Sustaining organization is about creating simple habits to maintain long term results. I’m sharing a few of my favorite strategies to get you started.
- Start small and easy. When you start a new habit it should be so easy that you can’t say no to it. It doesn't matter if you start small because there will be plenty of time to pick up the intensity later. Prove to yourself that you can stick to a new habit in a small way for 30 days. Then, once you are sticking to the schedule and remaining consistent, you can worry about increasing the difficulty.
- Figure out what’s holding you back. Instead of making a blanket statement about your habits, break them down into smaller pieces and think about which areas are preventing you from becoming consistent. Once you know the specific parts of the process that hold you back, you can begin to develop a solution to solve that problem.
- Minimize distractions. While you are focusing on a new habit, remove or reduce the potential disruptions that might get you off track.
- Create a plan for when you fail. You have to learn to not judge yourself or feel guilty when you make a misstep, and instead focus on developing a plan to get back on track as quickly as possible. Make this your new motto: “Never miss twice.” Slipping up on your habits doesn't make you a failure. It makes you normal. Success is when you get back on track quickly.
- Make one change at a time. Our self-control is exhaustible. Why is this important? Because any life change will require careful self-monitoring and self-regulation, in other words, self-control. Self-control is the fuel that allows change to succeed, but it is limited. You will have a better chance of success if you can focus on one change at a time. If you try to change a lot of habits all at once, you are more likely to stall, because you’ve run out of “fuel.” Habits are effective because, once established, they no longer burn self-control.