A key to every success in life lies in the successful creation of habits, especially winning habits. Moreover, the question of how to create and lock in lasting habits so they become normal, is one which many people seek the answer. Furthermore, the essential element in establishing winning habits lies with you. How and what you feel. Also, the actions you take and the beliefs you hold. Finally, to establish habits comes down to you working towards creating a mindset for success.
So, let’s look at the seven steps that make up your winning habits creation plan.
Knowing your outcome is the first step in creating your winning habits plan
As obvious as this may sound, knowing your outcome is essential before you embark on any change. Too often people pull a random goal out of the air, influenced by what others are doing, or because we feel we should be do something – often for reasons influenced by social norms. Whether it’s to start a lofty exercise regime, eating healthily, stop drinking or becoming a massive action taker overnight.
A better way to start and gain a clearer perspective is to first review your past achievements and failures. Look back over the past 12 months. Note what has worked and what was successful. Next, consider what didn’t work and what you didn’t accomplish. From here, decide the one key area of your life to focus on. Pick the area that is a top priority and get crystal clear as to what you want to change and why. Most importantly, keep asking yourself why this is important until you connect to a positive feeling that you can name.
Lastly, ensure your outcome is specific and measurable. Your brain loves seeking goals. If health is your focus, ask how can you 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 making your winning habits creation plan.
You must believe that you can succeed
The next vital piece of your winning habits creation plan is to strengthening your belief. If you don’t believe you can achieve, you won’t. It’s that simple. Your beliefs shape your results and your thoughts create your beliefs. A key component in a Growth Mindset and a Mindset for Success is self-belief. Believing you can improve by focusing on yourself and learning from the actions you take consistently. In Carol Dweck’s book, Growth Mindset, students increased their grades because they believed if they focused on themselves and their learning, they would improve.
‘Believe that you will succeed and you will.’ Dale Carnegie
Part of creating your winning habit creation plan is to check whether your language supports what you want. To do this you must become an observer of your thoughts, listen carefully with an attitude of curiosity and kindness. Are they in alignment with what you want or are they filled with doubt, self-criticism or fear? If this is so, observe, let go and replace them with ones that focus on what you want.
Create a core driving question for your winning habits plan
Knowing your values, what is important to you and ensuring they align with your goals and are supported by your desired behaviours, is critical. When you have established your values, create yourself a core question that drives the energy of your mind, your thoughts, towards your goal.
‘Mindset predicts motivation and achievement.’ Carol Dweck
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. Champion yourself to lock it in so it becomes a natural part of your mindset for success. Guide it to become the driving force to your winning habits creation plan.Create a driving question to help you establish habits that align with your goals Click To Tweet
Take small steps consistently
While you probably know, by logic, that small steps are important, it’s common for humans to be impatient and want it all now. Consequently, we set lofty goals and unrealistically schedule required behaviours and actions, in order to achieve what we want. Furthermore, we hope we will fall in love with our unfamiliar behaviours and they will magically become winning habits.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t normally work like this. Our brains are driven towards pleasure and away from pain which means we hate deprivation and getting uncomfortable. 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 because it feels too hard or you have over-committed in your already busy schedule. Make it so simple that it feels almost too easy. Moreover, if you fail to start small and lose your way, you will be left wondering why you didn’t do the things you know you should.
Sir David Brailsford offers a fantastic lesson in his philosophy of ‘the principle of marginal gains.’ Furthermore, incremental improvements or 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?
Embrace the philosophy of the aggregate of marginal gains in your life
Consider what you could achieve if you made a number of small changes in your life. What if you drank one more glass of water a day? How about eating off a smaller plate two times a week at dinner? What if you went to bed 30 minutes earlier twice a week and got up 30 minutes earlier twice a week? And you used this 30 minutes to focus on your goals? How about you read for ten minutes three times a week to start the habit of reading more books? What if you skipped one dinner each week to give your body a break from eating – to let it heal and eliminate toxins? Just imagine how these small changes will compound into big results.
Your habits are the result of many small decisions taken over time 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 one way to ensure you both create winning habits and achieve your goals.
Create winning habits such as planning and scheduling
What gets scheduled is more likely to get done, which means it is helpful to schedule your new actions in your diary. Prioritise them as you would an important business meeting and remember to tick them off once completed. Furthermore, take time to review your day and your week. Both of these habits will help you focus on personal excellence and become the person you desire. Ultimately you must prove to yourself that you are reliable and you will do what it takes. This is how to create winning habits that stick. Acknowledge your successes to help you maintain consistency, as this is essential to your success.
Gather support and get a team on your side
Whether it’s finding a coach, an accountability partner or sharing your goals, having support around you is key. 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 and being supported, encouraged and championed along the way is also key. Furthermore, another person can see things through a different lens. Having a team around you 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 focused and review progress when necessary
As humans, we love short term gratification, however, to achieve our goals usually means delaying reward now for the future. It also involves repetition and consistency. Most important, doing this consistently and repeatedly create routines which become habits. Some habits are more important than others which means it is helpful to identify those routines that are your keystone habits. Keystone habits are like the bedrock for your other habits.
In performance psychology and the world of sports, there is an expression FOCUS FEEDBACK FIX.
Apply this to your habits. Keep focused and do what is necessary. Review to see how you are doing, map your progress and check what is working and what isn’t. If you aren’t doing your new behaviour you may need to make some changes. This is where the fix comes in. Furthermore, it is key to create not only winning habits but a champion mindset just as athletes have.
It is critical to prove to yourself you are reliable and will do what it takes
When you embrace this winning habits creation plan into your life, stick with it, you will become the type of person who is reliable. Moreover, proving you are reliable and will do what it takes is the key to building self-belief which is vital for achieving the success you desire.
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. And then another and another. Those first steps get you into 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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