Habit forming is such a hot topic right now, and not least in my coaching space (and dare I say, in my own life too).  We all have such great plans for who we want to be, and what we want to do – but then struggle to make that happen.

And the biggest stumbling blocks I see?

  • Going too big, too quickly
  • Only focusing on the goal, and not celebrating the actions

oh and the third one is trying to motivate with harshness and negativity, but more about that soon…

Building healthy habits that last

So how can we do things differently?

I’m going to bow to the wisdom of James Clear here.  He says:
“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”

So that means…

  • Rather than focusing solely on the big goal, tune in to who you want to be, and what actions feel like a positive step towards that

  • And instead of going too big, too quickly, look for the next small (and achievable) action which will cast a vote to say, “yes that’s the me I want to be”

  • Then celebrate that action, rather than waiting for the end result to arrive

I found James on a podcast recently whilst scouting for him (you can hear it here – it’s a great chat).  He talked of a client he’d encouraged to go to the gym every day, but for only 5 minutes.  So this person would put their gear on, drive to the gym, do 5 mins of exercise and then leave!  Sounds crazy perhaps.
But actually what this meant was that they never ducked it or procrastinated because it was easy.
And before too long, they were someone who – pretty automatically – went to the gym every day.
And then they built from there.

And this is what I encourage my clients (and myself) to do:
Start small – focus first on building the effort – wait until that’s coming easily – then build capacity

James’ approach aligns so much with my own thinking (oh, and the evidence).  One of my biggest gripes with the coaching industry is the obsession with goals, SMARTER or not, and only dealing with them at an intellectual level.  Because if you’re not supporting the non-conscious in your goal setting (plus checking those goals align with the true you) and then breaking them down into achievable steps which you relish, they just won’t happen or they just won’t last.

And instead, they become another stick to beat yourself with and confirm that you’re weak, you’re lazy, that you’re just not enough.

And I think we’ve all got enough of that eh?  (and of course, that only makes things harder).

Do you want to try a new way to get great stuff done? One of compassion, celebration, honouring who you really are, and working with your talents rather than against them?

Like Angie…
“I come out of our sessions feeling like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulder. I am so much more confident in who I am and what I offer, and am so much kinder to myself.  I am breaking through a huge barrier, one that not only impacts on work life but my personal life too.  You are brilliant! I am a different person to the one at my first coaching session and I can’t thank you enough.”

This is what I do, and my Sort It Coaching is for you – let’s talk.