3 Ways to Make Habits Stick

Planner and schedule

Have you ever reached the end of the year wondering why you could not reach some of your goals? Me too. That is why I am committed to making this year the most productive year of my life. And you can too. Join me as we learn the tools needed to make habits stick and crush our goals every time. This simple, three step process has made all the difference in my life.

Without structure or a framework, it will be easier to give up and give in to distractions. We cannot haphazardly throw our goals in the air and see what sticks.

So how do we make habits stick?

We schedule time to do these three things: reflect, plan and connect.

1. Reflect

In order to reach our goals, we need to take time to think. Take time to focus on our thoughts, desires, passions and identify what we want to accomplish. Reflection brings new ideas, purpose and buried dreams to the surface and helps weed out distractions.

  • Reflection can include prayer & meditation. Spending time alone with God has made all the difference in my life and business.  
  • Reflection could include journaling our day, looking back on where we spend our time and seeing if what we did brought us closer to our goals.

2. Plan

After reflecting on how we spend our time and getting direction, we need to plan a course of action that gets us closer to achieving our goal. If we spent all day yesterday reading books (guilty as charged), hopefully today, we will take action on what we learned.

When I think of the goal achieving process and making habits stick, I think of gaps. There could be a learning gap, a resource gap, a skill or growth gap. We fill the gaps by planning time in our schedule to do tasks that move us closer to our goals.

  • Plan according to energy levels and learning gaps. Adding new tasks and routines to our schedule requires more energy and time. A good rule of thumb is to remove two commitments for every new one.
  • Plan for down time in our schedule and reward ourselves when we reach a goal. This helps to prevent burnout and encourages self-care.

3. Connect

Connecting to resources is crucial in making habits stick. Resources are the bridge we need to achieve our goals. The bridge represents our external walk, a pathway that crosses over barriers to a future destination.

  • Resources could include learning new skills by taking a class or reading a book. Use the knowledge learned to break down your goal into tiny achievable steps.
  • People are valuable resources. Participating in networking events or joining online groups geared to your profession (life coaching) or the personal results you want (organizing tips), will give you support as you navigate through the process to successfully achieve your goals.

Let’s reflect to see what is working and change what is not working, plan for learning gaps and our next steps and connect to resources that will get us quickly to our goals.

I am a certified life coach and organizational specialist and founder of Mirrors and Bridges – The Transformation Company. We transform your mental and physical spaces. We study your life or business and remove blocks that are keeping you from achieving your goals. We create systems to help you work more productively and effectively. We provide success tools and services that save time and money so that you can reflect, plan and connect to a better life.

If your life feels out of order, or if you don’t see the results you were hoping for, reach out to our company. We have different classes, resources and one on one coaching programs that can support your growth over the next year. Please check out our store or services to see which tools work best for your life and schedule a call today.

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I would love to know which tips you are interested in trying or have tried in the past to connect to your goals and make habits stick. Please let me know in the comment below.

Photo credits: Emma Matthews on Unsplash

5 Steps to promote new Growth

For new growth to happen, we need to cut or prune areas in our life that are no longer working.

Vocabulary.com says prune means to clip, crop, cut back, and weed out. 

Removing dead, diseased or unproductive wood, strengthens the limbs and produces new growth.

This is in reference to a tree but can be applied to our life in areas where we need to prune.

When is the best time to prune?

  • Prune during a dormant period.

Since we are in a dormant period locally and nationally, it is the perfect time.

  • Prune when there is no growth.

Each time you make a cut, you stop growth in one direction and encourage it in another.

  • Prune quickly anytime there is disease attacking the tree.

This is regarding our health in all areas of our life.

Pruning is crucial.  What our life looked life prior to the beginning of the year, will not get us to the goals and dreams, God has placed in our hearts now.

The PRUNE process is an acronym and five step process to help us cut out the places that are not producing fruit or the results we desire to see come to pass.

  1. Purge – The P in Prune is for Purge

Remove excess and declutter (mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually). When we purge, we remove things that are not working and draining our time and energy. With each part of the process, continue to use them throughout the process. For example, we purge and take out what is not working from P to E in the process.

2. Reflect – The R in Prune is for Reflect.

The best tool that I have found for reflection is an online or journal notebook. During this part of the process, we need to answer some tough questions. What are we doing now that is working? What’s not working?

Cutting out some of the projects on our “to do list” that is no longer serving us, will help us to focus on our current commitments and promote growth.

