An episode on Habit Mastery (Part 1) is available on the High Performance Living Podcast:
If we can learn how to effectively form a new habit, we can change or create anything we want in our life.
Habits are formed when actions are tied to a trigger by consistent repetition so that when the trigger happens, you have an automatic urge to carry out the action.
The HPL Habit Method
1. Pick one small, positive nutrition habit
The goal is to start as small as possible and it should only take you 5-10 minutes to complete each day. Trying to achieve all 10 HPL nutrition habits at once is a sure fire recipe for failure. Pick one at a time and achieve it daily.
2. Have a plan
Take time to think about your current triggers, habits and associated feedback loops. Think about how this new small habit can follow a certain existing trigger, how you’ll overcome obstacles, plan your support network, create a log for the habit, pick rewards, and decide what your motivations are. Write these all down!
3. Do the habit imminently after the trigger for 30 days
Build in a reminder such as an alarm, calendar notice and try to never skip it. The more consistent you are, the stronger the habit will be.
4. Build in positive feedback
Remember if you’re not enjoying the new habit then it won’t last. But always think about all the associated benefits from doing that habit. Perhaps eating better food will greatly improve your health and reduce digestive or skin problems. Whenever you complete that habit each day – what small reward will you give yourself? Perhaps do something else that you enjoy right after completing your new habit.
5. Stay accountable
Everybody needs some support and accountability at times. When you feel like not doing the habit, have one or more people you can call on for help. A social group has built in positive feedback, as well as providing motivation through accountability.
6. Test, measure, tweak
Always be open to making some on-going adjustments to your new habit. It’s not always possible to get it right first time. Assess your progress with it, understand it is OK to fail, but then look at what changes must be made in order for it to be a success next time around. Retry as soon as possible.