8 STRATEGIES TO FORM A NEW HABIT TO SUPPORT YOUR CREATIVE BUSINESS
Entrepreneurship is a game of growth, there are always new levels and challenges we need to rise up to. Use these 8 strategies to form habits that will support your entrepreneurial journey
I have come to realise that forming strong habits have allowed me to keep up-leveling with more ease and have been the key to consistency and growth in my creative business.
Entrepreneurship is a game of growth, there are always new levels and challenges we need to rise up to. There was a time when I had lists of all these new things I wanted to implement and I would try them for a few days and then they would kind of fizzle out. It wasn’t until I made a conscious decision to form them into a habit that they stuck and became second nature.
We all know that habits take time to break but we often forget that they also take time to build. They must be nurtured. Recent research led by a team at the University College London think they have uncovered just how long (on average) it takes for something to become habitual, the answer - 66 days to create a habit.
It takes a conscious effort and commitment from you to put yourself first at times and to make your task a priority.
HOW DO I FORM A HABIT?
Habits are formed in a cycle, known in behavioural psychology as The Habit Loop. It consists of three stages, the cue, the routine and the reward.
1 - The cue, trigger or reminder - we are prompted to take action on something
2- The routine - the action you take - this is the habit itself
3 - The reward - the positive outcome you gain from doing the habit
If the reward is positive you will want to repeat the action next time the cue pops up, and it is this repetition that will form a new habit. Bad habits are formed when the reward is immediately positive but the long term gain is not, for example: you are low on energy, you have a sugary snack, the reward is the sugar high. It immediately lifts you up and satisfies your needs, but long term this is not a good choice with negative side effects.
STRATEGIES TO REINFORCE HABIT
Choose a time frame and commit to it (a month is ideal to help you through the conditioning phase and for your habit to start to become automatic - but remember research shows 66 days is optimal)
Start simple. One task at a time. Don’t try implementing a morning routine, commiting to daily blog post writing,going to the gym, eating healthy and selling out your latest offer all in one week.
Stay consistent. Choose a time of day that is for YOU and stick with it, when there are cues like the time of day, or the same place, it is much easier for habits to form
Find a trigger. Something you do before you create. Maybe you play certain music, or make yourself a green tea or meditate, maybe its first thing in the morning - whatever works for you - do this first every time
Don’t rely on motivation it is inconsistent and fleeting, and something that comes in waves. Instead choose WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, and WHY you want to do something to allow consistency
Restructure your environment so that there are no temptations/distractions/excuses within the first 30 days
Don’t wait. Don’t wait for when you absolutely NEED this, the low point. Don’t wait for the epiphany because by then it will be all too overwhelming. Slow and steady wins the race, start now and commit to it and there is less chance that there will come a time when you NEED relief/resolution so badly.
Write it down - being specific and committing your ideas to paper focuses you. For example, I will write 3 blog posts every Sunday afternoon in my office. This is specific, commit-able and measure-able; you can identify if you have or have not achieved it. Try using this simple formula to state your habit:
I will [ACTIVITY} on [DAY] at [SPECIFIC TIME] in/at [SPECIFIC LOCATION]
You may have heard of bullet journaling, among other things bullet journalers use ‘trackers’ in their journals to ‘track’ how often they are doing a particular thing and provide visuals to analyze why there might be a shortfall. I love this idea and have very recently started doing habit tracking in my own art journals. I also use my Asana and spreadsheets to track and measure other habits in my business, find a simple way that works for you and give it a go for 66 days!
What habit will you start building and why? Tell me in the comments!
Are you an artist or maker ready to start leading impactful and profitable creative workshops in your community? Then grab my free guide below to get started today.