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Mastering the Art of Daily – 8 Powerful Habit Formation Strategies

Author:

A freelance writer and certified NLP Coach, I believe that the most meaningful conquest is the conquest over self.

Change your Future by Changing your Habits

Life is a clean slate..choose right!

Life is a clean slate..choose right!

Habit. Doing something daily. Repeating a task especially when you’d rather avoid it. Repeating it no matter what, till doing it becomes the default mode. Till doing it becomes easier than not doing it.

I was a very erratic person many years back and had the madness but no method. I was eccentric, quirky, was great when in a creative mood but not otherwise.

Gradually I learned that erratic, creative, flash of inspiration are words that sound unglamorous compared to words like daily, habit, rigor, repetition, default mode but the latter words are better at getting things done and getting me to the right places in my life and my head.

See it this way, an amateur artist who just picks up his brush every day and paints, no matter how awful it all turned out is more likely to earn the title professional than someone who just paints when he/she has a spurt of heavenly inspiration.

At some level, we all do understand this, but find the action taking tough. So here are some psychology-backed, sensible strategies that will help for sure.

1. Adopt the Kaizen Method

Kaizen is a Japanese approach or philosophy where continuous small improvements are given primacy. The small consistent improvements add up to significant improvements.

Applying the Kaizen Principle, you carry out the activity that you want to make a habit out of for just 5 minutes the first day and slowly increase the time duration until you reach your targeted goal.

This way you don't overwhelm yourself and have no excuses to back off from the activity. Just 5 minutes. Sounds easy. Manageable.

2. Understand your successful habits

There might be some activities that you do daily and effortlessly. Could be anything- watching TV, phone, binge-watching shows, exercising. Maybe you are the kind who always finds time to call up people, however hard-pressed for time you are. There must be something you do right. Reflect and try to figure out what makes that activity a habit.

i. What role does this activity/habit have in my life?

ii. What are the preceding and succeeding activities?

iii. Has it anything to do with the place, time?

iv. What motivates me to do it every day?

v. What do I derive from this activity?

Now see if you can replicate the learnings in your not so favorite but essential activity that you want to make a habit out of.


First, you make your habits.

And then your habits make you.

3.Create a supportive environment

Taking off from the previous reflections. Why is watching TV such a no brainer? It is because the TV occupies pride of place in your living room or bedroom. You have a cozy setup- sink into it sofas, super soft cushions, food at hand, remote nearby.

Now, experiment and remove the remote. Every time, you have to walk up and manually change the channel or you have to go to that corner in the attic where the TV is now placed. Are you still just as likely to watch it. Mostly no. Unless you have super dedication.

Apply this concept. If you are trying to exercise daily or start the mediation habit or whatever it is, create a nice cozy corner with all the accessories needed ready, a bunch of cues and you are all set.

If exercise it is- create a playlist in advance, keep your sportswear ready, set an alarm. Recheck to see what else you need – water bottle. So when your alarm rings at 5 o clock, you have no excuses. Yippee!

4. Find a support group

Enroll in a course or a support group. The company you keep is stronger than will power. Makes it easier to do the dreaded activity. Consistently. You will have more reasons to do it than not to. Ideas will come your way, shared friendships make the initial phase bearable until it becomes a daily habit.


5. Don’t give in to your feelings

Sometimes, your feelings might not serve your purpose especially when you trying to cultivate a daily habit. When you tell yourself, ' I don't feel like doing this just now, ask yourself why? ' Show feeling the door at such times and constantly remind yourself that you don’t have to ‘feel like doing it’ to do it. As Nike, so well puts it ‘Just Do It’.

6. Make Nature your Ally

Nature can teach us a thing or two about the power of daily. The Sun rises every day, whether he feels like it or no. So does the Moon. Birds, animals, plants are all masters of daily. Take inspiration from them. Make them your silent partners/ allies and take a leaf from their book.

7. Visualize and visualize some more

Visualization is not a one-night stand. It is a marriage.

It is something you do several times a day till repeating the activity sounds easy peasy and the natural thing to do.

When you visualize, get as many senses involved as possible. Let us suppose it is for writing a report, an activity that you really don’t enjoy. Put on your favorite music. Now close your eyes and see yourself sipping your cup of coffee/tea, opening your laptop, and starting the activity. You are glancing at your watch, setting the alarm, and disabling notification on the phone. Now you are all set.

Next, see yourself opening all the necessary files and folders. And now, your first word is done and before you know it the words are pouring out. You are taking yourself by surprise. And finally, you are done with the last word. You are saving the document and mighty pleased with yourself. Glancing at your phone, you realize that you took less time than you had estimated.

Report submitted on time and you are pleased with yourself and so are your higher-ups. You are asking yourself ‘What was I thinking when I postponed it. This IS actually quite easy.’

Now wake up. You were only visualizing. Still, it felt good. Repeat it 11 times every day. Daydream.

Tip - The brain doesn’t differentiate between reality and imagination. You tricked your brain. Soon, your report-writing skills will be your strength.


8. Affirmations

Use these affirmations for self-talk.

i. This is easier than it seems.

ii. I am great at making the difficult easy

iii. Habits are my friends and thankfully I have the right ones.

iv. I am getting better and better at cultivating the right habits.

v. This is all turning out to be so much fun.

