Throwing down your anchor to make your habits automatic

Throwing down your anchor to make your habits automatic

Is there a behaviour that you’ve decided you want to do on a daily basis,
as you know it’ll help you achieve a goal?
But for various reasons, you just don’t do it daily.
You keep putting it off,
or forget to do it.
But you don’t know why?

It sounds like you might be relying on motivation to help you do this daily,
and if that is true, you’re probably in for a long wait.
Motivation is not a good thing to rely on,
as our motivation levels change frequently.

An idea that might be more helpful is to use an anchor.
Or you might think of it as a trigger.
For example.
Let’s say you have decided you want to meditate every day.
What would be the next step you would think about, in order to make that happen daily?

Would it be, how can I do this consistently, at the same time every day?
In that case, what things do you already do on a daily basis, around the same time every day?

Such as, I’m guessing you brush your teeth around the same time every morning and evening?
Maybe you make yourself a cup of tea or coffee around the same time every day?
Do you have a shower at the same time every day?

Make a list of all the things you do daily. These are your anchors.

Next, give some thought to the daily habit you’re trying to cultivate.
Could it fit after an existing behaviour you already do daily?

So if we stick with meditation.
If you are one of the people that takes a bath or shower every night, before bed.
Maybe you could try doing a 1 minute meditation after your shower or bath?

You might be thinking. One minute! That’s a waste of time!
But what we’re trying to do, is it to make this behaviour one that is automatic for you.
One that you don’t think about, you just do it every day.
There’s nothing to stop you doing more than the one minute.
But if you set your goal to be just to do one minute, and then anything longer is a bonus.

That way, it is much easier to hit your goal daily.
Once you have established it as a habit, then you could decide to slowly increase the duration.
But be careful. Where people go wrong is being too ambitious.

Setting themselves goals of 20, 30 or 40 minutes.
The problem with those goals is that when you have a really busy day,
you’re less likely to do a 20, 30 or 40 minute meditation.
And then you might feel that you’ve let yourself down.
And there’s a greater chance that it won’t happen again the next day.

Whereas, if your target is only a minute or two, even if you’re tired,
there’s a far higher chance you’ll still do the meditation.
Which will make you feel better, as you’ve continued to do it daily,
and so you’ll feel successful.

It is when we feel we’ve failed ourselves that we start to give up on things.

So find your anchor, and add your new behaviour to it,
but remember, make the behaviour tiny, don’t be too ambitious,
or you might be setting yourself up for failure.

If you’d like help around creating habits in your life,
habits to improve your sleep quality,
your eating habits,
or maybe to have more movement in your life
get in touch.

Tuesday: Habits
Your habits are what you do on a daily basis. If life isn’t going in the direction you want it may be a signal that you need to change some of your habits and routines in order to move in the direction you want it to go
Join my weekly free 5-day-programme to learn how to implement Tiny Habits into your life at https://tonywinyard.com/tinyhabits/

Upcoming events:
Free nutrition webinar at www.tonywinyard.com/webinar

5 week Habits & Health programme at www.tonywinyard.com/workshop

Take my quiz to unlock your personal key to healthier habits.
Find out if you are controlling your habits or your habits are controlling you—plus exactly what to do about it!
https://habits-health.com/

Blog posts weekly schedule:
Mondays: Movement
Tuesdays: Habits
Wednesdays: Nutrition
Thursdays: Breathing
Friday: Mindset
Saturdays: Sleep
Sundays: Personal Development

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