Learn How To Easily Implement Self-Honouring Habits And Create Balance In Your Life.
Do you ever feel like you blink and a day or a week or even a month has passed?
Do you feel like you're always on? Feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by the state of hyper-connectivity we experience?
Does life feel like a constant juggling act??
Do you wish you had time and energy to do more exercise, play a sport or take dance or writing classes?
If you're answering yes to these, then it is very likely that you are ready to quit the grind and you crave balance in life.
We live in a world that glorifies being busy, but being busy doesn't often equate with doing things that honour and care for ourselves. We are often busy at the mercy of the agendas of others. A boss, the kids, suppliers, clients the conditioning of society in general.
As a mindfulness life coach, I am committed to helping my clients, professionals and solopreneurs, shift from go to slow. To break free from the stresses of the grind culture, the burnout and the busy. To switch from just surviving to thriving in life.
In order to make sustainable lasting changes in life 2 things are essential - one is to commit to action the other is to turn the action into a habit.
There is a lot of noise, confusion and misconception when it comes to the art of forming habits. If you're reading this then it is likely that you have done other reading and research on how to get habits to stick and you're feeling stuck. Answers on doing a quick Google search range from "it takes 21 days to create a habit" to "it takes 66 days for a new behaviour to become automatic". No wonder confusion exists.
Why listen to what have to say:
It takes more than just knowing the number of days it takes to create a habit though, to actually create and get habits to stick.
Firstly, gain an understanding of what a habit is.
Habits are defined as a set of behaviours, repeated behaviours that tend to become subconscious. The burning question then: "how do you make a behaviour subconscious?"
To do this I share with you my framework that is designed to be easy and utilize a more compassionate approach. What I share is based on my own experiences that work for me. Being a marathon runner as well as working for over 15 years as a salesperson an unwavering mindset is needed this is formed from creating habits out of thought patterns and belief systems - I say with confidence that the discipline required to create and get habits to stick is one that's second nature to me.
Introducing the framework to get habits to stick.
When considering habits - the more self-honouring the habit the more I'm motivated and inspired to take action.
I am committed to breaking the cycle of burnout, busy and being always on, I am committed to helping my clients achieve this too. But I recognize that we live in a world that is not always so conducive to these outcomes. Acknowledging this before you even start leads to the first step of the framework.
The KNOW U framework is also based on the idea that no one knows yourself better than you. You know you (U) best. You will know if a habit honours and serves you or if it is more for the benefit of others. The hard fact is that whether you're intentional and conscious of creating habits or not, habits are
still being created in your life. While I created great habits in running and being successful in my sales career for over 10 years my habits were also defined by being a slave to my inbox and addicted to busy.
The KNOW U habit creator:
K is for Kindness
Everything starts with kindness and mostly, most importantly, kindness to yourself, but also maybe to the situation you find yourself in.
If you're starting a brand new habit, remember it is new. This means it's no doubt foreign to you. Therefore it's likely that you'll probably slip up a little bit, especially when you're starting out and it will take some time to learn. Showing yourself kindness allows you to flip negative narratives into encouraging positive ones.
Imagine yourself as a small child learning to ride a bike. How would you talk to the child? With kindness or with cruel words?
N stands for No Rules
One size does not fit all. You get to choose your habits. You don't need to stick to the traditional rules out there about habits. You can get rid of the rules and do what works best for you. Behaviour becomes engrained in our subconscious via repetition. This is true.
But let's use the example of cementing a morning routine. In most instances, it's suggested that you do the same things in the same order each morning at the same time.
for 10 minutes, read for 20 minutes, journal for 10 minutes, exercise for 30 minutes. To me, this is regimented and stifling. I would take the approach of listing a bunch of things I'd like to see in my morning routine and then each morning I would commit to doing 1 at minimum (maybe 2) and be satisfied that over time I'll lean more to the ones I gain the most out of or honour me the most.
You do you - make your own rules.
O is for One step at a time
If you go out tomorrow and aim to do 48 new habits, it is very likely you're going to overwhelm yourself. When creating new self-honouring habits overwhelm is not the aim.
It is very easy to fall into the trap of desiring quick fixes and expecting instant wins or results. We live in a world that thrives on the idea that everything needs to be quick and fast. I mean in the time you started and get to finish reading this article you could have ordered and gotten groceries from Amazon Prime delivered...or something like that, no? Ok, maybe not that quick - unless you are a slow reader...
Here I refer back to ancient wisdom and quotes to reiterate the point: Lao Tzu states: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"
With patience and trust, you only need to do one thing at a time, remembering that: "you don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."― Martin Luther King Jr.
W stands for Wins - celebrate the wins!
If your intention is to go for a 3km run three times a week, and you get out and you run for half a kilometre, and then you walk for half a kilometre taking in the view around you; celebrate that shit! Half a kilometre, even though it's not a full 3km's you set out to do, half a kilometre is better than no kilometres!
Remember the small child trying to learn to ride a bike? We tend to be so quick to judge and berate our lack of progress - but progress is progress no matter how little or insignificant it might seem.
Celebrate every tiny little win that you have.
It is way easier to engrain new habits into the subconscious when it remembers positive thoughts and feelings associated with that action or habit. Essentially you're rewiring your brain and your body to know that what you're doing that is new or different, or what you're changing is good. Otherwise, because it's foreign your brain tries to reject it.
For example - you have tried to run in the past but you injured yourself then bad connotations and associations are formed. So when you try to get back into the habit - your brain and body will try to protect you from the injury and or the bad associated connotations with running.
So celebrating you can reverse this effect!
U is for Until the very end
Until you've formed a habit, do not give up!!! Repetition is a way of learning. It is how you cement the habits.
The key is not to give up. Don't give up, keep going.
As above mentioned sometimes your brain and your body may be trying to protect you and that is why it feels really goddamn hard sometimes to create and form new habits.
The beginning of the process is the hardest, after that it does get easier. But all too often we give up before we get to reap the results and the reward. Because we get fixated on the 21 days to create a habit BS...
Forget the number of days it should take - remember we are all different.
If you set your alarm and you accidentally hit snooze four times, that's okay, don't abandon your habit for that day. Do what you can do because remember, five minutes is better than no minutes!
It is said that the quality of our life is created by the quality of our habits.
The hard truth though is that "if nothing changes, then nothing changes" only you are responsible for taking actions and making changes become habits so that ultimately you can live a more balanced life.
In dropping some of the traditional shoulds attached to how to do this and trying a different approach that suits you uniquely you can start practicing more self-honouring habits. To help you with this framework I have created a guide that not only reminds you of what KNOW U stands for but also gives you 34 self-honouring habit ideas. Download it here and go forth and create for yourself a beautiful, balanced life.
Author bio: Founder of Slow Coaching Co. Nikki Tiedeman a mindfulness coach, teacher of meditation and yoga works with successful professionals and solopreneurs who are ready to quit burnout and busy. She enables them to slow down, regain balance, their connection to self and shift from 'just' surviving to thriving in life.