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How to Create More Powerful Habits

How to Create More Powerful Habits

We humans are creatures of habit. We have evolved over thousands of years to like routine, to like predictability and to become ingrained in a certain series of events.

Most of us therefore have a routine that we pretty much follow every single day. Maybe you start your day by waking up, making breakfast, having a shower, getting dressed and then watching the news for 10 minutes with a cup of coffee before running out the door.

This is no coincidence. This comes down to the entire way we are hardwired. The way our brains work and the way our biology operates. Repeating the same actions or thoughts over and over again essentially means that we are repeatedly using the same neuronal pathways and causing the same connections to light up and fire.

If you repeat one action followed by another often enough, they will become so ingrained as to become automatic and beyond our conscious control. We call this a ‘habit loop’ which consists of 3 phases; The trigger, the behaviour and the reward.

In short, the more we repeat the same behaviour over and over, the harder it is for us to change that behaviour.

If the behaviour in question involves smoking, then this is bad news. But if the behaviour involves going to the gym, then it’s great news. I have done some form of exercise since I was 7 years old. That’s when I took up gymnastics and trained 3 times a week. (I’m 45 this year). That means that I’ve been doing something consistently for 38 years. As you might expect, I now find it almost impossible to not do any form of exercise. I love working out in one way or another, it’s a part of who I am.

In other words, harnessing the power of habit can be a powerful tool in helping you to get whatever you want from life:

Often you will read that the best way to create a new habit is to repeat that action for thirty days. If you can do that, then eventually you will have ingrained the behaviour deeply enough that you will be able to keep it up.

This makes it a little easier setting your goals around creating a new habit. If you know that you want to exercise first thing in the morning for thirty days only, then that can be easier to get your head around than thinking you have to do it forever.

A good tip for creating a new habit is to attach it to your old habits and your surroundings. So, if you want to create a habit of flossing your teeth, then the obvious option is to attach this to a habit you already stick to such as brushing your teeth!

Likewise, if you want to get into the habit of ironing your shirts, pick a specific point in the day for it to come after – such as making your morning tea.

This works because it connects the new behaviour to old ones inside your brain. You have a network of neurons that fire whenever you make your morning tea. Now, when that network of neurons fire, they should also cause the new network – the ironing shirts network to light up. The two are now connected.

This also works on a practical level: you need to find a convenient time for your new habit to take place and you need to find a convenient time and place in which to do it. You need to know that said time and place is always going to be convenient.

I wanted to take up meditation a while back for example as a regular part of my routine. I struggled at first because there always seemed to be more important things to be doing and I could never find the right time. So, what I did was to attach my meditation session to my morning routine. I started setting my alarm for half hour earlier (I used to need a few snoozes) and after a while I was able to get up and fit my meditation in before I did anything else. It’s now ingrained and part of my day.

One action is a habit but if you string these together, then you have a routine.

Looking at the practical aspect of stringing habits together and knowing where you will be and what time it will be when you do that thing is incredibly important for accomplishing goals. If you can build a routine for yourself that contains multiple good habits, then you’ll find that you massively enhance your likelihood of success in all areas.

Creating a routine is a powerful way to accomplish your goals.

You can learn more about creating more powerful habits in our Personal Transformation Mastery self-study course.

If you need any help creating better, healthier habits to move you towards success you can email me or take a look at the services we offer here. Using the FLOAT system we take our clients from Chaos to Calm in both life and business and help you to create the success you deserve.

How to manage your business AND be with your children

How to manage your business AND be with your children

As a mum in business I get asked all the time – How do you manage your time and juggle running your business whilst the kids are at home?

It’s simple – BUT it hasn’t always been that way. When I first started out in business, I would dread the school holidays. My stress levels would rise just thinking about it and my anxiety went through the roof.

In all honesty I failed miserably in my first 6-week holiday period. I was miserable, I made my family miserable and my ‘mummy guilt’ was at an all time high. I was way too hard on myself (sound familiar), I tried to be perfect at everything and I very quickly realised that this was NOT how I EVER wanted another school holiday period to go.

SO, what did I do?

Firstly, I stopped being so god damn hard on myself. I changed my self-talk from ‘I’m a terrible mum and a useless business owner’ to ‘I am a great mum, my kids are happy, healthy and have everything they need. I am doing my best which IS good enough and my business is exactly where it needs to be.’

I then changed my daily routine to accommodate my kids and my business so that I could spend less time in my business and more time with the kids. This tool some mindset work and a shift in work pattern, but my god, the difference was AMAZING.

Here are a few things I now do that took me from Chaos to Calm and improved my routine significantly!

1)     I get up earlier. Trust me, this one took a little while to adjust to. I’m not a natural morning person. My husband will vouch for that! Getting up earlier gives me the head space I need to prepare for the day. I now do this during term-time as well and it’s been a game changer for me. In the holidays I have two hours to work before the kids get up and I get a surprising amount of work done in these few hours. In fact, it’s become my most productive time of the day. It turns out I am a morning person after all – I just told myself I wasn’t for all those years.

2)     Time blocking has become my best friend. I now have set times that I work each day. They are 6am-8am, 9am-11am and 4pm-6pm. It took me a few holidays to get this one nailed and locked in, but my clients all know my block hours during the holidays, and it works brilliantly. The kids know when I’m working and when I’m ‘mum’.

3)     My boundaries have always been set right from the very start of my business, but they are adjusted slightly for holidays times. I make sure my clients know them from the off, so there is no confusion and if they know from the start, your clients will accept them. So, make sure you know your boundaries and set them out straight away. Not doing so will almost certainly cause problems further down the line. I also make sure that my kids know my boundaries from the outset. We have a conversation about what is expected, what’s acceptable and what isn’t, so we all know where we stand.

4)     Find an Associate who is willing to take on some ‘Associate work’ during the holiday season to take the pressure off and of course allow you some down time knowing that everything is ticking along nicely – You deserve a break just as much as everybody else.

5)     Plan your daily activities with the kids. My two are 7 and 9 and they love going to the beach, going swimming and having picnics in the park. These are easy wins when the weather is good, but for the colder and wetter months it’s even more important to plan what your time with the kids is going to look like.

Time Management is one of my favourite topics – I can talk for hours about how to manage your time more efficiently.

I’ll just leave you with this………

We have 10080 minutes in a week. We spend on average 3360 of those minutes sleeping and 2400 working. That leaves us 4320 minutes each and every week.

Still think you don’t have enough time?

If you’d like help with your time management and want to learn how to time block effectively lets jump on a call.