These strategies will make it easier to create a new habit. Repetition, creating a set of cues to remind us to do certain activities, and having a reward system once the activity is completed are the key factors.

Success is hastened or delayed by one’s habits. It is not your passing inspirations or brilliant ideas so much as your everyday mental habits that control your life.

- Paramahamsa Yogananda

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 sowspeaks

Comments

sowspeaks (author) from Bengaluru on October 09, 2020:

Hi Vandana, happy that you found these suggestions useful and there is some takeaway. Thank for stopping by to read and comment.

thoughtsprocess from Navsari (India) on September 22, 2020:

Hi Sowrabha,

Thank you so much for these valuable suggestions.

Informative article.

sowspeaks (author) from Bengaluru on September 19, 2020:

Hi Sumukha, thanks for that sweet comment.

Sumukha aithal d on September 14, 2020:

Super madam i read it it was nice.super aunty

sowspeaks (author) from Bengaluru on September 14, 2020:

Hi Vidyaji, coming from you, I am honored. Thanks for sharing your choice. If we align with Nature, it becomes easy to create new habits.

Grateful for your visit and the comments.

sowspeaks (author) from Bengaluru on September 14, 2020:

Hi Devika, those comments mean a lot to me. Life is constant learning and it is a good feeling that we are learning from each other.thank you and take care.

sowspeaks (author) from Bengaluru on September 14, 2020:

Hi Danny, I am glad that you liked the article and you especially related to the tip on kaizen and nature. They are my favorites as well. I always keep going back to Mother Nature for you deepest inspirations.

sowspeaks (author) from Bengaluru on September 14, 2020:

Hi Lorna, gratitude for your remarks and visit.

You said it right ... Finally it all does boil down to practice, practise and some more practise. That is the only short cut.

sowspeaks (author) from Bengaluru on September 13, 2020:

Namaste Poonamji, you have increased my responsibility with that extremely encouraging remark. Value those words and deeply thank you for the faith you have reposed in me.

sowspeaks (author) from Bengaluru on September 13, 2020:

Hi Flourish Anyway, that is my go to method as well for anything new. Start small , go at it and wait for it to snowball as it eventually will. Best wishes and do take care.

sowspeaks (author) from Bengaluru on September 13, 2020:

Hi Chitrangada, it doesn't surprise me to know that you follow most of these tips. Anybody successful will have have a certain system that they follow.

Your openness to learning is something that so appealed to me. Have a nice day!

sowspeaks (author) from Bengaluru on September 13, 2020:

So so glad that you liked the article and found it useful.

sowspeaks (author) from Bengaluru on September 12, 2020:

Eric, yes we can always do better and we should . That is what makes life worthwhile.

Have a great day and thanks so much for always stopping by and sharing those kind words.

sowspeaks (author) from Bengaluru on September 12, 2020:

Hi Kavya, delighted with that comment and visit. Take care.

sowspeaks (author) from Bengaluru on September 12, 2020:

Namasthe Yogiji, there really is a dire need to keep ourselves active. This period really presents opportunities if it is seen as such. Procrastination can really throw our plans haywire. That is another biggie that needs to be tackled. The only way out is small and steady steps everyday.

Appreciate your visit and lovely comments.

VIDYA D SAGAR on September 12, 2020:

Hi Sowrabha, very good article. It is true that once a habit is formed, it is difficult to change it. You have given very good tips to replace or change. I especially liked the ideas of learning from nature and visualization. Well done.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 12, 2020:

sowspeaks This is informative and worth a read for everyone. Your facts are interesting and valuable at all times. A perfect guide to one's lifestyle.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 11, 2020:

Excellent article, with valuable suggestions.

I believe, your article is a must read for everyone, whether it’s students or working professionals and others. I am glad, that I follow most of your advice.

Even if we have a disciplined life, and good habits, there is always a scope for improvement.

Thanks for sharing this well written article.

Danny from India on September 11, 2020:

Sowrabha well-mentioned. Behavioral psychologist states that it takes 21 days to change a habit. I am sure with your tips it will be much easier to achieve. You rightly mentioned Kaizen, successful traits & nature as ally to be the aiding tools.

Lorna Lamon on September 11, 2020:

It can be very difficult to change the habits of a lifetime and your article sets out structured steps to help in this process. I often find myself falling back into old habits which can become embedded and do not enhance my life. With practice the brain can be trained to change these habits. I enjoyed this informative article Sowrabha.

POONAM MALIK from Faridabad on September 10, 2020:

Superb and all very well said, Sowrabha. Once again you have managed to awe us with your innate brilliance.

Waiting for more.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 10, 2020:

I find that commiting to small improvements is easier and can effectively snowball into larger change efforts.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 10, 2020:

Excellent piece, I think I will change some habits around. No complaints but we can always do better. Thanks for this.

Kavya Jain on September 10, 2020:

Wow! The article is well researched. Some of the strategies are amazing. Great work!

Seek Inwards Yogi from Hyderabad on September 10, 2020:

Procrastination is the thief of time!

Inertia is the first road block!

Good strategies to get out of these challenges. One more strategy for people who are less committed to self and more to others, a dear one or god: Promise what you want to do and keep it.

Seek Inwards Yogi from Hyderabad on September 10, 2020:

Fantastic Sowrabha ji!

Timely medicine when we are stuck at home and there is a dire need to keep ourselves active!