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If you always do the same thing, you’ll always get the same result. In order to progress, develop and grow as individuals, it’s essential that we learn how to build new habits and try doing things a little bit differently to how we’ve always done them.

It’ll probably come as no surprise to you to learn that the world is full of thinkers, rather than doers. How many of us plan to start doing something, but then after a couple of days, we’ve either lost interest, or something more exciting has come along and distracted us.

Habits not routines

But what if there was a way that your new-found intentions could become a reality. Would you want to find out more? Read on for what it takes to build a new habit.

Instead of concentrating on one-off things, what we need to focus on is forming habits, which are consistent and repeated good behaviours. Please note that a daily routine is not a habit. The main difference between a daily routine and a habit is intention. Habits happen on autopilot, but routines happen with deliberate practice.

Good habits contribute to our personal development, helping us to achieve goals and improve our physical, emotional and mental health. Habits aren’t always consciously formed; they can develop when you are operating on autopilot. For example, when you get home from work, you may choose to read a book for 10 minutes to relax. At first, it’s just the stressful day that makes you read, but after a while, you read every time you get home from work and suddenly you’ve formed a new habit without even realising it.

21/90 rule

The 21/90 rule states that it takes 21 days to make a habit and 90 days to make it a permanent lifestyle change. So if you have intentions or goals that you want to accomplish, or changes in your work or personal life, then what you need to do is to commit to them for 21 days and they will then become a habit. And if you want to make them stick even further, you must continue to commit to them for a further 90 days. Then you can effectively sit back and watch as they become part of your lifestyle.

Regularity and consistency

The key is to start small and do it often – even doing something for five minutes a day is enough to begin to build big, long-term outcomes. Here are my top tips for how to form good habits:

  1. Write down your goals and make a plan. Block regular times on your calendar and be sure not to overdo it initially, which will only succeed in discouraging you before it’s had a chance to work.
  2. Focus on making slight changes. By starting small you focus on making the behaviour automatic, before you worry about making the behaviour big enough that it produces a useful outcome.
  3. Commit to a daily routine and then repeat. The point is to focus on repeating the habit every day, but not worrying about how effective that habit is. In other words, quantity first; quality later.
  4. Measure your progress towards your goals. Have a chart if possible so you can stay focused and motivated, identify areas where you need to improve, and make adjustments to your strategy to ensure you achieve your objectives.
  5. Have a good support network. Surround yourself with family, friends or colleagues who can help you stay on track, whilst also providing motivation, discipline and reminding you of your accountability and responsibilities if you become distracted or fall off-course.
  6. Be kind to yourself. With any change comes good and bad days. Be prepared to accept that not everything will happen as and when you hope it will, but remind yourself how far you’ve come and how capable you are.
  7. Acknowledge your accomplishments along the way. Celebrate your progress and successes along the way, not just when you reach the final outcome. This will help you to sustain the momentum you need to stay focused on and committed to your end goal.

How I can help

If you feel that you may need additional help to set goals and/or make a plan, or want to know more about the importance and benefits of good habits, please get in touch – 07780 692784 or

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