No matter how enthusiastic people are about some new productivity system or diet or self-improvement advice, the success rate always seems to fall in the range of 5–15%. Some people succeed. Most don’t.
I’ll be a certified habit coach five weeks from today.
And it might sound counterintuitive coming from me, but developing good habits (or breaking bad habits) is only 1/6th of the whole picture.
There are six factors that could affect your growth. They are —
- Mission. Your ‘why’ and your reason — your life purpose and everything that is important to you.
- Identity. This is how you see yourself. The way you see (and treat) yourself is the way others will see (and treat) you as well.
- Belief. The thoughts you repeat to yourself become your beliefs. Your beliefs can help in your growth, or they can limit your growth as well. This our manual of how things work in this world.
- Capacity. Your physical and mental fitness. If your plan is to work out every night after coming back from the office, but you’re constantly working 14-hour workdays, you may not have the capacity to do strength training at all. This would be an issue of capacity.
- Habits. All the things you do on auto-pilot mode, like brushing your teeth every morning. What if you could do meditation on auto-pilot mode? Won’t that be great? Your habits could make you or break you, based on their results.
- Environment. If you don’t have a separate room, and you’re a student sharing your room, you might not be able to do morning meditation if people are around you. But you can adjust it to night-meditation or afternoon meditation. Your physical surroundings matter.
Working on All the 6 Categories
Generally speaking, life coaches begin their programs by focusing on the first three categories. Fitness trainers generally begin their programs by focusing on the last three categories.
Sometimes, your habit gate is closed and the rest are open.
This is when our habit tracker or the Tiny Habits method or any of the many habit books out there are going to feel life-changing. (~Coach Tony)
For holistic growth, we need to work on all six categories one by one. You will also find them getting out of sync often with time because life is supposed to be an imperfect phenomenon.
Mission / Alignment
If my core value is quality family time, and I am working in a job where I have to travel for five days a week, I would probably not be happy in my life because my core values and my job don’t align with each other.
Alignment can resolve so many issues in your life.
Seek alignment in —
- Your and your partner’s core values and love languages
- Your life purpose and your career goals
- Your thoughts, actions, and emotions
How can you practice alignment?
Design an imaginary compass for your life. Be self-aware of who you are, what are your core values, your standards & expectations, etc.
Set this imaginary compass in the direction of your life purpose. Deliberately choose your decisions from here.
Whenever you need to decide anything, like dating someone, or a career opportunity, put in on this imaginary compass, and see if it aligns with your life purpose and core values.
If it does, go on and get it. If it doesn’t, just let it go.
Identity / Self-talk
If you repeat to yourself, “I am fat, and I have unhealthy eating habits,” you are condemning yourself.
But, creating an identity shift means upgrading your self-talk to the kind of person you aspire to become and changing the sentences to something like — “I am learning and growing to develop healthy eating habits. I exercise regularly, and my food nourishes my body.”
Some ideas about changing your identity
- If you want to be a better writer, change your self-talk to “I am a person who writes every day.”
- If you want to lose weight, change your self-talk to “I am someone who workout every other day.”
- If you want to become a great friend, change your self-talk to “I am a person who calls a friend every day.”
Beliefs / Recognizing Limiting Beliefs
The thoughts you repeat to yourself become your beliefs.
The kind of beliefs that limit your growth — they are limiting beliefs. Maybe at some point, those beliefs would have served you, but every new level of growth demands a different ‘You’.
Coming from a humbling background, seeing my parents work hard for my education, I always believed it takes a lot of time and effort to earn money.
Over time, when I did a lot of things that come naturally to me, I started getting paid a lot more than what I anticipated.
I love money, but somehow due to the limiting belief “Money takes time and effort”, I wasn’t genuinely accepting the money that was coming to me.
My coach detected this limiting belief, and we worked on this.
What became my new belief?
"Money comes easily to you when you do what's natural to you."
Do you know what’s the toughest part about limiting beliefs? It’s almost impossible for us to detect our own limiting beliefs. We need help.
We need someone to help us detect our limiting beliefs.
Habits / Tiny Keystone habits
According to yourdictionary.com,
The definition of habit is something that you do regularly or an addiction. Brushing your teeth every morning and every night is an example of a good habit. Being addicted to heroin is an example of having a heroin habit.
Here are some key points we (habit coaches) use to coach our clients about creating new habits —
- Start with a really tiny habit and repeat it regularly to build momentum.
- Either layer up the tiny habit with another tiny habit or increase the frequency/intensity of the original tiny habit.
- Accountability from a coach is resourceful and productive, and it’s affordable too, i.e only $87/month.
Environment / Find A Community
I remember how much Anangsha Alammyan resisted the idea of coaching others or having her own program. She and I were constantly in touch for a few months, and now she has her own program — “Project Medium: make your first $100”. She’s offering coaching calls in her program too.
In 2019, I wrote 18 blog posts. After having Anangsha in my close circles, my writing productivity increased tremendously and I wrote 50+ blog posts in the second half of 2020.
Whenever I talked to her, she’s probably always writing. Even I started thinking, why am I not writing as much as I can?
The community around you matters a lot in your growth.
If you’re having issues with being consistent in going to the gym and working out — be friends with people who are regular to the gym. You will see things shifting for you.
Capacity / Wellness
When you’re sick, you only have one wish — “to feel better”. You can’t work if you’re not well. If you don’t have the energy to save yourself, how’d you save others?
Keep a close eye on your mental and physical wellness.
Solving procrastination issues can’t be a priority if you’re already on the verge of burning out.
What’s the current state of your Physical and Mental health? Give it a score out of 10, and analyze how you can improve this score.
Before You Try Any of This
Here a few points to note before you move further —
- It’s always recommended to hire a professional for focused growth, based on your goals and values.
- All this is not a one-day job, and your life will always be a work in progress.
- Letting go of perfectionism and making peace with reality will help you make significant progress. Celebrating small wins is an amazing way to tackle perfectionism.
- The growth will be imperfect; but will we ever be perfect, though?
I guess the key is to enjoy the journey, isn’t it?