Going to Autopilot
Although good habits can be hard to develop, magic occurs when we take them to autopilot . When we think about a habit, we think about anything we do regularly. According to the definition used in psychology, a habit also needs to be done automatically without really thinking about it. This is the harder part: creating a good habit and then taking it to autopilot. Once on autopilot, it actually becomes easy. In fact some habits becomes easier to do than not to do.
Consistency is the Key to the Breakthrough
Think about some habits you already have that you have taken to autopilot: brushing your teeth, riding a bicycle, driving. At one time, these were all hard and would have remained hard if we had not consistently kept repeating the action.
Creating Positive Rituals
It usually takes about 21 to 30 days of consistency to create a good habit. (For some reason, bad habits seem to develop rather quickly and easily:) Once a good habit is developed, we don’t want to lose it. By continuing this good habit consistently for at least 60 days, and some research says 120 days, it becomes a Positive Ritual. The greater the pressure we are under, the more rigorous our rituals need to be or we may revert back to old established habits. We need to be like a soldier preparing for combat as we establish the rituals we want in our life.
- Habits which become Rituals need to be based on our personal values. One of my strongest personal values is my relationship with the Lord. Because of this, I developed the habit of a daily early morning Bible reading and prayer time and took it to become a Positive Ritual. It is very hard for me to skip this on any day.
- In creating these rituals, specific times to practice them are key. My Bible Ritual has a certain time of the day to be done.
- The precision of your behavior, (what you will do) are another key. This includes location, any materials needs to accomplish the ritual, an exact plan of implementation. I have a specific chair with my Bible, pens and planner ready. I know exactly what I plan to read and I also have my prayer list.
- Write out exactly how to plan to implement your new behavior. Example: you may need to get up earlier. If developing an exercise ritual is your needed behavior, you may need to lay out your workout shoes the night before.
- Focus on what you will do versus what you won’t do, as trying not to do something rapidly depletes our limited stores of will power and discipline.
- Tie the creation of a new habit to an old one that is well established. An example: Work on balance as you stand on one foot while brushing your teeth.
Students developing a fitness program: If they were requested to designate when and where they intended to exercise, the compliance rate when to 91%.
Students trying to develop a inch loss program: If they were requested to specify precisely in advance their intention of what they would eat the next day, their success went up dramatically.
When given a Precise Action,
Success Goes up Greatly
What about You?
What positive rituals do you already have established in your life?
What positive rituals do you wish to implement? The magic will happen if you are consistent in acquiring these.
For myself, at the present time I am establishing the positive ritual of daily studying. My biggest need for learning during this first time period is How to Create an Ebook and a Workbook. I am devoting 30 minutes a day each afternoon at 3 to watching one of the YouTube videos on using a program I found called Canva. (This is a wonderful free program for anything to do with graphics.) It is amazing what can be learned with focused attention and consistency. Each video gives me one more skill to use. Believe me, I would have already given up if I had not tied this to one of my core values (Personal Growth and Excellence) and established my specific time frame of acquisition.
I so enjoy creativity and learning, so this is inch by inch beginning to become fun for me. Once this skill is acquired, I will use the same ritual to move on to another area of expertise I need.
Watch for the fillable worksheets I have created in my next course: Enjoying the Holidays without Wearing them in the New Year. My goal is to have the Workbook finished and an Ebook created to accompany this course.