We all know that habit creation can be tricky. I am sure you have tried lots of times to establish new ones and never got to the habit stage. Whether it is eating better, exercising more or writing every day, these top tips to change a habit will help.
Why we need good habits
Having a set of positive habits in your life makes a huge difference in your health and happiness. The simple reason is that habits are what we default to when we are under stress. If your healthy behaviour is habitual, you are much more likely to carry it out at stressful times.
Be clear on the benefits/ consequences
Don’t choose a habit on a whim. Make sure you are clear about the benefits and consequences related to the habit. What will happen if you do not change your habit? How wonderful will life be with this new habit in place? How will it improve your health and happiness? Get clear on how this habit will impact on your life.
Write it down
It is much easier to make things stick in your mind if you write them down. Put your new habit on a post-it (or many) and put it where you will see it often. Even when you don’t notice it your subconscious mind will be taking it in. This will really increase your habit creation ability.
Do not try to make huge changes in your habits overnight. When you do this, your mind resists the change and you end up failing. Start small! If you want to start exercising, do not decide to go to the gym 5 times a week. Start by committing to put your kit on and do something! 10 sit-ups will do to start with. Start very small and have a slow build-up to allow your mind to adapt to the change.
Keep going for 30 days
Keep your steely determination for 30 days and you will be well on the way to permanent habit creation. Don’t miss more than one day because that will disrupt the flow and knock you off track. Once you get to 30 days, you will notice that the habit is becoming part of your everyday life.
Make your new habit daily
When you are involved in habit creation, it is best to do it every day. This helps your mind to develop that new neural pathway which will make the habit stick.
Find a way to remind yourself
Use the post-it notes above as reminders but also use other tools like alarms and habit tracking APPs. There are lots of tools you can use on your smartphone to remind you to do your new habit. Let your phone be a bit of a nag for a while whilst you are getting going.
Get a buddy
Sometimes we all need some help from our friends. Tell those close to you what you are up to and ask them to help by reminding you and checking up on you. This will be even better if it is someone habit creation same or similar to yours.
Use a trigger
Habits work best with a clear trigger. Your alarm might spark your morning meditation or getting home your exercise routine. Keep the trigger the same so your mind can make the connection between the trigger and the habit.
Be patient with yourself. Developing a new habit is a process of mind rewiring. Your mind is neuroplastic but it still takes some effort to change it. Be patient and allow yourself to make mistakes. Make sure you pick yourself up and start again as soon as possible.
Surround yourself with positive people
When you are trying to change any aspect of your life, having positive people around you is vital. Make sure you spend time around people who support your goals. Even better, if they are people who have similar goals to you.
I hope you have found these Habit Change Top 10 Tips. Changing habits can be challenging but if you adopt this strategy it will help.
Still stuck with your habit change process then get in touch now. I can use my powerful mindset change tools to help you change your habits so you can be happy and healthy.
If you are ready to book a complimentary discovery session so you can find out more about how I can help you with habit creation, click here to access my calendar.
If you want to create a motivated workforce, using gratitude is powerful. Focusing on gratitude can also decrease stress, increase happiness and reduce illness. This is not woo-woo but science-backed information which has been well researched by Robert A. Emmons who you can read about here.
Now you understand how important gratitude in the workplace is, here are my top tips to create a motivated workforce using gratitude.
Lead from the Top
Like any effective business practice, gratitude must start from the top and the whole workforce should see it happening. They should see it in public and in private and it should be consistent and clear. Start building gratitude into key processes like recruitment and performance management. You can also make it a regular agenda item at team meetings and in training sessions.
Focus on people who rarely get thanked
Make sure you include everyone in the gratitude process. Notice those who work behind the scenes and are less customer facing. These are the people who are less likely to receive a dose of thanks from external sources.
Quality above Quantity
Don’t overdo it as people can become weary and stop engaging. Make all gratitude specific. The person you say thank you to and those who witness it need to know what they did well.
Express Gratitude in a Variety of Ways
Make sure you find out how to thank people in their preferred way. Some people want fanfare and fireworks whereas others prefer a quiet word next to the coffee machine.
You could try these ideas to build in gratitude:
· An office gratitude journal which can be paper, electronic or a notice board.
· A gratitude jar where everyone can post notes expressing thanks. This can be read out in meetings.
