A key to all success in life lies with your habits. Winning habits and helpful behaviours will help your success, while unhelpful habits and behaviours can lead to your downfall. Moreover, the question of how to create and lock in helpful and lasting habits so they become normal, is a key question to answer. Furthermore, the essential element in establishing winning habits lies with you and involves creating a plan and sticking to it. In addition, the plan must include developing winning habits of of thought, feeling and action. To clarify, you must focus on creating good habits that include what you do, actions and what you think and how you feel. The last two involve working at the level of mindset and beyond and therefore, developing a mindset for success.
Let’s look at the seven steps that will help you to develop winning habits and create a great plan.
Knowing your outcome is the first step in creating a plan to develop winning habits
As obvious as this may sound, knowing your outcome is essential before you embark on a new journey. Too often people pull a random goal out of the air. Furthermore, the goal may not really be important. Goals are often influenced by social norms, or what others are doing, or telling us we could or should do. A spark of regret or a glimmer of excitement as you momentarily imagine how good this would be for you. Perhaps it’s a new exercise regime, the latest fad diet, a month with no alcohol or a 60 day exercise challenge. Moreover, most of these are likely to fail.
A better way to determine what you want is to gain a clear perspective. To do this, simply review your past achievements and failures. Reflect over the past 12 months and note what went well and what worked. Next, consider what didn’t work and what you didn’t accomplish.
Less is often more so choose one area of your life to focus on first
From here, decide one key area of your life to focus on. It’s helpful to pick the area that is a top priority and to get crystal clear as to why you want to change this area. Most importantly, keep asking yourself why this is important until you connect to a positive feeling that you can name and feel.
Lastly, ensure your outcome is specific and measurable. Your brain loves seeking goals, so, if health is your focus, decide how you will measure the result. Is it a specific size of clothing you want to fit into, to run 10km, 5km or increase fitness by 30%? Getting crystal clear on your outcome is the first step towards creating a plan for winning habits.
‘Mindset predicts motivation and achievement.’ Carol Dweck
You must believe that you can succeed
The next vital piece of your plan for creating winning habits is to strengthen your belief. If you don’t believe you can achieve this, you won’t. It’s that simple. Your thoughts create your beliefs and your beliefs shape your results. Moreover, a key component in a Growth Mindset and a Mindset for Success is self-belief. Believing you can improve by focusing on yourself and gaining momentum and motivation from the actions you take consistently. In Carol Dweck’s book, Growth Mindset, students increase their grades because they believe when they focus on their learning, they will improve.
‘Believe that you will succeed and you will.’ Dale Carnegie
Part of creating winning habits is to check your language supports what you want. Are you thinking about what you want or what you don’t want? To determine this, become an observer of your thoughts. Listen carefully with an attitude of curiosity and kindness. Are your thoughts positive, supportive and in alignment with what you want or are they filled with doubt, self-criticism or fear? If they are, observe and acknowledge them, release them and replace them with a thought that is supportive and towards what you want.
Create a core driving question as part of your plan to develop winning habits
Knowing your values, what is important to you and ensuring they align with your goals is key, Furthermore, be sure to schedule tasks and take intentional action towards what you want. When you repeat the behaviours consistently, you will eventually develop a helpful habit. To assist with this, create a core question that drives you and steers the energy of your mind, your thoughts and focus towards your goal..
For example, if health is your focus, your driving question could be:
‘How can I easily focus on becoming healthier every day?’
If you desire to be a better planner to improve your business outcomes:
‘How can I easily become a master planner and double my business growth?’
Finally, write your core question down and recite it daily. Act like a champion and say it with passion and meaning so it becomes a natural part of your mindset for success. Moreover, guide it so it becomes the driving question, or force that help you stick to your plan to create winning habits that help you achieve the success you desire.Create a driving question to help you establish habits that align with your goals Click To Tweet
Taking small steps consistently in one of the key winning habits
While you probably know, by logic, that small steps are important, it’s common to be impatient while pursuing our goals. Consequently, we set lofty goals and schedule too many unfamiliar behaviours and unrealistic actions in to our diaries. Next, we hope we will magically and effortlessly do these numerous and challenging tasks. Unfortunately, life doesn’t normally work like this, and hope is not a great strategy for success.
We are driven towards pleasure and away from pain by our brain which is set on keeping us safe and comfortable at all cost. Similarly, we prefer the easy over the hard and the familiar over the unfamiliar. Our failure to understand the rules of the mind leads to our downfall. Furthermore, starting out big usually leads to disaster. On the other hand, when you start small you ward off the possibility of giving up after a week. Make the first step so simple that it feels almost too easy. Otherwise you may be left wondering why you don’t do the things you know you should.
