Have you experienced a situation like this before?
Me: “What’s the habit you want to work on next week?”
Client: “Oh, I want to be able to run 3 times before work!”
2 weeks later
Me: “How did your run go?”
Client: “I just can’t seem to run more than once. And it’s so hard to even bring myself to go out.”
Why most people can’t maintain their (new) habits?
Let’s say the habit you going to work on is to run 3 times a week before work, how will you do it? GO RUN right? If you are someone who has positive past experiences in doing this, it’s gonna be easy. What if you don’t run often last time and now want to adopt an active lifestyle, but unable to get this habit to stick?
I find that the reason why most people can’t stick to a habit is that the step they took is too big of a step. What they usually think is it only takes ONE step to get themselves running, while it actually takes my small steps to get them running.
4 Step process in achieving a greater success rate
1) Breakdown your goal into tiny steps
In order for you to start running at the park, there’s actually a series of steps that precedes it.
- Alarm rings
- Wake up
- Wash up
- Wear my running attire
- Wear my running shoes
- Step out of the house
- Walk to the park
- Warm up
As you can see, if your goal is to even run before work, you actually have a minimum of 8 steps that precede it.
2) Identify the most challenging step
Now, what you need to do is to find out which steps is the one that’s most challenging for you. I will say for most people running itself is the easiest step. It’s actually stepping out of the house that’s the most challenging.
3) Practice the steps that lead up to the most challenging step
Now your goal is to practice the steps that lead up to stepping out of the house, which is steps 1-6, and call it a day.
So, let’s revise your goals now:
“I will practice stepping out of the house after changing into my running attire and shoes 3 times next week.”
4) Confidence scale
Ask yourself this – “On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being very confident and 1 being not confident at all, how confident am I in doing this habit?”
We are looking for a minimum of 7 so the success rate will be higher for you. Anything that’s 6 and below, indicates there’s something you may need to modify to make it more successful for you.
“Hey! My goal is to run! How is this making me run more?”
Your goal now is to just complete the steps until stepping out of the house. And if you manage to run, that’s a bonus! And the more times you can get out of the house, the more times you will run. Once you find your confidence level increases, you can always revert your goals back to running 3 times again!
You can always use this 4 steps process for any goals you want to achieve! Give it a shot!
- Breakdown your goals into tiny steps
- Identify the most challenging step
- Practice the steps that lead up to the most challenging step
- Confidence scale