A few months ago my wife bought a piggy bank for our granddaughter. And every week, when she visits her, she deposits her collaboration. My granddaughter loves that they put coins in her piggy bank and that her grandmother visits her.
And this is a great example of how to encourage the development of savings habits from an early age.
But 20 years ago when we first got married, my wife wasn’t that successful with me , I actually put up quite a bit of resistance to putting aside some money for savings or small investments.
Why? Simply because I had never developed the habit of saving or investing and that made me very nervous and I felt that my lifestyle was threatened. I must confess that it took my wife a lot of time and persuasion to convince me but now fortunately I must admit that thanks to her we have managed to save up to have a decent retirement when the time comes.
There are 2 ways to develop new habits
Obviously a good habit (or a bad one) is easier to acquire in the first years of life , the sooner the better. With a little support and encouragement, you can learn just about anything you set your mind to without too much resistance. Maybe now you think it’s a little late, but is it so?
It is much more difficult to pick up a new habit later in life but not impossible. We are already on track, we have a certain resistance to change and very often we lack someone to support us and encourage us until we manage to internalize the change.
In short over time old habits become deeply ingrained. To be successful in changing a habit, it takes at least 21 days and up to 90 days (or even more) of constant practice. Do you remember the last time you tried to change something that went against your old habits? It wasn’t easy, right? Simply put, it is incredibly difficult to change a habit .
We try to eat better, exercise more, and market more often, but the results are often not very impressive. And if by chance we do manage to make a change, we often revert to the old behavior after a short time. Is there any hope of making real change? Well, yes, fortunately there is, although I admit that it can be quite a challenge.
And why does this happen? Basically because we don’t want to change since old habits are much more immediately rewarding than the new one we want to establish.
The 3 most powerful and proven approaches to developing successful habits
- Gain the support of a group or community
- get coaching
- Create rituals and systems
1. Get support from a group or community
A famous yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda, used to say: “The environment is stronger than the will.” If you want to make changes and develop positive habits, a group or community can make all the difference. Trying to change and achieve success alone is very difficult. And of course, as a freelancer you may find yourself working in isolation/or trying to get your business off the ground, but it’s very hard for you.
Take advantage of the support of a group if you want to:
- Learn a profession (study groups)
- Climb Everest (climbing equipment)
- Learn business and marketing skills (training courses)
- Become a musician (form a band)
- Improve the success of your business in general (support group)
- Generate new ideas (group brainstorming)
With the support of a group, you don’t rely solely on your own knowledge and will. But you are surrounded by others who want you to win too. Get together with people who are committed to success and making a difference, not those who are committed to protest.
Support groups don’t guarantee success, but they certainly make it a lot easier and a lot more fun. I’ve always found that being in a supportive community helps me play my best.
[bctt tweet=”With the support of a group, you don’t rely solely on your own knowledge and will”]
Then go to the next step…
2. Get personal coaching
Having a coaching is a proven method to be able to carry out changes and develop new habits. In coaching, the coach and the client make a “covenant for change.” They determine the areas the client wants to work on, the work needed to achieve those changes, and the challenges you will have to overcome to reach the goals.
Coaches understand that change is difficult. But they also know that, with knowledge and support, change is possible. Coaches are patient, persistent and creative. And they have a set of tools that work to help you go from taking those small steps needed to get started to taking those big ones until you manage to form a new habit.
This way you can get results very quickly. In group programs, participants are challenged to step out of their comfort zone. Then the coach provides the direction to move forward with more confidence.
The cost of a coach is offset by increased productivity, results and income.
The final step is…
3. Create rituals and systems
Remember in college how overwhelmed you were with the amount of studying you needed to do to pass a test, let alone master the subject? At some point you gave in to the need to establish study times and habits – or you decided to improvise. But improvisation didn’t get you too far, did it?
Kelly St. Clair, at Wisdompreneurs, explained how to blog each week: . «I establish a pleasant ritual, prepare a special coffee and try to arrive early to have the house for myself. That is a real pleasure for me. It helps me to be constant, because I feel like it, it motivates me».
This is very different from making empty promises, trying to make erratic and random attempts that never seem to get fixed.
How to establish a ritual or system:
- Be very clear about what you want to change or what success habit you want to establish. I recommend you start small.
- Write what would happen once that habit was established. What would you be doing differently?
- imagine or visualize what you would feel like if you were doing this habit constantly, and also visualize how you would feel getting the results that came from this habit.
- Now design your ritual or system. For example: I’m going to do these exercises every morning at 8:30 in the morning, I’m going to do this and that, etc. Once again, keep it simple. A few steps, not 50!
- Tell your group and/or your coach about your new success ritual or system and welcome their input and ideas.
- If necessary, explore the limiting beliefs that might prevent you from doing so.
- Set an award or celebration for each goal achieved on the way to establishing this habit. That is, the first month, 6 months, 1 year. By the way, I just hit the three month milestone with my stretching exercises which has made a huge difference in my overall wellness and my back in particular. I can’t leave them now.
- Don’t try to tackle several new habits at once. That’s a gamble for failure. Add another when the new habit is firmly established and you can’t imagine getting along without it.
- Realize that the habit of establishing new beneficial habits could be the most powerful success habit of all. Therefore create a ritual to sit down at a regular time and follow the steps above.