four fundamental principles to your life.
First, take an inventory of your current habits (wake up, turning off your alarm, take a shower, having breakfast, etc) and rate each of these behaviors positive (+), negative (-) or neutral (=). There’s no judgment around your current habit. The exercise is just creating awareness for you. And then ask yourself “Does this behavior help me become the type of person I wish to be? Does this habit cast a vote for or against my desired identity?
One you’ve take your inventory, move on to your new habits. Get specific into one habit that you want to create. For a lot of clients, it’s checking in on their budget. So you could say, “I will check in on my spending, every Friday at 6:30 in our Kitchen. You can then tie this habit to something that you already do like have a glass of wine when you get home or before you order your pizza.
Lastly, redesign your environment where doing this will become natural and easy.
I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on how you do this. Please contact me at the links below with any questions!