Join me this week as I share my top two HABIT TIPS, including:
- WHY – and why uncovering the deeper driver is imperative to building a sustainable habit
- Three questions to uncover your deeper WHY
- Two pieces of writing advice that are applicable to any habit (that I think about all the time)
- Exactly how to make a break a habit down into the smallest commitment (so you can do it even on your busiest days)
- Building a habit from self-kindness (versus pressure, shoulds, urgency)
Next week, I’m going to share exactly how I establish a new habit. It’s the process that I follow, I wanted to start here so that you can listen to this as a primer and use these tips when you listen to, and implement, How to Build a Habit.
This week: experiment and see how it lands for you, and I will see you here next week, and we’ll talk all about how to build a new habit.
- Want to begin a journaling habit? The Daily Writing Prompts are supportive and thoughtful prompts to discover what you believe is possible for you, what you want, and what’s in the way right now. Learn more HERE
- Want some support in getting quiet and tuning into what you’re thinking about, or what’s calling to you, today? Go to www.jenmoulton.com/newsletter and sign up to get my completely free Intuitive Creation Audio. You’ll receive my unique process to reliably tap in BEFORE you make any creative work so you can overcome procrastination, overwhelm, and where-do-i-start-itis.
If you enjoy listening, please subscribe, rate and review, and forward this episode to a friend who would benefit from it too.
Let’s become a generation of creative women who are examples for the people in our lives of what it looks like to prioritize our work (AND recognize our impact).
Full episode transcript below:
Welcome to today's episode, My Top Two Habit Tips. If you're wanting to establish a new habit today I'm going to share my two top tips with you, wow that was a tongue twister. The first tip is find the reason why you want to do this habit. And I'm going to also say do the habit consistently too. Cause that's, that's part of it that we build into it. There's a habit and then there's habit you do consistently. We think those are the same thing, but they're actually not really the same thing. Or I guess I should say doing the habit consistently is not necessarily implied in having a habit. Just throwing that out there, food for thought. So you need to find the reason why you really want to do the habit consistently. My second tip is you need to make it really easy to do. Let's dive into these. Actually before we dive into them, let's think about why we might not keep up a habit first, we'll look at that, to filter these tips through, and then we'll dig in deeper. So I think a lot of us subconsciously want to have certain habits because we think we should, society tells us to, or we think that it will get us something that we want. And I'm going to guess that those three reasons are not really compelling to you, at least not deep down. And they probably aren't high on your values list either. If you are trying to establish a new habit and you find that you aren't doing it, you're not doing the habit and/or you're not doing it consistently, depends on where you are with this, I think it's highly likely that you're not doing one of these two tips I'm sharing with you today. It's either not easy to do or you don't know WHY, like really why you want to do it? Here's how to discover WHY you want to do a certain habit. It's an inquiry, self inquiry process. Ask yourself these questions and build on them too, riff on them. So these are just questions for you to start with: why do I really want to have this habit? Like really deep down why do I want to have it? So if it's an exercise habit, why do you want to have an exercise habit? What is the goal? That's underneath the habit. What need might it meet for me? I think that's such a good question. You might think you want to have a certain habit, like let's say it's a writing habit. And you're like, I want to do this because I want to write a book someday or because I want to dump out my thoughts before I start my day something like that. That might be what you're aware of, but deep down you might be meeting a deeper need that you have. And it's really good to know that because that will actually motivate you to do the habit that you want to have, especially in times when you might not feel like it, or life is demanding, or you're tired, or something else. Last question is what do I really want? And you might discover that the answer to that question, what do I really want? leads you to wanting a different habit than you might be thinking about right now. So it's really good to spend time with those questions with the goal of uncovering, why are you wanting to set this particular habit that you're thinking about, and maybe being open to letting it change or morph depending on what you uncover within yourself. And then in regards to tip number two, making it so easy to do. Here's how to do that. It's actually really simple, right? So you break it down into the smallest imaginable task and set that as your expectation for yourself. I know that it's tempting to dive in and do all the things the first day, or to spend the most time on it in the first few days when you're really excited about it. When it's fresh and new and invigorating. But you want to leave some excitement and energy in the tank. I heard that as writing advice once: to stop, it was actually around writing like