Habits, Priorities, Success

You’re Not Lacking Willpower – You’re Lacking A Habit

Everyone struggles with creating new habits.  If you have found yourself lacking the motivation to do anything, you are not alone.

When beginning a new habit or making a change in your life, it is easy when you first begin.  However, after a few days to a week our so-called “willpower” begins to wear off.

Even if we really hate doing something such as getting up in the morning to run – or taking time to plan our day – we say we can still do it as long as our willpower holds out.  However, once the willpower runs out, we can no longer seem to get ourselves to do that thing.

If you are telling yourself, it’s because you don’t have willpower – it’s because you don’t have a habit.

On the other hand, there are things that we don’t necessarily love doing that we do anyway.  We do these things no matter what.  Things like taking our kids to school, taking a shower in the morning, emailing an employee today’s tasks.  We do these on a daily basis without worrying that we will run out of willpower – these are habits.

Even if they aren’t our favorite tasks, we do them anyway.  This is because they have become habits.  They have become a natural part of our daily lives.  It’s almost as if they have become a part of us – they define us.

Have you ever skipped out on taking your kids to school? 

Have you ever decided not to brush your teeth?

Most likely not.  These are habits that you have created as part of our routine.  These are habits that you naturally do without thinking twice about them.

The new habits that you want to create will eventually become like them as well.  The more you do something, the more it becomes a natural process that you do not have to think about.  Once you reach a certain point -you will no longer have to dig for the will to complete the task.

 I’m Different!

Yes, you are a mother and an entrepreneur. However, you are not alone; there are others who have been in a similar situation.

Photo by George Milton

I really dislike having to create new habits.  It takes a lot of work, but I know that if I put forth the effort something truly great will happen.  I have changed my life immensely in wonderful ways over the years.

Most people complain that they are different making the strategies that others use null and void for them.  YOU are an entrepreneur.  You do not do this, right?  Well, maybe you do.  I know that I did.

As entrepreneurs, we are different.  However, we are still the same.  We have a higher level of action and thinking than others.  Sometimes this can make it more difficult for us to stick to our goals and change our habits.  Why?  Because we feel that the strategies that others use do not work for us.

I am a go-getter.  Chances are, you are too.  Use that to your advantage for creating and setting new goals.  And, actually achieving them.

You are not all that different from someone who has that dreaded 9-5 job.  You simply are dedicated to taking action and making changes in your life.  You wouldn’t be an entrepreneur if you weren’t.

The Connection Between Your Habits and What You Do

There is a definite connection between habits you have created and what you do each and every day.

Think about it:  After the first few days, you need to really dig deep to practice the habit each day.  It takes a lot of thought and time out of your day.  However, as the habit becomes a natural part of your day you will need less and less thought power.  Eventually, you will not have to put forth the extra effort and you will simply do it because you want to or without thinking about it.

Knowing that this connection exists and changes through the process will help you trudge through the process, making it work for you.  As you create increasingly more new habits you will realize that the tough process of forcing yourself to do something will not last forever.  It will “be a habit.”

No matter the habit or change you want to make in your life, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Instead of ordering out for lunch, you will have great meals prepared in the fridge.  Or you will automatically begin your journal writing (in your favorite chair) as soon as you crawl out of bed.

Whatever the habit is for you, it will become a natural part of your day.  You will see the transition from using extra brainpower – what you know as willpower – to just doing it.

Tools can help create habits

There are many tools that are available today for helping create habits.  There are habit specific apps you can download, to-do lists, reminders, and many others.

Whether your calendar is on your phone or in a paper planner, add reminders.  If you are anything like me you most likely use your calendar to help you stay on top of tasks.  (If not, you can read about how I use my calendar here.) Having the reminders to practice your new habit or change in your calendar will help make sure that you do it.

When it comes to weight loss almost everyone has heard that they should have an accountability partner.  This is great advice.  Find someone that you can trust to push you on, even when you don’t want to.  Your best friend may not be the best choice.

What?  It’s true.  Your best friend may not always be the best choice when it comes to someone who will hold you to your word and push you.  If you have a friend who will push you, that’s great.  But, if your friend is someone who will help you come up with excuses, then you do not want them as an accountability partner.

I promise, they are not doing it on purpose.  Your best friend wants you to be happy and they do not want to see you in pain.  Some will help encourage your choices – good or bad.

Be wise.  This is a choice that can affect your success.  You want their support, but you may want someone else as your accountability partner.  Find someone who is trying to reach a similar goal or another entrepreneur who is trying to create a new habit for themselves.

Looking on forums and message boards is a good place to start.  Who knows, you may even develop a new friendship that you never expected.  Then, your best friend can still support you in their own way and you know you have someone holding you accountable too.

You can also find other little tricks to help you keep up with your habits.  If you want to write in the morning, have your journal and pencil lying beside your bed ready to go.  You can also lay out your running clothes the night before, set alarms and timers on your phone, cook meals ahead of time, or have the application open on your computer so when you wake it up it is already there.

The initial motivation that you feel will eventually wear off.  Putting tricks and strategies in place will help you continue even when you don’t want to.  There is nothing wrong with helping your will power along the way.  Help it as much as you need to until you are able to make the habit or change a natural part of your day.

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