You cannot perform your best when you live in a chaotic environment and overwhelmed state. Poor habits such as overbooking and over committing yourself will keep you constantly running late, rushing from one event to another, feeling stressed, frustrated, and overwhelmed. However, you can implement new habits in your daily life to minimize the chaos and overwhelming stress you feel and begin to move into a peaceful and controlled environment so that you can perform at your optimal level.
When you begin to implement different and better habits into your everyday routine, you can impact your life and create the environment you desire. You can live in a peaceful, organized state. You can end the chaos and stress. It all starts with a decision. Once you decide what you want to do and commit to it, you can affect change in your life.
The definition of a habit according to Merriam-Webster is “a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition.”
No matter how long you have been doing a particular routine or habit, you can break it and develop a new one. You need to decide what your new habit will be and start doing it repeatedly. The more you do it consistently, the more it will stick. You “acquire habits by frequent repetition.”
If you want to develop new habits, then you begin doing the new habit in place of the old. For example, many people will say that they are not a morning person or they need to eat better or exercise more.
I used to claim that I was not a morning person. However, there were times in my life that I faithfully woke up at 5:00 a.m. every morning no matter the circumstance. There was another period when I slept in and felt that I needed to get up later; otherwise, I would awake groggy and not feel right. Even sometimes when I intended to get up, I would not. Now, I get up weekday mornings at 5:30 a.m. I do not feel groggy. I feel alert and ready to go. I get up easily.
The difference in the various periods of my life with my morning routine was what motivated me. It was the shift in my language, mindset, and determination. Tony Robbins, in his book, Awaken the Giant Within, talks about pain versus pleasure. You will be motivated to change when you associate your current belief with pain or what it will cost you, and the new belief with tremendous pleasure. For me, the cost of not getting up in the morning meant that I had no time to work on my dream. When I began to associate getting up early with attaining my dream sooner rather than later it changed my belief which changed my habit.
Here are 3 tips to help you develop new habits in the areas you want to improve:
1) Decide — Using the above example, once I decided what I wanted, it was easy and effortless to make the change to become a morning person. There was no forcing myself to get up. You need to figure out what you want and once you make the decision that is the first step in seeing progress. You can not waver in your decision. You can’t be thinking, “I might do it,” “I guess,” “Maybe,” or “I’ll see how I feel.” You need to affirmatively make the decision and stop re-considering it each time the circumstance arises. Do not re-analyze your decision as you will talk yourself out of it.
When I was trying to get back into the habit of getting up early, if I started to think, let me rest for 5 more minutes, I immediately stopped entertaining that thought and jumped out of bed. When I did this, I felt better because my day did not start off with regrets or guilt of not doing what I said I was going to do and I was able to accomplish what I desired with the extra morning time.
If you start to ponder, immediately, stop the thought and do what you have already decided. Our subconscious brain will do what we tell it to do. When you make a decision and tell yourself, “I am doing _____,” then your brain will go in that direction, and you will begin to take the new action without even thinking about it over time. It will become automatic once it is a habit.
2) Commit — Once you decide, then you need to make the commitment to carry out your decisions. There are so many people in our society that cannot keep a commitment to themselves or others. This is because their priorities are scattered, they have no discipline, and they live in an overwhelmed state. Therefore, they start things but do not finish them. Be true to yourself and others. Do not over commit and learn to say “no” when something does not align with your priorities. When you commit and keep your promises, you will be able to avoid regrets in your life and accomplish more than you ever thought possible.
3) Take Action Consistently — Once you have made the decision and are committed to it, then you need to take action consistently. Carry out your new habit daily. No excuses. No procrastination. Change comes when you consistently take action. Over time, small steps equal big results. Thinking about changing, wishing you could change, or wanting to change will not benefit you. You get the benefits when you take action. My grandmother used to say, “Why put off tomorrow what you can do today.” There is no time like the present. Get started today!
When you decide, commit, and take action, then you can form new habits to create the environment and life that you desire.
Originally published at medium.com