· Non- monetary gifts like doing a piece of work for someone, lending a car parking space or giving someone a day off
Use Gratitude When Times are Tough
Psychologist, Robert Emmons reports that gratitude increases resilience to stress and works like a ‘psychological immune system’. In a culture of gratitude it is easier to see beyond problems and re-frame losses into gains.
Try this set of questions created by Emmons to help the re-framing process:
• What lessons did the experience teach us?
• Can we find ways to be thankful for what happened to us now, even though we were not at the time it happened?
• What ability did the experience draw out of us that surprised us?
• Are there ways we have become a better workplace because of it?
• Has the experience removed an obstacle that before prevented us from feeling grateful?
Developing a gratitude culture in the workplace has scientific backing for its impact. It also does not take a huge amount of effort and is often free.
You could choose one of the above strategies and see what impact it has over time. Seeing the impact will help you include other gratitude practices in the workplace.
If you would like some help establishing gratitude at home or in the workplace, please get in touch. To find out more, contact Clare on 07747 774953.
In my blog,Increase Gratitude in 6 Ways to Feel Less Stressed, I mentioned keeping a gratitude journal. In this blog, I share my 9 top tips to make it work for you. This will give you easy ways to make keeping a gratitude journal a habit. This can have a huge impact on your ability to be more optimistic and feel less stressed and worried.
Choose Your Gratitude Journal Method
It might be that you like to write and feel more in flow when you pick up a pen and a nice notebook as your gratitude journal. If you prefer typing you might use a suitable APP or the notes APP on your computer. It doesn’t matter too much as there is not one right way to keep a gratitude journal. Just make sure it is something you are happy with.
Choose How to Record in Your Gratitude Journal
Once you have decided where to record, you can choose how to record. Some people write in sentences whilst others keep a bullet-pointed list. The key here is that the where and how should suit you. This is something you want to become a regular habit so make sure it is an enjoyable process for you.
Choose Your Time
Once you have decided your format, it is important to decide when you are going to record your gratitude. The evening is one time to write with gratitude as it provides a positive way to end the day. Sitting down last thing at night and reflecting on the wonders of your day makes you fall asleep feeling good. You may find that it has a positive effect on your sleep patterns too. You are also helping to train your subconscious mind to find more positive in your life.
You can also record gratitude in the morning so that you start the day filled with positive thoughts. Again, by focusing on the positive, you will find that your mind notices more positives as you go through the day.
Make it a Routine
Once you have chosen your time of day, the key now is to be consistent. As with any new routine, it can be hard at first to make it happen every day. Try to be consistent then you will find that after about month, you will miss it if you don’t do it.
When you are starting out, you can trick your mind into taking on the new routine. You can leave the journal on your pillow or where you know you are going to be last thing at night. You can also put a reminder in your phone or set an alarm. Push on through the first few weeks and soon it will be part of your normal daily routine.
Decide How Many Things to Record in Your Gratitude Journal
Set yourself a goal for how many things you are going to write about and stick to it. You can write in a bullet-pointed list, in sentences or in paragraphs, it is up to you. Make sure you are consistent as this is key in setting up a new routine. I write between about 5/6 things each day.
When I first started my gratitude journal, I was quite general in what I wrote about. I wrote about the things that I had all the time like my health and a roof over my head. It is good to be grateful for those things but remember, that the aim is to rewire your brain for gratitude. It is almost like you are tuning in your gratitude radar. When you have to look for new things every day, you become more alert throughout the day.
Say Why …
If you are writing your gratitude in sentences, try writing ‘because’ on the end of the sentence. Say ‘why’ you are grateful for that thing. An example of this might be: I am grateful that I found a parking space today because it meant I got to my meeting on time.
Focus on Things You Would Like to Improve
If you have an area of your life that you are working on try focusing your gratitude on that area. This could be a relationship, job, home or any area of your life. Try noticing and recording the good things about that area. Focus on what you appreciate rather than homing in on the things which you do not like. It is amazing how this can change how you feel about that relationship or area of your life.
Use Your Gratitude Journal to Raise Your Self-Esteem
We are often not very good at noticing the good qualities in ourselves. When growing up, we are not encouraged to praise ourselves for the fear of becoming ‘Big Headed’. But, the ability to see the good in ourselves raises our self-esteem and makes us nicer people to be around. People with high self-esteem tend to be successful in most aspects of their lives.
