Habit Forming

First we form habits, then they form us.” – Rob Gilbert

When we try to change a habit it seems new and unusual but after a while it becomes second nature. You just have to work at it! This is a common topic for myself, my family, friends and my clients.  Whether that new habit is eating better, learning a new way of working, getting back into a workout routine, learning a new dance step, balancing work with the rest of your life or any other number of things. Changing the way you speak from a place of frustration to from a place of empathy.

So many of these things seem like they ought to be  a proverbial “I shoudda had a V-8”- bonk hand on the head simple thing. Well of course I am going to start going to the gym at least 4 times a week… it’s what I ought to do. But what about all the other stuff I have to do, work, shopping, seeing my friends, taking care of my aging parent… how I am going to fit the gym into my schedule.

Easy, you work at it. By that I mean figuring out why doing something new or differently is really compelling to you- what is your intrinsic motivation? Also the concept of clarifying what you are saying no to because saying yes to something else is fundamentally more compelling is a powerful.

So you want to start going to the gym, its February now and time to get moving on that resolution.  Why? What’s so important about going to the gym? Maybe it’s to have enough energy to play vigorously with your nieces and nephews. What actions do you need to take to ensure you go- setting an alarm to remind you to leave the office on time? May be it saying no to sitting in traffic for an hour and saying yes to joining a gym on your route home. And then you have to take those actions, get the alarm, set it and pay attention, finding a gym and joining it, and oh yes, deciding what specifically you are going to do at the gym. Because just showing up and walking right back out the door is not going really help get ready to play vigorously with those kids.

So what’s important enough to you to want to make it a habit?


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