Hello, and welcome to …. “the first day of the rest of your life”. You may have heard the idea that it takes 21 days to build a habit. Sneer. That’s rubbish. It’s more helpful to think of building a habit as a journey. And if we think about it this way then we could be useful to ask what preparation do we need to consider before we start out on this habit journey. There are 4 key questions that in my experience are helpful to ask yourself before you start. As I run through these 4 key questions I encourage you to pause the video after each one to reflect on how it applies to you and your habit journey.
Number 1 is not so much about the habit you have chosen but why you have chosen it. Because the “why” is the fuel of your habit journey. It’s the motivation, the energy that you’re drawing on to drive the effort you’ll need to make to engage with your habit. So one question you might consider is do I really want this? Uncovering the motivation for the change you genuinely want is an essential start to building anything you care about.
The Second question is about the possible obstacles that you’ll meet on the way. Have you anticipated what these might be? If motivation is the fuel of your journey then the obstacles are the friction. And the biggest of these obstacles is the effort involved in building your habit. The most important question here is are you willing to “pay the price” of the effort involved? Because by definition it’s almost certainly more effort than you’ve previously exerted before in your life in this area.
The third question is about “how” you’ll get to your “why”. The habit you selected isn’t usually an end in itself. It’s a means (or a “how”) of getting to the thing you really want. And the habit itself needs its own “how”. If you are going to exercise for example, then your “hows” will include what. exercise are you going to do, and when, and how often, and for how long. If you don’t have an answer to all of these questions then you don’t have a solid defined habit ground to step onto.
The fourth, and final question is about your belief in yourself. Do you really believe you can build the habit you have chosen? Now arguably you obviously do otherwise you wouldn’t have signed up for Smartstart. But one of the things we’ll cover in more detail in this program is the idea that none of us have a single unified “self. We are made up of multiple “selves” and each of these has its own values and beliefs that often conflict with one another. If this idea sounds a little psycho-weird, then please bare with me for now; I’ll explain this in more detail in a later video.
But one of the fundamental truths about building a new habit is that what we are actually building is new beliefs about ourself. Indeed any form of genuine growth in our ability to do what we haven’t previously been able to do is about growing our belief about what we are capable of.
So back to your habit journey. Are you ready? Perhaps rewatch this video and ask yourself each of these questions. If you ask and answer these to your satisfaction then you are if you say so. Good luck with your day.