long form writing so writing like a book or something like that. Stop writing while you're still excited to be getting it on the page so that there's some left in the tank, I put that in air quotes, for tomorrow. And the same can be true for journaling, for exercising, literally for any habit. And I have found this to be really true. If you write until you're exhausted, if I write until I'm really exhausted, I've found that it's much more likely that I will feel resistance the next day to get into it. It's kind of like overdid it, right. Versus tempering yourself, tempering your excitement and enthusiasm, and believing that leaving some in the tank for the, for the next day or the next time that you revisit it, will like, it's kind of like leaving some like creative juices in your brain too, is how I'm seeing it. Like leave some things in your brain to pick up. Another piece of writing advice I've heard which again, we can apply this in lots of different ways, is to like leave a sentence unfinished or start when you're writing, write the next sentence and leave it, so that you can pick it back up again. It's like easy to dive back into. That's the goal here? Let's make it compelling and easy for you to jump in and to, you know, kind of come in and do your work and then leave when you're done and leave it in a place for yourself where you're excited to pick it back up. So other things that can be helpful, a couple other small tips to support these two main top tips that I'm sharing today is to start really small. Break it down and make it so easy that you can't imagine not doing it, even on the busiest or most demanding day that you have. And by that, I mean, think about it like a win, like something that if you just do this, then you've won. You did the habit, you checked it off. It's not like, oh, this is a day I just cannot get to that because it's demanding, or it's too big, I have too much going on, I'm tired. Instead, it's like, oh, that's so easy. I can just do that. So an example I want to share with you is that when you're starting a writing habit, you might commit to just writing down the date and the day's journal prompt and that's it. And maybe you write one sentence. Like build something like that, make it so small and manageable that you can stack up your wins and you can get to it even on the most demanding day. That is how you're going to build that resilience muscle, you're going to build wins. You're going to want to keep showing up and doing it because it feels good. Another tip, another thing that can be helpful, and this is just a seed I want to plant, there's more to this is to build the habit with self kindness and care. This is built into the WHY do you want to do this? There's the, you know, maybe societal pressures, conditioning, other things that we want to build a habit because we think it means something about us, because we think it's going to get us something we want, et cetera, and that will come from urgency and pressure and striving. Another way to do that is to build the habit from self-kindness and care for oneself. It's like making a deposit into your self-energy tank every day or however, whatever frequency you're going to be doing it. And to view the habit that you're creating through that lens of self-kindness and self care. And reminding yourself as you're doing it, and as you're building the habit, muscle and the resilience and the commitment, et cetera. And then the last helpful tip is to commit to having the identity for 90 days. This is one of my favorite things ever to do. So I'm going to explain this through an example. Let's say that the habit you want is to journal every day. So what this would sound like, taking on this identity for 90 days is: for the next 90 days, I am a daily journaler. And even if time passes and I don't journal every day, even if I miss a month, for the next three months, I am a daily journaler. You're taking on that identity within yourself. And you will do the habit at times, you know, we're not going to commit to any consistency in this example because it's very dependent on life, and I don't believe in being hard on yourself to create a habit, obviously. But when you have the identity it just like sets you up so that you can dip into it and you can keep doing it. And maybe on some days it will help you get up and do it, even when you're struggling or busy or tired, like all the things we're talking about here. So taking on that identity, there's no harm in doing that with yourself. But committing to it and seeing if that changes the way that you develop this habit. Just an experiment, right, something to try. Okay. So those are my habit tips, my top two habit tips. Just to review them are: finding the reason WHY you want the habit, and also why you want to do it consistently if that's important to you. And then habit tip number two is: you need to make it easy to do, breaking it down until it's so small and manageable that you can get a win even on your busiest day. Next week, I'm going to share exactly how I establish a new habit. It's the process that I follow, I wanted to start here so that you can listen to this as a primer and use these tips when you listen to, and implement, How to Build a Habit. So experiment with these this week and see how it lands for you, and I will see you here next week, and we'll talk all about how to build a new habit. I am so glad that you were here and that we get to walk our paths together. See you next time. Same time, same place. Bye for now.