Your gratitude journal can be a vital tool to raise your self-esteem. Make at least one of your gratitudes about you and notice how this improves how you feel about yourself. For example, ‘I am grateful for my motivation today because I wrote a new blog and sorted all my email’
Get Started with Your Gratitude Journal and Feel More Positive
If you apply the advice in this blog you will be able to get started with recording gratitude. You will start to feel the benefits of noticing the world around you in a more positive way. If you are struggling with stress and tend to see the world in a negative way, I can help. Hypnotherapy can re-program your mind to be more positive. Then you can relate to the world with less stress and help raise your self-esteem.
In this blog, you can learn about the power of gratitude. You can also find out how to increase gratitude in 6 ways to feel less stressed.
Have you said ‘thank you’ today, or expressed gratitude for anything in your life?
“Well I’ve been very busy” you may reply. “I have got a lot on my mind, a lot going on …”
But … Have you had a moan today, complained or noticed something that is not right in your life?
If you have found time for one, why haven’t you found time for the other? It is because one is actually much easier than the other!
It’s our programming!
Human beings’ brains are hardwired to look for the negative in life. Our ancestors would not have survived if they were not wired to watch out for danger at every turn. Looking out for danger is part of our programming. This means that we are more inclined to see what is wrong with the world. In the past, our ancestors were alert for every sabre-tooth tiger around the next corner. In that way, they stayed safe and survived to produce the next generation.
Our programming is out of date
Now, there are no sabre-tooth tigers on our high streets but this way of thinking is still a part of our programming. This increases stress levels by causing us to focus on what might be wrong in our surroundings. It causes us to worry about the future and ruminate about what went wrong in the past.
You can rewire your mind by increasing gratitude
Increasing gratitude is a powerful antidote to this negative way of thinking. The more you notice to be grateful for, the more you will have to be grateful for. This is true! As you notice positive things and increase gratitude, your brain wiring will change. Your habitual thought patterns will become different. You will develop a more positive way of thinking. As this way of thinking increases, you will notice more things to be grateful for. You have to put some effort in to start but it soon becomes a natural way of thinking.
Here are my 6 ways to increase gratitude so you can feel less stressed
Start your day with gratitude
Wake up and make the first thought of your day grateful. Say thank you for your bed, your sleep, your breakfast and the roof over your head. Say thank you for being alive. Before you even get out of bed, say thank you for at least 10 things.
Stay grateful throughout the day
Notice green lights and parking spaces in busy places. Feel grateful for a smile from a stranger or good service where you ate your lunch. Try thinking ‘thank you’ for every experience to increase gratitude further.
Re-frame to find more gratitude
Notice things to be grateful for in situations which could be seen as negative. A rainy day in July is easy to moan about. Try feeling grateful for the access to water we have when some places do not. Notice the greenery around and realise that we need the rain to produce it.
If you are stuck in traffic, be grateful for the time to think, listen to the radio or enjoy an audiobook. You can do nothing about the traffic jam, it is outside your control. Re-focus on anything you can which feels positive and that you can be grateful for.
Put a reminder on your phone a few times a day. Stop and notice 5 things to be grateful for where ever you are. Over time you will notice that you get better at this process.
Take photographs of significant things. Make a board at home that you can look at any time or make a collage to use as your screen saver. You could even us an electronic photo frame to show your moments to be grateful for.
Get Grateful with Your Children
At the end of each day write things you are all grateful for on small pieces of paper. Store them in a jar or container you have decorated. Every so often get the slips out and read them.
Keep a gratitude journal.
At the end of each day record, 4/5 things you are grateful for that have happened in the last 24 hours. They don’t have to be big things. To make this even more powerful, try adding ‘because’ to each sentence, you write. This will increase grateful feelings by making you reflect on why you are grateful.
The Magic of Science When You Increase Gratitude
And the magic of this is scientific. The more you express gratitude, the more your brain will rewire to notice the things to be grateful for. It’s like you are creating a new habitual thinking path inside your brain. Over time, you will find gratitude easier and notice the effects it has on your life.
Choose one of the strategies above and give it a try today.