3. Unbury – The U in Prune is for Unbury. Look for the root cause and fresh ideas.

Dig to find the root cause (what is causing us to be stuck) remove it (old plant that I planted) and seek out fresh ideas (collaboration with God and others). I have seen the root cause revealed within a few months, or years depending on the obstacle and how long it has been in my life.

4, Next Steps – The N in Prune is for Next Steps – Plan and Act.

Determine the next step we need to take to get closer to our goal of decluttering and organizing our life so that we can have new growth be able to successfully take on obstacles that come our way.

That is where Planning and Executing the plan comes into play.

We all organize and process information differently and what works for one person, may not necessarily work for another.  Example: notebook vs online, visual abundance vs. visual simplicity.

5. Evaluate – The E in Prune is for Evaluate. Did it work? What changes need to be made? How much is it going to cost? All organizing systems take time to implement and need to be evaluated and maintained. The PRUNE process is circular and can be repeated in different areas of life and business.

We are all leaders. We all can influence others by our words and actions. As leaders, it is crucial that we take the time during this dormant season to go through the PRUNE process and examine our life and cut out what isn’t working, so that all is left is a healthy, organized life, ready to impact God’s kingdom and grow our business.

What tools have you tried that help you PRUNE and your goals? Comment Below.

Follow us to receive more success tools to organize your life and motivational content to help you reflect, plan and connect to the life of your dreams. (PRUNE Process worksheet download) https://mirrorsandbridges.com/

Sign up for a complimentary organizational or life coaching discovery session to determine areas where you need to declutter mentally or physically to promote growth. https://mirrorsandbridges.com/lets-connect/

Photo by Nikola Jovanovic on Unsplash

Choosing Trust over Fear During Crisis Part 2

Photo by Martijn Baudoin on Unsplash

“Stay near me, so I can protect you”, my husband said to me in the grocery store. 

As we were shopping, I became angry and fearful when other people did not adhere to the 6 feet distancing rule. I kept darting around carts and got separated from him during our trip.

Weeks ago, the woman who had reminded her husband to show compassion and grace to others during this national crisis, had completely broken her own rules. I chose fear over trust, anger over kindness and let my emotions get the best of me.

Ever been there? Embarrassed and shocked at how you reacted? It happens to the best of us.

In last month’s blog post, I covered two strategies in Choosing Trust Over Fear During Crisis – Part 1:  focus on the goal and believe in the impossible.

This month, I will cover two more strategies.

For us to choose trust over fear, we must remove negative thoughts and walk by faith, not sight.

  1. Remove negative thoughts from our mind

I felt so vulnerable and broken that day in the supermarket. I was confused and scared to move.

It’s natural to question why things are happening when the whole world seems like it is falling apart. It’s also natural to be fearful about something we have never faced before, especially when a hug, a touch and kiss could make us sick.

We will all be faced with negative thoughts, we are human. But when they come, they don’t have to be a welcome guest in our house (our mind). It’s the dwelling on thoughts, the ruminating repeatedly on the negative thoughts that keep us discouraged. Recognize it, but let’s not let our thoughts stay there.

We are all faced with many choices. We can ignore what is going or get sucked into fear. The key is to be prepared and have a plan. Our family plan after that day was to stick together and to ask people to move back in a respectful way. We also decided that we could order our groceries online and pick them up if needed to relieve some of the stress.

When we remove negative thoughts, it is easier to choose trust over fear and see beyond our present circumstances. The second strategy is the result of removing negative thoughts; walk by faith, not by sight.

This strategy is based on a biblical scripture from II Corinthians 5:7 – Amplified version. It says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (living our lives in a manner consistent with our confident belief in God’s promises).

When I was getting angry at people who were not social distancing, I was focusing my attention on the circumstances around me. I took my focus off the promises that God can protect me and heal me. Trust and faith cannot happen when I am judging other people and afraid of getting sick. I can only control my own emotions and not let what I see around me affect my believing. My husband prayed with me in the middle of the produce section. Then, I was able to extend compassion to others and myself. That is walking by faith, not by sight.

If we remove negative thinking from our lives, then positive thoughts like hope and trust can get in. Hope is seeing a better future way beyond what we see with our eyes. Trust is a result of removing negative thoughts and firmly believing in the reliability, ability or strength of someone or something.

How we react is a choice.  What we believe is also a choice.  

Let’s choose trust over fear during times of crisis and any other times negative thoughts comes our way.

Have there been times in your life when you got distracted by things going on around you?

What strategies have you tried that have worked for you in the past?

If you would like to continue to get more faith building strategies and tools to repurpose your life, follow my blog or connect to my Mirrors and Bridges training and coaching business page: https://www.facebook.com/mirrorsandbridges/