Six questions to build powerful habits
Welcome to another article by T1 Growth Academy and The Breaking Through Experience!
I want to share some news. As you know, this article is part of a bigger vision, and this vision will become a reality on September 1st!
I have funded a company to help people live a better life. We have a Corporate offer to enhance employees’ quality of life as well a Private offer to help young professionals find Purpose and strategize their Life Goals. We operate worldwide in English and Italian and we also allocate 10% of the profits to social impact projects across the World, so that not only we grow, but also our world becomes a better place. I am so proud of this and I would be grateful for your help in spreading the word since marketing is very very expensive. Many thanks in advance!
Let’s jump into the article :) Today I will give you six questions to set powerful habits.
Sometimes in life we get stuck and stop moving forward. At times, we even go backwards.
In order to build consistency, one of the most effective ways is cultivating powerful habits.
What is preventing you from achieving your goals? People usually list a series of reasons and the most recurring one is habits.
Building a habit is the core to build a successful and meaningful life. Habits transform our lives and in many ways make us who we are. But despite their significance, we were never taught how to build a habit, how to make time for ourselves.
And this is a problem because we can only give the best energy when we feel energized! How can you give love if you do not create your own space of love?
The first important thing to understand is the following:
Being unable to create a habit = Being unable to make time for yourself.
Happy, wealthy and wise people make time for themselves and use that time for something useful.
Before we start, find a keystone habit you want to develop. My habit was reading more.
Here are the six steps to build any new habit!
1. Why do you want to change? Determine your values.
Example: I feel the responsibility for people’s growth in my hands and if I have more knowledge I will be able to make a bigger impact in their lives. I want to create more calm in my life because I value my inner peace and emotional wellness.
Why is this habit important? Ask why at least 7 times! The motivation has to be deep, a real core reason you want to develop that habit. I go through the entire process with all my clients and I can assure you, it is worth it.
Example: I want to wake up early. Why? Well, because I want to have more time. Why? Uhmm because I want to spend more time with my children. Now we are starting to get somewhere!
Example: I want to lose weight. Why? I want to get confidence. Why? I want to be able to play with my children. Etc. Etc.
For instance, as Jay Shetty, award-Winning Storyteller, Podcaster, and former monk, said: "I eat healthy and exercise because I do not want to be the reason for my own death". That is such a powerful why, isn’t it?
Think about this example: you are in a courtroom and your mind is your lawyer. The judge asks you “Why do you want to build this habit?” and you hesitate.. “Uhm well I don’t know..”. You lose the case! Jay Shetty refers to the judge and the lawyer as “the monkey mind” and “the monk mind” in his book “Think like a monk”. Lawyers need to have a clear case to win! What is your clear case for why this habit is so important to you?
2. What is the habit that will allow you to change in this way?
Example: The habit of reading more will enable me to find the wisdom and the strategies needed to support people in their growth. The habit of daily meditation will help create more calm in my life.
Try to be as specific as possible when you define the habit! What kind of books do you want to read? Reading a novel and reading a self-development book are very different things! If I read the latter, I have strategies I can share with my clients; if I read the former, I can just tell clients some stories :)
The higher the clarity, the easier it is for your brain to visualise the habit and live up to it.
Example: If your habit is eating healthy, how does that look like? You can agree that greens are healthy and processed food is unhealthy. Now go deeper and define it even more.
Example: Let’s say your habit is saving money: how much money are you going to save every week? Remember, you cannot win a case as a lawyer without clarity.
Example: you have a sad emotional home and the habit you want to develop is embracing positive thinking (a habit I would recommend everyone to build because it is truly powerful). What does it mean? In practical terms, you might stop criticizing yourself and other people, you will not spend time on social media, etc.
Example: the habit of believing in yourself. What do you need to believe in yourself? A new skill, a community, a class?
Remember: systems build success; randomness builds regret.
3. How exactly are you going to honor this new habit?
Example: I will identify the top three books of personal development and I will set aside 30 minutes per day to read. I will find guided meditations that I enjoy and set aside time each day for quiet, uninterrupted meditation.
Again, we need to be as specific as possible.
Example: If you say “I am going to wake up at 7am”. HOW are you ensuring this happens? You could go to bed at 10pm, avoid watching TV after 9pm, etc.
Example: If you decide you want to be healthy, prepare all the meals for the upcoming week on Sunday. This means you need to go grocery shopping on Saturday, etc.
Example: If you want to meditate every day for 1 hour, make sure everything is ready the night before, and you know what app to use.
Imagine you are building a house and saying “I want my house to be spectacular!” and there is no further plan. The architect has no idea of what to do!
You need to be the architect in your life and define how to build a spectacular house.
4. Where are you going to build this habit?
Example: Next to the window that looks at the sunrise, I find it very inspirational. My favorite corner in my room will be my designated meditation spot.
You need to make it as easy as possible to yourself. You can have the best intentions to meditate but if you do not know the room, the chair, you did not let your partner know, it will be very difficult to make it a reality!
Remember: awareness is not the same thing as action! Your mind tricks you! Make sure you go from “I know reading is important” to “I am actually reading”.
There is no difference between the man who does not read and the man who cannot read.
5. When are you going to build this habit?
Example: I will read at night from 9:30 to 10:30 before bed. I will meditate every morning at 8:00am, before the chaos of the day steals my attention.
You must schedule your habits! My suggestion is to block a slot in your calendar.
For instance, when I started working three years ago I realized I was missing lunch at times. I therefore blocked 1 hour every day and if anyone asked I told them “Sorry I have a meeting at this time”.
If you do not schedule things in your calendar, it is easy to replace a good habit with a tempting habit. Going for pizza is easier if you do not have scheduled the gym session.
6. Who is going to keep you accountable?
Example: Telling my friend Anil about my reading habit helped me feel supported and focused.
There is a key point here we need to understand.
When you tell someone “I am reading!” dopamine fires in your brain and you feel good. You must be careful and know that the feeling is not reality. It is easy to be trapped in talking and say “I will do this, I will do that”, and never actually do it!
Due to this, some experts recommend to not tell anyone about your routines. As soon as you tell people you meditate, you kind of lose some motivation to meditate.
However, it is also true that having an accountability partner helps ENOURMOUSLY at the beginning. If you are left to yourself, it easy to give up!
So here is my advice: make sure you tell people who will actually support you. I asked Anil because I know he cares about my growth!
If your mom does not support you and every day she asks “Why are you doing this? This is useless!” you will achieve the opposite objective, you will be extremely demotivated.
So find a coach or a friend who truly support you and keep you accountable, find a partner who does it with you, so that they can ask you “Hey how is the meditation going?”, "Are you liking the book? Should I buy it too?".
Pay them if necessary! Tell your friend “If I do not go for a run I will give you €100”. I bet you will go for a run.
Every time you do not know these six steps, remember that you are not the architect of your life, you are a dreamer!
Many people dream of a skyline, but very few build it! Are you going to build your skyline?
That’s what I have got for today’s article. Please feel free to listen to the Podcast for a more engaging experience!
I would be grateful if you could share this article with a friend who will benefit; the only way we grow and impact more people is if you guys share it so I greatly greatly appreciate all of you who will do it.
Make your life a masterpiece, see you next week, I appreciate you and I hope you have an amazing day.