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7 Ways To Make Those “Habits Of Highly-Effective People” STICK!

Forming good habits – after YEARS of bad habits – may it feel a little (or maybe TOTALLY) overwhelming. So we've got seven tips, to help you kick those bad habits to the curb and ensure the good ones STICK!

You’ve probably heard about the seven habits of highly-effective people. Or the ten habits. Or the 25 habits. But how do you actually CREATE those habits?

As you look at all those goals you have for your life, it may feel a little (or maybe TOTALLY) overwhelming. So today, I’m sharing seven tips to help you turn those success habits into second nature.

Maybe your goal is to eat healthier, work-out regularly or wake up earlier. Maybe you want to create good financial habits, like curtailing your online shopping or sticking to your grocery budget. Maybe you’re working on personal development, wanting to practice kindness and encouragement. Maybe you’re shooting for ALL of the above!

Whatever your goals, you probably know what it’s like to feel stuck in a rut. Forming good habits – after years of bad habits – can feel like an uphill battle. So let’s start with these seven tips, to help you kick those bad habits to the curb and ensure the good ones STICK!

1. Write it down

Nothing becomes dynamic, until it becomes specific. Make your goals as specific as possible, and then write them down and post them where you will see them often:

  • The bathroom mirror
  • The lock screen of your phone
  • In your car
  • On the refrigerator
  • Posted above your bed

In a study done on 1979 Harvard MBA grads, they were asked,

“Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?”

  • A shocking 84% had no specific goals.
  • 13% had goals, but they weren’t in writing.
  • Only THREE PERCENT had written goals and plans to accomplish them!

Ten years later, they interviewed the members of the class again. The results? Those 13% who had goals were earning an average of twice as much as the 84% who had no goals at all. And the 3% who had clear, written goals were making 10 times as much as the other 97% put together.

That’s a huge income difference! When you know what you want, AND how you plan to get there, you’ve already won half the battle.

2. Persistence

The key is to start out determined and stick to the plan for just a little while… and, the next thing you know, the first week’s over and you’re right on track!

When forming a new habit, it HAS to become second nature. You must get to a point where you don’t even think twice about it. Until that point, it’s so easy to become discouraged and give up.

Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of people talk about how it takes 21 days to form a habit. But we both know, that is so beyond false!

If you’ve carried around a bad eating habit for your whole lifetime, honestly, how realistic is it to expect everything to change in just 21 days?!

Some habits take a shorter – or longer – time to become second nature, but I’m here to tell you, DON’T expect it to happen overnight! Or even in a month. In fact, some new studies show it takes an average of 66 days to form a habit.

That number may seem scary to you. “Dani, I can barely get myself to the gym two days in a row… let alone 66 DAYS!” Remember, everything starts with making a decision. When you make a solid decision – and follow it with action – you will succeed.

3. Start Slowly

For example, if you want to start working out, but haven’t exercised in years, DON’T try to commit to intense, hour-long workouts everyday. Add in 10-15 minutes of exercise a day, THEN work up to the longer, more intense workouts.

If your goal is to wake up an hour earlier, start with five minutes earlier. Then, move your alarm back in five minute increments until you meet your goal.

Maybe you want to eat better. Don’t try to overhaul your entire diet in a single day. Focus on each decision. Swap your slice of pizza at lunch for a salad, or skip dessert after dinner.

Working up to your goal will make it easier and more attainable. If you can break it into smaller pieces, you will see the progress and feel encouraged!

Small steps, in the right direction, will get you to your goal so much faster than if you try to take a ginormous leap. Otherwise, you’ll get discouraged and inevitably quit.

4. Know Yourself

If you can honestly evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, you avoid positioning yourself for failure. When you know your body, your eating habits and your spending habits, you can avoid those weak spots.

If you’ve got a killer sweet tooth and consistently give in to cravings, don’t give up sugar cold turkey. You won’t be able to sustain this. Again, break your goal into baby steps. Focus on one craving at a time.

If you are absolutely not a morning person, don’t try to wake up at 5 a.m. for an intense workout every morning. Try working out on your lunch break… or even hit the gym after work or find a 24-hour facility to use, if you’re a true night owl.

5. Don’t Get Discouraged

Backsliding one day is NOT a setback. I see this all the time. People start eating healthy, and after a week or two they give into a craving. Then they do it again… and finally just give up entirely.

Have you heard the saying “giving up on your diet after one bad choice is like smashing your phone after dropping it once”?

There is no such thing as losing ground, when forming a good habit! Instead of fixating on that one “bad” choice, stay focused on all the good choices you’ve made, as you work toward your goal.

Remember, give yourself grace. It’s okay if you don’t everything perfectly, right away. We are all a continuous work-in-progress!

6. Celebrate Your Success

An excellent way to avoid feeling discouraged is to celebrate your success. If you have worked up to exercising 30 minutes a day, or getting up fifteen minutes earlier – pat yourself on the back!

If you ate good, wholesome meals every day this week, that’s progress! You are better off than you were last week. Use that momentum, and the CONFIDENCE you feel, to continue making strides toward building those positive habits.

7. Pray About It

Not too long ago, I had totally lost the motivation to eat healthy and work out. I just didn’t want to do it anymore.

So I prayed, and I asked God to restore that desire in me. And He did! Yes, it still takes self-discipline. But God provided the motivation… and now I’m in the best shape of my life!

You must also speak life over your habits. Proverbs 18:21 says life and death are in the power of the tongue, and we will eat the fruit of what we say.

If you pray to God, and ask Him to help you establish good habits, but then turn around and say, “I can’t do this” or “I’ll never get there” or “This is so hard” – you’re speaking DEATH over yourself.

God takes the power of your tongue very seriously. He spoke us into being. He spoke, and the heavens and the earth were created. He spoke, and man was created.

Direct your tongue with purpose. Speak words of edification and strength. Speak to build-up, not to tear down. Speak life! The things you speak WILL show up in your life. God gives us that power!

I sincerely hope you use these tips and share them, to encourage other people in your life. If you know someone who has been trying to develop a new habit, celebrate their small milestones with them! Pass this message on… let them know they’re doing a great job!

And, I share all the habits I picked up on my journey from broke, homeless cocktail waitress to multi-millionaire in my book, “First Steps To Wealth”… a FREE eBook you can get delivered right to your Inbox today! Just click here.

I would also love to hear your thoughts. What good habits would you like to develop now? What’s your biggest challenge when eliminating bad habits and creating good ones?

What progress have you made? Tell us on Facebook, so I can celebrate with you and encourage you! And, remember our whole team is always here to support YOU and celebrate YOUR success!

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