Humans are innately predisposition due to evolution to be constantly trying to form habits, whether consciously or subconsciously, in order to increase efficiency in the actions we take.
They are immensely powerful which I talked about and broke down in the blog post “The Immense Power of Habits”.
Building new habits is a great thing to work towards whether you are an entrepreneur or not as it allows us to build new ways that we work, react, act, and function which are applicable to all aspects of life.
So, if you are looking to start utilize the power of habits to continue on your self-development journey, improve your productivity and focus while working, increase our efficiency to reduce mistakes, or to just improve your overall health in general, there is somewhere you need to start first.
Observing & Analyzing Your Habits
As with any new endeavor, it is always valuable to get an idea as to what is already happening. Like if you were to take over a business, you probably wouldn’t come in with zero idea as to what is already happening in the business before you start making changes right?
By taking the time to observe and analyze the habits that are already currently happening on a day-to-day basis you are empowering yourself with knowledge of what is already in place in order to take the right first steps towards building a new habit.
We want to observe and analyze like we are a child. Like every thing that is happening is a brand new experience that offers some world view breaking insight into what is happening around us.
Because if you go at this with your regular mindset you will less likely pick up on what you are actually doing and why you doing it. Where as, if we try to put our mindset into that of a child and be incredibly observant, inquisitive, and analytical as to what we see before us and how it fits into our life, we will have greater amounts of success (hence the child picture for this blog post =p)
For example, when I did this for myself way back in January, I realized my morning routines had zero actual routine to it, which left me starting everyday in a weird limbo of having no real direction.
Because of this, I was able to start by building out an entire morning routine by starting off with one single habit and layering new habits on top of them once they became ingrained into my daily regiment.
How To Go About Observing & Analyzing In A Way To Better Support You
1) Give yourself a timeline of 3-days to observe and analyze. One way to make sure you are actually mindful of seeing these habits is to set up reminders on your phone to go off intermittently through the day to get you to take a minute, stop, and take note of any habits you have identified.
2) Make a piece of paper (or download the Habit Observation & Analysis Template below) that has 4 columns. In order of left to right label the columns as follows: The trigger (what cues you to take an action), the action (the actual action of the habit), and the reward (what do you get out of this), and the 4th column is for you to identify this habit as Good/Neutral/Bad in your opinion.
3) Over the course of the following 3 days start to be mindful and observant of the actions you are taking throughout your day and what is triggering you to do them. Some good examples of places to start are:
– Routines that occur based upon a normal event such as waking up, leaving to go to work, when you go to the gym, what you do when you return home from work or a routine place, your typical activities surrounding the meals of the day, or your pre-bed ritual
– Your habits surrounding your use of technology, when you use it, what you do while you use it, compulsions to check in with it, and anything else you experience.
– The habits you have when it comes to eating during your meals, snacking, bite sizes, the speed of how you eat, the portions you take on, and so on
– The habit of how you work. What are the things you do before, during, and after you sit down to work at your job or building your business
4) Each time you identify a habit, write out the aspects of that habit (the Trigger, Action & Reward) and whether they are good/bad/neutral in your own opinion.
5) With this level of observation and detail about the habits that you already have laid out for yourself, you can begin to start identifying what are some of the ideal habits you would like to form are. Do you want to find time for some form of daily exercise? Or maybe it is time for meditation, reading, or journaling? Or how about a morning routine that really jump starts your day in the right direction mentally, physically, and emotionally?
Whatever they are, right them down and identify what the potential trigger, action, and rewards will be for those habits.
6) Utilize the information you have observed, documented, and analyzed by checking out the post “How To Build Better Habits Through The Power of Habit Pairing” and using habit pairing to start you off in the right direction of building better habits, building a better you.