Tis the damn season: the season for writing out our big goals for the new year and forming habits to help us get there.
Many of us have grown up and built our businesses on the idea that you need to draft big, hairy, scary goals and start tackling them, like yesterday! New methods, strategies, and a whole new you rolls around on January 1.
But the truth is that in reaching goals or pursuing change at any level, success doesn’t lie in the audaciousness of the goal itself. Intead, success is found in forming habits you put in place to reach your goals over time.
As James Clear says, “You have to standardize before you optimize.”
The more you virtualize the beginning of a process and the more you can repeat it, the more you can rewire your brain and make it second nature. Over time, this results in the creation of a habit, which allows your body to take over in pursuit of your new goal.
In today’s episode of The Found Podcast with Molly Knuth, we discuss the procuss of building new habits, how to get them to stick, and helpful tools to help you create new habits in the new year.
Forming a New Habit
While I wish I could take credit for the following action steps, they are attributed to the one and only James Clear in his article How to Build a New Habit: This is Your Strategy Guide.
- Start with an incredibly small habit. Make it so tiny and easy you can’t say no.
- Increase your habit in very small ways. Progressively add resistance, time, and intensity so your willpower and motivation have time to catch up.
- Break habits into chunks. Don’t burn yourself out! That’s a one-way ticket to feeling unable to continue. Give yourself smaller milestones that add up to big wins.
- Get back on track quickly. Aim for consistency over perfection, and never miss twice.
- Pick a sustainable pace and give yourself time. Track your progress so you can see your results and build confidence.
- BONUS: (this one is from Molly) put an accountability practice in place.
Helpful Links for Forming Habits and Habit Experts:
- How to Build a New Habit: This is Your Strategy Guidearticle by James Clear
- To Create a Healthy Habit, Find an Accountability Buddyarticle by Tara Parker-Pope
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
- Badass Habits by Jen Sincero
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey
- High Performance Habits by Brendan Burchard
- You Do You 82 Habit Challenge with Emily Reuschel (click here for my interview with Emily from 2023)
Get in the MKM Book Club
In January, MKM is launching a free resource for entrepreneurs and small business owners who desire community and personal/professional development each month with our MKM Book Club.
Our first selection is Badass Habits by Jen Sincero.
Badass Habits is a eureka-sparking, easy-to-digest look at how our habits make us who we are, from the measly moments that happen in private to the resolutions we loudly broadcast (and, erm, often don’t keep) on social media. Habit busting and building goes way beyond becoming a dedicated flosser or never showing up late again–our habits reveal our unmet desires, the gaps in our boundaries, our level of self-awareness, and our unconscious beliefs and fears.
Badass Habits features Jen’s trademark hilarious voice and offers a much-needed fresh take on the conventional wisdom and science that shape the optimism (or pessimism?) around the age-old topic of habits. The book includes enlightening interviews with people who’ve successfully strengthened their discipline backbones, new perspective on how to train our brains to become our best selves, and offers a simple, 21 day, step-by-step guide for ditching habits that don’t serve us and developing the habits we deem most important.
Habits shouldn’t be impossible to reset–and with healthy boundaries, knowledge of–and permission to go after–our desires, and an easy to implement plan of action, we can make any new goal a joyful habit.
To join the MKM Book Club visit mkm.myflodesk.com/bookclub