If you are struggling to increase gratitude because of your negative thinking, get in touch. Hypnotherapy can help!
Do you know that habits are the key to happiness? Do you know how to create good habits can make you feel less stressed? Are you aware how much of your behaviour is habitual and how much impact it has on your life? In this blog, I will show you how to create good habits so you can feel less stressed.
I am sure you are aware of how important habits can be in maintaining your health. Smoking, drinking alcohol and eating takeaways are obvious ones to avoid. Whereas brushing our teeth and taking a shower are best retained. I am sure you have tried to add a new healthy habit to your life at some point. Hands up who has joined a gym in January and seem to have forgotten the way there by February.
How often have you tried and failed to install a new healthy habit or get rid of an unhealthy one? How often have you failed? How much stress has this created in your life? The continual battle of whether to carry out your new, healthy habit or not can be exhausting.
So why do we spend so much time trying to change our habits?
Habits are the best way to establish long-term change because they are automatic. This means that once you establish a habit like brushing your teeth, you no longer need to think about it. This frees you from becoming a victim of willpower and motivation (or lack of them). It also protects you from falling back into old ways. When tired or stressed, you revert to your habits which is why it is important to have as many good ones as possible. The other thing about good habits is that they free up your mind. This means you can think, create, problem solve and tackle all that stuff that pops up in an average day in your life.
Your habits also make you who you are. If you have habits to overcome procrastination, you will become an organised person. If you have habits which get you being active, you will become a fit person. If your habits mean that you eat good, nutritious food, you will be a healthy person. When Aristotle said, ‘We are what we repeatedly do.’ he was right.
It’s easy to see how having the right habits can make you feel less stressed.
A great example of this came up for me recently. I was ill for a few days but I still mediated every day. Then as soon as the worst was over, I got my workout gear on and did some yoga. Both habits I did on a lesser scale than normal, but I still did them.
I am not saying I am tough or strong to keep doing these things, it is that now, these things are who I am! To not do them would be so much stranger than doing them. As I already said, once you establish a habit it becomes part of your hard-wiring and it becomes what you do. You will all have habits you can relate to like this. Ones like brushing your teeth for example. The sort of habit where you know would not feel right if you didn’t do it.
Is there a healthy habit you have been trying to establish for a while? Are you finding it hard? Do you realise that you have healthy habits like brushing your teeth but have no idea how they got there?
Are you ready to find out how to create good habits so you can feel less stressed?
So, how do we establish a new habit?
Start very small
Have you ever tried to make a big change like going to the gym several times per week? Have you ever failed to make such a big change? Let me tell you why.
Big changes are too much for our minds to accept. Your mind has a blueprint of who you are. It has a set of rules it likes to apply to what it does and does not think you can do. If you make a change way outside this blueprint, your mind rebels and stops you in your tracks. Your mind thinks you are trying to change your personality overnight. It wants to protect the status quo and gets in your way. Some people call this self-sabotage and it affects many of the clients I see in one way or another.
To overcome this you need to start small. You need to sneak in on your belief system under cover of darkness, completely undetected.
How small is small?
Let’s continue with the concept of exercise. Imagine your mind thinks you are a lazy layabout who doesn’t exercise. To change towards a belief that you are a person who exercises you could start by putting on your workout gear on. If you do this at the time you plan to exercise, you will start to create a new trigger inside your mind.
In his book, ‘Mini Habits’, Steven Guise committed to one press-up each day. On each occasion, he did more but his commitment was only ever one press-up. When you have made your first step you will notice an urge to do some exercise but still stay small.
One sit-up will sneak past the guards in your mind, but if you tell yourself you are going for a 2-mile run, it might be too much. You can play about with this – setting your very small habit goal each day until that feels comfortable. What you will notice over time, is that you consistently do more than your very small habit. But never change the small goal as that will be your fall-back habit when the going gets tough.
Change the beliefs you have about yourself!
The key here is to overcome the self-sabotaging blocks you have to exercise. The aim is to change who your mind thinks you are. Once you establish a small habit, your mind stops believing that you are that lazy layabout. Then you reduce the resistance to exercise. The key to this is not the exercise itself but changing the belief and establishing a new habit.
By starting small, you can begin to change who you think you are. Then you can establish a whole set of new habits which can help you feel less stressed.
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