Last week we talked about steps to forming new habits, and today we are going to talk about why you should form them one at a time. When you attempt to change too much at once, it becomes very difficult to stick with everything all at the same time. This can overwhelm you, frustrate you, and cause you to want to give up altogether. Then we are back to square one, with no good habits formed, which we don’t want!
You Can’t Change Your Whole Life at One Time
Have you ever watched a juggler? They do great with three or four balls, but if you were to keep throwing in more and more and more, eventually one will drop (unless they are super awesome and amazing, which would then ruin my illustration, heh.) New habits take a lot of focus and concentration, so trying to change your whole life at once is exhausting and overwhelming. So start with ONE habit, get it down pat and move on. Make sure you are realistic with what you are asking of yourself, just like when you set smart goals, they need to be attainable and measurable.
We Want Success!
To give you an example, pretend you are starting a business. When you start a new business, you take it one step at a time. First, you would have to think about the type of business you want to start, then choose a name. Once you have that done you can create a business, get a lease on a building, hire employees, and order supplies. You are not going to create the entire business from beginning to end in one day and be making money by tomorrow. (As much as I wish that were true!)
Be patient, and give yourself time as well as grace. There will always be bumps in the road and setbacks, but you are less likely to have them if you are just focusing onone thing at a time.
Become an Expert at That One Thing
Once you decide on which habit you want to start on first, become an expert at that one thing before moving on to the next. Let’s say your overall goal is improving your health by some certain measure. You shouldn’t start by exercising, drinking more water, meal prepping, eating clean, getting more sleep, spending time outdoors all in the same day, that’s too overwhelming! Start with one thing, drink 8 glasses of water a day. After a week of doing that and feeling like you can easily drink enough water without even thinking about it, then I would add in the next step and build on your health.
Remember this is a process, not a quick fix. If you want habits to stick, focus on how to form habits one at a time and think of the bigger picture!