Embrace the philosophy of the aggregate of marginal gains in your life
Sir David Brailsford offers a fantastic lesson in his philosophy of ‘the principle of marginal gains.’ He considered every component that went with the team. This included everything from aspect of the bike, sleep patterns, massage oils and social connections. Furthermore, incremental improvements in every area, marginal gains, was a key strategy behind the success of Britain’s Team Sky. Not only did they achieve their first victory in the Tour de France, but they also went on to achieve even more wins in other major cycling races. If it can help a team win the toughest cycling race in the world, imagine what it could do for you?
Consider what you could achieve if you made a number of small changes in your life. What if you drink one more glass of water a day? How about eating off a smaller plate two times a week at dinner? What if you go to bed 30 minutes earlier twice a week and get up 30 minutes earlier twice a week?
Leverage off your small incremental changes to build exponential results
And then you use this additional 30 minutes to focus on your goals? How about you read for ten minutes three times a week to develop winning habits such as reading more books? What if you skip one dinner each week to give your body a break from eating. This will free up more energy for your body to do what it does naturally; heal and eliminate toxins in your body. Just imagine how these small changes will eventually lead to big results.How to Easily Make a Plan for Creating Winning Habits Click To Tweet
Remember, your habits are ultimately the result of many small decisions that you have taken over time. Furthermore, as your habits shape your identity and influence your results, they are key in programming your subconscious mind. Furthermore, making small decisions and taking small steps is key for creating winning habits and achieve your goals.
Create winning habits such as planning and scheduling
What gets scheduled is more likely to get done. In other words, this means it is helpful to schedule your new actions in your diary. Prioritise them as you would an important business meeting. Next, tick them off when you achieve them. Furthermore, take time to review and reflect over each day and every week. Moreover, committing to these behaviours will create winning habits and help you achieve personal excellence. Ultimately, you must prove to yourself that you are reliable and you will do the things you say you will. You can only do this by becoming consistent in all you do. Ultimately, when you do this, you are becoming the person you need to become in order to achieve the results you want. Acknowledge your successes to help you maintain consistency, is a great strategy. In short, this is how to create winning habits that stick.
Gather support and get a team on your side
We all achieve more when we hold ourselves accountable to others and have their support. Whether it’s finding a coach, an accountability partner or sharing your goals, having support increases your chance of success. You only have to look at the world of sports to see the proof of this. All great athletes have coaches and many of them have several. Teams have coaches to help them achieve great results together. Moreover, connection is a fundamental human need, as is having support and encouragement along the way.
Furthermore, other people can see us differently to how we see ourselves. They tend to see more of our brilliances and strengths. Left to us, we tend to focus on our negative aspects and shortcomings more often than our wins and strengths. Finally, having a team around is helpful for those moments when you have a wobble or need some extra motivation to keep going. And of course, ups and downs are a normal part of life.
Keep a lens of focus and review and recalibrate regularly
As humans, we love short term or instant gratification, however, to achieve our goals we must delay reward now for future gain. Accomplishing our goals involves repetition and consistency. Most important, consistency and repetition creates routines which become habits. Some habits are more important than others so identify those that are your keystone habits. Keystone habits are like the fertile ground for your other habits to develop from.
In addition to this, there is a vital term which comes from performance psychology and the world of sports. We refer to this as ‘ Focus, Feedback, Fix.’ When you apply this to your habits and keep it firmly in your mind you have another vital key in creating winning habits. First, the focus refers to doing what you do intentionally and with focus. Second, the feedback entails reviewing what you do and how successful it was as well as deciding if anything needs changing. Finally, the fix requires making the change and returning to more practice, being consistent and repeating the cycle again.
When you keep a log of your progress you can easily check to see how far you have come, which strategies were winning ones and which ones require changing. Furthermore, it is a key habit that athletes use to create their champion mindset for success.
Prove to yourself you are reliable and will do what it takes
When you embrace this plan and focus on developing winning habits, be consistent and diligent in all you do, you become the type of person who is reliable. Moreover, proving you are reliable to yourself and knowing you will do what it takes is the key to creating unstoppable confidence and self-belief. Both of these are vital ingredients for all success in every area of life.
Finally, remember, all you have to do is decide what you want to change, create and accomplish. And then, of course, make a plan and take the first step. Take another and continue intentionally, with focus. Be open to feedback and fixing what needs changing and of course, getting back into the business of continuing with your consistent actions and winning habits. You are now in momentum and then, only you can choose to stop.
About the Author
Mandy Napier is a Global High Performance Mindset Coach. who is dedicated to supporting high achievers fulfil their potential and achieve extraordinary results professionally and personally. Transformations are the norm, and results guaranteed.
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