By Edward Scaduto, Colorado Springs Personal Trainer and owner of Precision Fitness.
The 5 Steps to Creating a New a Habit
“We are what we consistently do, Excellence therefore is not an act, it’s a habit” – Aristotle
1. There can only be one.
One key to successfully creating a new habit is the ability to focus your energy and time on that ONE habit. If any of the other habits fall in place, so be it, but your energy should be focused on only one habit.
The reason, we only have so much time and energy. Think about how busy your day is. Could you manage to fit in an extra hour just to work on several new habits?
If you are like me, your energy and time is already spread thin, leaving you with very little time to add to your already hectic schedule.
So how do you create a new habit?
Focus on making one change at a time.
2. Start Small
I understand your ambition and wanting to start big to make massive changes but tackling big habits can lead to frustration and make it difficult to accomplish your goal.
Starting small is the best way to ensure success.
It helps you narrow your focus, allowing you to put all your energy and power on the goal.
It also helps to erase any doubts. If the change is small enough, deep inside you know you will be able to do it and succeed.
You gain momentum as you build one habit at a time. The small success can then build to bigger successes in the future.
Additionally, small changes last longer. Take drastic weight loss for example. Dropping 20 pounds in two weeks is fine, but there’s a great chance you will gain the weight back and more. Instead, go for small consistent changes in your diet and fitness plan.
3. Anchor it.
We all have habits. If you think about it, your day is habit after habit strung together. Let’s use the habits you now have in place to help create new ones.
It’s easy. When creating a new habit, just anchor to one of your existing habits. Let’s use running as an example. If you already have the habit of waking up to a cup of coffee every morning, you can anchor the new habit of running right after you have your coffee.
In time you will associate running with coffee. Then every time you drink your favorite brew, you’ll want to lace up your shoes and hit the trail. Coffee becomes the trigger.
You’ve just anchored a new habit.
4. Allow 30 days to make the change.
It takes time to create a new habit. The exact amount of time differs from person to person and the habit they choose.
It’s estimated to take between 21 to 30 days to create a new habit. It takes that long for a habit to “sink in” so to speak. You have to work on the habit every day if possible.
Give yourself 30 days of this process to create your new habit.
5. Tell and Report
Tell as many people as you can what you are doing. Then report to them daily if it was a success or not. They can be a great support system in helping you make the change.
Remember no one is perfect. There will be days where you may not succeed. There’s no shame in that so don’t beat your-self up for the misstep. Just try and focus your energy on the next day.
So let’s review the 5 keys again:
- Pick one habit
- Start small
- Anchor it to an existing habit
- Give it 30 days
- Tell and report
If you follow the 5 keys to creating a new habit, you will have a much better chance of creating the healthy life long changes you’ve always wanted.
Committed to your health and fitness,
Colorado Springs personal trainer and owner of Precision Fitness.
P.S. During the month of February I am using our Fan Page to host One Month – One Habit challenge using the 5 steps mentioned in this article. You’re invited to participate.
You can visit our fan page here.