• Coach Kat

What are the benefits to forming a habit?

One of the greatest benefits to forming a habit is that, once in place, it automatically works to motivate you on a consistent basis to achieve your goal. This continuous motivation, coupled with your commitment to practice your habit, provides momentum to complete the series of tasks that contribute to the successful accomplishment of the target that you wish to reach.

A habit is a learnt behaviour pattern which you regularly undertaken and in the words of the Oxford dictionary it is defined as ‘A settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up’. Through consistent practice and repetition, it takes approximately twenty one days to start developing or breaking a habit. However, how quickly the habit is formed, depends on the emotional strength of your decision to start behaving in a different way or manner and also, your conviction to keep repeating the process.

Forming and repeating a new habit can sometimes seem like a chore can’t it? Because it can be perceived as a chore and before you’ve practiced the new behaviour or taken action enough times for it to become established, you give it up entirely. So to minimise the risk of giving up the new habit before it has had a chance to begin, remind yourself of how committing to it contributes to your achievement of your long term goal and reflect upon what you will be experiencing once successful. The personal goals you set yourself and accomplish over time will add value and transform your life, which makes the successful implementation and maintenance of your new habits a key ingredient to sustaining long term change.

To start you off on your habit building journey, here are some of the broader benefits to forming a new habit and committing to it as time goes by;

1. You consistently take a series of actions

A new habit is a series of new actions which require work and sometimes that work is not easy. However, it is worth remembering that a habit’s primarily function is to serve and benefit you so that you consistently take action in the here and now, which contributes to your accomplishment of your long-term goal. A habit is an activity that you repeatedly chose to devote time to on a regular basis; a series of your own pre-determined actions. So what’s the goal you want to achieve and the habit you want to start developing in order to support you? What are the reasons for your goal and what benefits will you experience when you achieve it? These reasons are your motivators. Consistently taking a series of actions provides you with a plan and a laser beam focus so that you can prioritise what you need to do in order to keep making progress. Remember, your new habit is there to support you in remaining motivated to take consistent action over time.

2. You become self-disciplined

As well as forming a new habit that will support you in pursuit and accomplishment of your goal, you also develop a skill that can help enhance your life in other ways; the skill of self-discipline. Putting the work into starting and maintaining a habit takes discipline and so this is a way of training your mind to become focused and dedicated to any task that you decide to set yourself. Through your persistent and relentless approach, self-discipline becomes not only a transferable habit, but one in its own right; you feel empowered to take action in the moment and the future. Making your new routine a priority takes discipline to enforce and endurance to repeat; two qualities that are paramount to success in any goals.

3. You develop a positive mind-set

Every time that you take action and practice your new habit you experience that feel good vibe because you have honoured the commitment that you made to yourself; you embrace a sense of pride and achievement. As a result of staying true to your commitment, the positive self-talk that you hear reinforces the belief that you can do it and quietens the old and now redundant voice of doubt. Almost without realising it (within your subconscious), you are developing greater self-awareness about your abilities and actively changing your attitude to one of positivity, which supports the belief that your goal will become a reality. Having a positive and affirming belief system enables your mind-set to flourish and to realise your unexplored potential. So, what do you hear when you have once again completed your habit? How do you feel? What else can you do when riding the wave of positivity?

4. Keeps you motivated

A habit keeps you motivated by channelling your focus to routinely undertake a specific prechosen action strategy rather than wondering what to do. Action reminds you that you can move forward with your goal and that you are not stuck in the same spot and this awareness of gathering momentum refuels your motivation levels. Through the power of your repeated action, you are strengthening your resolve to continue towards your goal and the change that it will bring to your life. Deciding to stay true to your new habit and repeating the process time and time again, fortifies your motivation. You are continuously proving to yourself that you can do what you set your mind to and so that motivational internal self-talk becomes louder and more powerful, which strengthens your resolve. Your self-will (where motivation lies) becomes stronger and more readily available when you have evidence to remind yourself of your past victories; experience inspires higher levels of motivation.

5. Moves you towards your transformation

By frequently committing to your habit and taking action on a regular basis, you move ever closer to the long lasting transformation you wish to create. Essentially, what a routine does is act as a support on your journey and paves your way to reaching your ultimate goal. Transformation is not always going to be instant, rather it is the result of the work you put into the transition process and that process includes developing new behaviours and actions that help you to gain the different future that you desire. So the level of commitment that you invest into your new self-imposed routine (part of your transitioning process), however frequently you need to take it, decides the level and speed of your end results. Focus on that future focused vision you desire if you feel as though your motivation to undertake your new habit is wavering and ask yourself, what are you dreaming of in your future? What’s the most important part of your vision and how does it link in with this habit?

Through determination and repeated practice, your new habit can become an automatic part of your behaviour. So, if you stayed committed to your habit, how different would your life be in a month or three months? What will be the outcome if you decide to stop? Be true to your potential and today, decide on what habits you need to start to ensure that you accomplish your goals.

Coach Kat

(c) Katrina Ramsden

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