When was the last time you did something out of the ordinary? Shook up your ingrained habits for ones that were foreign to you? Studies show that breaking from your traditional mode is good for the brain – it allows synapses to connect in new ways, gets you outside of your comfort zone, and generally makes you a more well-rounded individual. What’s not to like? But how do you go from indecision to action? Here’s a quick list to start you off:
1. Dig deep to find why the habit has been elusive up until now. You may have continuously told yourself that you’re “not a morning person” or “can’t cook” or “just hate running,” enough that it’s fully reinforced. But is the reason you’re not able to rise early actually because you burn the midnight oil? You sleep poorly? You’re overwhelmed? Bed just feels way too good? ( Understand that last one completely) Unpack why you think that oft-repeated mantra is a fact, and you may just find that it’s much more open to interpretation and ready for change.
2. Set up habit tracker that reminds you to stay on track. My personal favorite is Habit Forge which helps you track new habits for 21-days (the scientifically proven amount of time necessary to implement most new habits). You miss a day? It resets. If you prefer the Benjamin Franklin model of keeping your own notebook to stay on track, give that a go.
3. Get ahead of yourself. If you know you want to accomplish ten little goals tomorrow, give yourself an extra hour in morning, turn off the phone for an hour, carve out some space to get things done. Because that lecture you give yourself when you don’t get through your checklist doesn’t do anyone any good.
4. Break the status-quo. Our minds are often on auto-pilot. Take notice of when you’re about to go down a familiar path, and see if you can find 5 other alternatives. Follow any of them.
5. Make it fun. If life-hacking your way to a more rewarding day-to-day doesn’t sound like an adventure waiting to happen, reevaluate. Make sure you’re looking at the changes as opportunities to grow instead of tasks-you-have-to-follow-or-else. Life’s too short not to enjoy it.