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Motivation – Part 2 of 4

Creating habits

This is the second part about motivation. The first part was about how to define motivation and see it for what it is.

In the first part we discussed the importance of finding and creating your reasons to act, because if you don’t you are just waiting for reasons to come to you. You let go of your own responsibility and hand it over to someone else. But if you find your own reasons, it will be easier to create habits and habits is what makes it easier those days when it feels tough and also what will help you continue even if you should ”fail”.

We all have habits. If we didn’t it would mean that we every day did things that we have never done before which is just not the case. So we all have them whether we like it or not and many of them we do without even thinking about it and many of these are often referred to as ”bad habits”. But what is good is that you have a choice. If you bring awareness to these ”bad habits” you can change or replace them into something you want and therefor make them ”good habits”, or what can also be called a routine. Because wouldn’t it be awesome if you just did things that are good for you without even thinking about it, just because you made it a part of your day and life as a good habit?

I’m gonna share a personal story about something as silly as juggling.

I like juggling. I think it’s fun and joyful, I know that it’s good coordination practice and a nice challenge for the brain and something I would like to be better at. I’m not committed to it, but it’s something that I’m interested in doing. So I had all the reasons to act, but despite that I hadn’t juggled for a couple of months. The reason was I didn’t have a plan or the structure and the step to get started was to big.

So I said to myself ”Let’s do 10 minutes a day for like a week to create a habit”. Didn’t work. It was too much of a commitment.

So then I said to myself ”Let’s do 1 minute today and see how it feels”. I even wrote it up where I would see it and voilá – it worked!

The next day I juggled for two minutes. The day after that 3 minutes and kept adding a minute for 10 days straight. When this was done I just kept going. No timer, just a little bit here and there because I had created a habit.

So what I would like to highlight with this story is a few things:

  1. What is the smallest step you can take right now to get where you want to go?

Where 10 minutes was too much for me, 1 minute seemed okay. So instead of those 10 minutes that didn’t get done I chose the one minute that did. And I set the goal so low that it was almost impossible for me to fail which helped me to create a positive vibe.

2. One step at the time

What was hard for me was to get started. So I said to myself ”Ok, let’s just start with one minute and see how it feels”.

No obligation, no pressure.

When it felt okay, let’s add on a bit more and see how that goes.

So instead of forcing myself right away I started small and added on.

3. Paired your new habit with an already existing one

I added the juggle to my morning routine of breathing and movement. The first thing I did was to place the balls on the floor in front of me where I could easily see and reach them. A few minutes extra in my morning routine didn’t bother me.

4. Have a plan for when it goes wrong and reflect upon what could stop you

Since I decided to put this as a part of my morning routine I realized that it could be a problem for those days I had an early appointment which left me without time, because I knew that juggling would be the first thing of my list. So to solve that I redefined my idea that a morning routine have to take place in the morning. It doesn’t. It can just as well be in the evening. I also decided that if I would miss one day I wouldn’t add on more time the next, but rather decrease a minute to build up momentum again.

5. Write down and reflect over your habits, what worked and what didn’t

I think that’s pretty much what I’m doing now.

Conclusion

So by having a structure or some sort of plan you will help yourself to create those habits that can benefit you and remove some of the pressure, because you know that even if you miss a day or two you will still continue.

Thank you for reading and please send this to a friend that you think could benefit from reading this

Viktor

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