1 Way to Create New Habits Fast (Never Do 'Nothing')

by Robin Sacks

· Habits,Habit Change,Behavior Change,Perspective,Self Leadership

If you have ever read anything about success, you've no doubt come across someone telling you  'what gets measured, gets done.'

This advice is simple and it's the truth.

But where most people struggle is they don't stay with things long enough to have something to measure. This is why most people who make resolutions on January 1st are already back to their old habits by January 15th!

We all have habits that are not helpful to us. It's easy to say, "Well, I didn't choose to do that." But, you actually did. You created those bad habits by NOT choosing more helpful habits.

Consistency is what creates habits, both good and bad. If you do something day in and day out for a long period of time, you create a habit (sometimes without even realizing it).

To be consistent, you have to hold yourself accountable.

There are many ways to hold yourself accountable, whether it's using an app to keep track of things, marking off days on a wall calendar with big Sharpie 'x's, or competing with a friend. One thing that has helped me tremendously in developing habits that keep me healthier, happier, and productive is gamifying the main habits I want to build upon.

Incorporating gamification into your daily life can help you establish good habits more quickly and make it harder NOT to check them off every day.

One piece of advice I offer you is to not overthink how to do this.

I am a planner and to-do list junkie. It started years ago with the Franklin Planner and Palm Pilot (the end of which was when it fell out of my jacket pocket and into the toilet...another story for another day), and has continued with multiple planners, both paper and on-line, apps of all kinds and project planning software that I always get excited about, but never end up doing much with.

Ironically, what works amazingly well for me is a single piece of paper with the exact same list on it everyday. It consists of ten things I MUST do, no matter what. By the time I lay down to go to sleep each night, all the little circles next to the items have to be filled in.

My list changes occasionally, but rarely. Once you get a good handle on the actions that need to be repeated as daily habits to help you reach your goals, you don't have to tweak much.

Here are the items on my current list:

broken image

Here's the game - every day, without fail, I have to check off every one of those items. That's it! Pretty simple.

Here's the secret for when you get stuck...

Where a lot of people get stuck, or just stop, is because they think these things have to look a "certain way" in order for you to check them off the list. They don't. What they need to be is simply done - and that can look a lot of different ways.

For example, some days I might have a half hour to do an exercise video of my choice or go for a long walk or a one-mile run. Those all count as "exercise." However, if I get to the end of the day and have not yet exercised, I don't expect myself to go out for a run or do a yoga or strength training session. Instead, I do a one-minute plank or 50 jumping jacks. Both count as "exercise" for the day.

The key is I never do 'nothing.'

Some days I write two or three full articles; other days, I make myself write three sentences. Both of those things count as "writing" for the day.

The key is I never do 'nothing.'

Some days I meditate for ten minutes; other days, I meditate for 90 seconds. Both count as "meditate" for the day.

The key is I never do 'nothing.'

You get the point. Doing nothing gets you nowhere. Doing little things consistently can get you anywhere you want to go. If all I ever did was a one-minute plank every day, do you know how much stronger I'd be in one month?!? If all I did was write three sentences a day, I would have a full article to publish every month! If I did nothing, I would have nothing and be exactly where I was one month ago.

Think about where you would be if you did something or did nothing everyday for one full year. You would either be way ahead or way behind.

Make your own list; start with just a couple of things that you want to move forward in your life. Then, play the game. Find ways to get something done that lets you check it off for the day. Something is a big deal, even if it's something small. The key is, never do 'nothing.'

P.S. What would you do if you were more confident? Visit RobinJSacks.com to learn how to shift your self-talk, body language, and mental-game so you feel more calm and show-up with more confidence.