Building New Habits is F*****g HARD Work! :D

By Mindset, Self Help

Further Musings of Matt ‘LaZer’ Lazenby most passionate Edinburgh Personal Trainer, Cat Worshipper, and distinguished Blogger!

habitˈhabΙͺt/
nounbuilding new habits
a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

I’ve been looting my list of old Daily Lazer posts on FB again (this mammoth post on Sleep and this straight to the point one singing the praises of simply being happy where also inspired by past Daily Lazers) in search of inspiration and once more they’ve done the job! This splendid strategy guide to building new habits from James Clear yielded the spark for today’s ramblings πŸ™‚

β€œIf you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” ~ Anthony Robbins

If you want to look or feel different you’re going to have to form some new habits. This is the bottom line. There is nothing new about this information, Aristotle said ‘Excellence is an art won by training and habituation’ over 2000 years ago, but many of us still struggle to form new habits, myself included. Why? Because it’s really hard. Really, really, really hard! πŸ™‚ And most of us are never adequately psychologically prepared IMHO. If we were I think more of us would succeed so I thought I’d knock something up on the subject πŸ™‚

How To Build New Habits

James Clear’s Strategy Guide on building new habits is an excellent read. James outlines what is purported to be the most effective way to establish a new habit – start incredibly small, increase in very small increments, when you slip get back on track quickly and be patient – an approach that is echoed throughout the literature on the subject. When you look at it like this it looks so simple it’s hard to comprehend why anyone ever fails to change their behaviour. Here’s why, IMHO πŸ™‚

BUILDING NEW HABITS IS FUCKING HARD WORK! πŸ˜€building new habits

Yes that’s the harsh reality folks. In the words of John Beradi –

“Habits are more powerful than momentary desire. Habits are more powerful than information. Habits are more powerful than guilt. And only a concerted, conscious effort to override habits will lead to success.”

The Bottom Line – Adherence

Breaking things down into small steps and by doing so providing positive encouragement for those who find climbing mountains daunting undoubtedly helps but it’s my experience that no matter how small you make your steps sooner or later you’re going to run a wall. You can apply every single trick in the book, it’s still going to happen. The answer? Be prepared for a war and apply constant CONCERTED CONSCIOUS EFFORT for as long as it takes! πŸ˜€

Let’s look at exactly what that means as clearly it’s important πŸ™‚

Concerted – done with great effort or determination

Conscious – deliberate and intentional

Effort – vigorous or determined attempt

Whichever way you look at it this means changing a habit is going to be hard work! You’re going to have to simply make yourself do something that you don’t want to do, regardless of how you feel about it, for a lot longer than the 3 weeks that is bandied about on the internet! πŸ™‚

Ironically doing something you don’t want to, regardless of how you feel about it isn’t as unusual as it sounds, countless millions of us go to work every single day, for decades, even though we don’t want to! πŸ™‚ If you’re one of these people I’d strongly recommend rethinking your entire life but I digress! πŸ™‚ How on earth do we manage to do this? Be focusing on the reason why we do it, our goal, our pot of gold at the end of the rainbow πŸ™‚

In the case of doing the job we don’t like then for the majority of us simply paying the mortage, bringing the kids up and going on holiday is enough of a goal to keep us moving for decades. In the case of less successful ventures like weight loss then the goal has to capture our imagination, be exciting enough to engage us, motivate us, and inspire us when things get really fucking hard, because in most cases they will! πŸ™‚

Next Time!

You may at this point be wondering if there is anything else you can do aside from having cast iron willpower and an amazingly inspirational goal, something to make things just a little bit easier and you’ll doubtless be delighted to hear that there is, it’s called choice architecture, James Clear has written about it and I’m going to share my thoughts on it with you next time! In the meantime follow me on FB and drop me a line if you need anything! πŸ™‚