I’ll try and keep this post brief and to the point as I tend to go on a bit when discussing goals!
What I’ve Learned
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been learning about habits. And what I’ve learned has been eye-opening to say the least! I had a lot of goals at the start of the year which are habits. And I’ve realised that I won’t be able to get through all of them this year. This is because it takes 66-70 days to form a habit (for the average person) according to research conducted by Phillippa Lally of the University College London.
According to Lally, one of the keys to creating a habit is to repeat the behaviour in the same situation. That is, using the same cue each time. This cue can be a location cue (where the behaviour occurs) or a contextual one (when it occurs).
Insert flashing lightbulb here please!
I’ve been really struggling to maintain a morning routine and this has really helped me understand why! First off, my waking up time has not been consistent. As a gigging musician, it’s pretty hard to go to bed at 10pm each night…. if I’m not even at home!! And secondly, when I would get up in the morning I would do one of a few things, never the same thing each time.
It’s no wonder I wasn’t building a habit! I wasn’t giving my brain the exact behaviours I wanted to become automatic using the same cues each time as a trigger!
I hope this insight can help you as much as it has helped me!
Creating a morning habit is really important to me, because I desperately want to improve my prayer life and quiet times with God. And I know how beneficial starting the day well can be on the rest of my day.
So my primary goal for this month will be to focus on creating a morning routine habit. I will make sure I use a set cue and a set behaviour.
Other goals I have for this month are:
- Working through the blogging course I’m doing called Elite Blog Academy. I plan to finish one unit of that this month.
- Tidy up my garden and continue planting vegetables and herbs
- Spend time with a few friends I haven’t seen for a long time – years in fact!
- Spend £0 on Hair & Beauty in our family budget this month.
And that’s it!!
One encouragement I got from Lally’s research on habits was that missing one day did not significantly impact the formation of a habit! Phew!! She mentioned that being very inconsistent would cause you to be unsuccessful. But she still has further research to do on how inconsistent that is exactly.
I often feel really guilty if I miss a day. But knowing this, I don’t have to beat myself up and feel like I have to start from square one each time!
And on that encouraging note, I might just get a celebratory cup of tea!