Evaluating new habits

Dr. Phil's phrase in now a part of our language.

Dr. Phil’s phrase in now a part of our language.

In the words of TV talk show counsellor, Dr. Phil: “How’s that working for you?”.

If it isn’t, then just keep on doing what you are doing, and you will have the comforting feeling of certainty. 😉 You’ll also experience guilt and conflict about the un-actioned habit as a nice background emotion to sap your energy and stall your motivation. This is a great way to create avoidance and a real dislike of the task you so wanted to make a part of your day. I know this because I have done it!

If you develop one habit, I suggest a short period of evaluation or “awareness” each day. (As I mentioned previously, I use The Miracle Morning as my template.) That time is when you reaffirm what is important to you, and figure out what is working, and what isn’t.

I work on one brand new habit at a time, and relax my expectations on other new habits a bit to start with. Then after a couple of weeks to a month, I look at my records to see if that new habit is actually getting done on a regular basis. You can try to do this intuitively, but there is a decent pile of research to show that you won’t be accurate. Putting an X in a box every day it gets done is much more accurate.

If I have a new habit that made logical sense, that I wanted to establish but it hasn’t been happening, I remove it from the new habits list. Either I decide it obviously isn’t that important to me after all, and abandon the idea of making it a habit, or I make it into an affirmation. This is because motivation is intertwined with emotion. If it isn’t happening, you need to change how you feel about it. If you’ve been expecting your guilt to get you there, “how’s that working for you?”. I suspect it has made you an expert at avoidance!

Affirmations are a good way to establish “thought – habits” and feelings towards ideas. If you talk to yourself about how great this new thing is every day for a month, you will find it easier to get into acting on it when it goes back on your “new habit” list. What say you? Want to give it a go and share what your intended new habit is?