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5 Habits For Success: How To Stay Motivated

I'll be exploring habits for success & how these can help you stay focused & motivated through those early weeks.

Weeks 2 – 3 can be challenging when you begin working towards goals. The buzz of week 1 can filter away through the reality of DOING the work.

Picture this – You've got a BRILLIANT idea that keeps buzzing around in your head. You finally decide to give it your focus & plan out the next few weeks / months to get it off the ground.

Day 1: Totally fired up. Motivation is high & you're excited & focused on what you need to do to achieve your goal.

Days 5-7: Impressed by what you've managed to achieve already, you plan out the 2nd week to get yourself ahead. Taking a break over the weekend you end Friday full of hope & determination.

Day 8: Your initial enthusiasm isn't quite as strong. The initial planning stages have been completed & now it's time to sort out the tech stuff & put the strategy in place. Here comes the tumbleweed…

Days 9-13: Obstacles & less fun is making you feel a bit disconnected from your project. It feels like you're going around in circles… Motivation is lacking & you know you're avoiding doing ‘those' tasks. You're not working from a schedule or plan, becoming easily distracted & other works begins to seep into the time you initially put aside to work on this.

Days 14+: You might get caught up focusing on the fun or easy tasks, but the avoidance of the tasks that you need to do to make this work continues to slow your progress. For many, this is the time you'll quit, or decide to change direction because you don't believe it's working.

Does this sound at all familiar?!

If it does, fear not! There is a way that you can maintain your focus & motivation by introducing habits for success!

In this article I'll look at some key habits that you can introduce from Day 1 to help you stay focused on your project & ensure that you continue to make the progress you desire.

What Are Habits For Success?

Whenever we work towards a goal, there will be tasks that come easy to you & others that can feel like you’re pulling teeth! This is where the power of habits come into play. 

There can be a lot of gloss around building habits, but the truth is, habits are pretty unglossy…! They simply involve the rinse & repeat of the same activities or actions over & over. 

This isn’t to put you off – it’s just to help you understand why that fuzzy, high energy focus can slip away quite rapidly once you knuckle down to doing the work & why the power in repeating actions is how you can make habits stick for good!

Habits for success. An image of a road in the background with beautiful sunset colours in the sky, orange, yelloe, purple. With Good Habits' Written on the road

Some top tips for creating habits for success that stick:

1. Be very clear on WHY you want to introduce these habits.

How will they benefit you in the long term? Your why is what will keep you going. It will drive your motivation & get you through those times where you just don’t want to do it. Regularly tapping into your why keeps the excitement & buzz of what you’re doing alive.

If you’re not clear or connected to your reason why you want to achieve this goal, the tasks that don’t inspire you will lead to procrastination or giving up on them completely.

2. Be Mindful Of Short Term / Instant Gratification Desires.

We live in a world where for many of us, what we want is only a click away. In many cases we don’t have to wait for weeks or months for something. Additionally, when you’re working towards a bigger goal, the distance can act as a buffer.

It can feel so far away that the need to feel like you’ve achieved something can be quite strong. If you think about having a weight loss goal, it may be a 12 month focus. On a day to day basis, the far away goal probably won’t be enough in itself to help you maintain the habits you’ve introduced. This is where #1 comes into play – keep your WHY front & centre!

3. Start Small!

This isn’t an excuse to not challenge yourself, it’s a way to build up to bigger habits for success. Ensure that they are relevant & effective, but by not going all in at once, you’re setting yourself up for success instead of potential failure. For example, if you want to introduce a new morning routine, it may be more difficult to maintain if you suddenly introduce an entire routine in one go.

To begin with you might want to choose to set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier & commit to journaling in that time. After a week of focusing on that habit, introduce other habits you want to include & build up from there.

If you want to introduce a writing habit, think about how you can introduce this so that you feel the win really quickly. Perhaps commit to a minimum of 15 minutes focused writing each day. Yes you can write for longer, but the benefit is in showing up each day for that minimum period of time.  

4. Review & Reflect Frequently.

Stay aware of the habits you’re introducing & the impact they’re having. Reflect on how you’re finding them & how helpful they are. Check in with yourself, is it time to increase the habit or adapt / change it? Are they still helping you stay aligned & on track with your bigger goal?

When you decide on your own habits for success, they need to be relevant to the goal you're working towards. In time our goals can shift & evolve, so checking that your habits are still supporting you to achieve these goals is key.

5. Celebrate All Of Your Achievements.

Success breeds confidence, so for each stage of your project, celebrate the smaller things. Celebrate when you nail a habit & make progress regardless of the size of the progress. Remember that habits take some work, persistence & time. Your habits for success need to be relevant to what you're working on & where you want to get to.

How Long Does It Take To Establish New Habits?

In a study carried out by Lally, Van Jaarsveld, Potts & Wardle in 2009, they found that around 66 days is how long that repetitiveness of a habit becomes a lifestyle change. 21 days is often bandied around, and a study shows that for habits to begin to work it takes between 18 – 66 days. For the habits to become automatic, it can take between 18-254 days.

This study is really interesting 7 again highlights that we are all different – we process things, learn things, do things differently, therefore it's likely that introducing habits for success to alter or improve behaviour will also vary.

Put simply, the more consistency & the more reps you do of the habit (e.g. writing for at least 15 minutes every day), the more ingrained it will become. Okay it's not that glamourous or exciting – but it's what works!

What Are Your Habits For Success?

If you're about to start on a new project, or you want to re-engage with a project, think about the habits that you could introduce to help you set yourself up for success.

You don't need to make ALL the changes in one go. Focus on where you are right now & what would be most helpful for you to become motivated & maintain a level of focus as you face obstacles, tasks you don't enjoy or the surprises that life springs on you now & again.

Your habits for success may be completely different to that of others who are working towards their goals – and that's ok! Focus on your specific needs & make a start!

Conclusion:

Creating habits for success can help you push through the times where motivation alone isn't quite enough to keep you focused & on track as you work towards your goals. They can help by removing decision, and creating flexible but effective routines that enable you to focus on what needs to get done.

Habits for success will not only help you with this current project but throughout your life, with personal goals & future projects. They do take time initially, but once ingrained can make a huge difference for you & will probably save you a lot of time & effort in the future.

Rinse & Repeat of the habit is where the magic lies – although not always exciting, it really is as ‘simple' as that!

Take a Look…

Have you read my other post talking about time management for busy entrepreneurs? If you're an introvert, manage energy issues or want to do business your way… finding a way to manage your time & energy is key! Take a look below:

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Meet Lynsey

Lynsey Wall, Coach & Mentor at Coach Writes. About me - A headshot of Lynsey smiling. Wearing a black t-shirt, blue framed glasses. Office walls behind her.

Hey there! I'm Lynsey, a coach, counsellor, and mentor for low energy, introverted or low confident female coaches & small business owners. With over 5 years’ experience of running businesses, and over a decade as a tutor and trainer, I've learned the value of effective time management that energises you through working with your energy.

I've lived with chronic illness – ME/CFS since 2011 and since then I re-trained as a counsellor, and achieved a distinction for my MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice; all while running 4 businesses! I want that for you as well & it is possible with the right support and pathway to success.

Improving your mindset, finding acceptance and developing a solution-focused approach to achieving your goals is my passion. Blending mental health support where needed, as well as a supportive space and methods to manage your work more effectively.

If you'd like to know more about working with me, you can email [email protected] or find me on socials (links in the menu)

Have you seen my online store Your Coach Tools? Find DFY templates & more!

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