How Can Habits Improve your Life

Automatic Summary

Harnessing the Power of Habits: A Roadmap to Personal Change

When it comes to personal development, your habits play a significant role. Forming positive habits can drastically improve your life and lead to meaningful change. This article will guide you through strategies and actionable steps based on an enlightening discussion by a certified habit coach, Anna. Anna's insights, backed by real-life experiences, reveal the immense power of habits and how they can shape our daily lives. In this blog post, we will uncover why habits are important, how to inspire change, and equip you with practical knowledge to kick-start your personal transformation journey.

The Power of Habits and the Autopilot Phenomenon

Anna beautifully elucidates the influence of habits by discussing the 'Autopilot' phenomenon. The term Autopilot refers to the automatic behavior we subconsciously develop, which constitutes 40% of our daily actions. This involuntary behavior underscores the significance of habits in our lives, as they fit into this portion of our unconscious routine.

Understanding Habits

Habits essentially boil down to unconscious routines we continually perform without much thought. Anna likens habits to 'shortcuts' our brains take to automate certain decisions, allowing us to free up mental space for more urgent and conscious decisions. Habits work in loops, constituted by a trigger or cue, routine or behavior, and a reward or outcome. To change our habits, we must first understand this loop and learn to navigate it positively.

Practical Steps to Transform Your Habits

Anna’s life testimonial encompasses her personal journey of making small alterations in her habits which led to substantial changes in her lifestyle. From couch potato to fitness enthusiast, Anna’s transformation story is awe-inspiring and is an exemplary showcase of the critical role that habits play in our lives. From the adversity of physical injury, to the daily practice of making her bed consistently each morning, Anna instilled a personal discipline that helped bridge the gap between intent and action.

Magic Formula for Habit Formation

Anna’s secret to a successful transformation is rooted in a simple formula - Small Steps + Consistency + Discipline. Starting small sets achievable goals; consistency ensures you keep at it every day and build momentum; and discipline ensures you stay persistent, even in the face of setbacks.

Tips and Tricks to Build Positive Habits

Anna's tips and tricks inculcate a practical approach to habit-building. They revolve around four key points:

  • Being aware of your current habits and deciding to change.
  • Planning and setting yourself up for success.
  • Track progress to stay motivated.
  • Celebrate milestones to boost motivation and stay accountable.

Anna further emphasizes that the ability to make changes firmly lies in altering something you do daily. Remember, every day holds the potential for positive change - you just have to seize it.

In Conclusion

Changes might seem daunting, but remember, every giant leap begins with a small step. By thoughtfully curating our habits, we can actualize our intentions, making substantial changes in how we live our lives. As Anna aptly said, don't wait for life to push you; proactively seek to change your habits so they serve you. Good luck on your journey to personal transformation through the power of habits!

Video Transcription

Hello, ladies. Hello from Zagreb. Uh Nice to have you here today. Uh Nice to meet you and thank you for sharing your time with me uh shortly, just to introduce myself.Uh I'm Anna, I work as a product marketing manager in Info and Info is a global leader in omni uh communication, uh omni omni channel communication. And uh why I'm here today practically is that besides, I'm already eight years in, in it uh industry. Um Last year I became part of woman tech network and uh this community really brought me a lot of uh joy. So today I want to bring something back to the community and share what I learned when it comes to habits. Um Since I'm curious about habits, then you will uh soon know and learn why. Uh I am currently in the process of becoming a certified habit coach. So habits really improved the quality of my life. And today I would like to share with you how you can have it as well. My goals for today are pretty straightforward uh practically to make you aware of uh why are habits important to inspire you to do change and to equip you to practically be able uh to start the change on your own. Uh I have a lot to share.

So I'm not very sure that we will have time in the Q and A uh session. But uh feel free to share your questions in the chat. And in the meantime, feel free to connect with me on linkedin. I will be more than happy to share um some of my experience and to help you along the way. OK, ready. So uh uh it's June, meaning that probably we told uh this big lie uh many, many times uh during this year and many, many times during our lives. Uh I can just tell uh I did uh I tried to start on Mondays many Mondays. Uh But usually there were always a lot, a lot of excuses that wouldn't give me the chance to really start on that Monday and I believe you can relate. And um the reason why we fail uh with starting on Monday is because even though we really have these clear intentions, yes, today, I will eat healthy or yes. Today, I will say no to all these requests around me. But in the reality, uh there is uh uh we are experiencing the gap between our true intention and the action we need to take and why is this? So because usually, you know, you always do what you usually do and then you as well always do.

Uh something that is easy and you have this automatic behavior. So, um what is causing this gap between intention and action and practically, um not helping us to change is the autopilot. So, um autopilot is something we do automatically the part of behavior, we do not even thinking about it. And remember how many times you ask yourself, did I lock the door? You know, like and yeah, then you were on the autopilot. So, um why are we talking about the autopilot? Uh because a lot of uh our time is spent unconscious. So uh question for you, you maybe can have any guesses about how uh what percentage of our time is spent unconscious. Feel free to write in the chat, any guesses. So not to, to uh leave you uh questioning. Uh it's 40% of our time. So 40% of our time is spent unconscious and this brings uh the importance of the habits. Why? Because habits are this part of this unconscious. Habits are something we do automatically. And in the upcoming slides, I will just give you a brief introduction about the theory of habits and what I practically learned about habits along the way through my own experience because my learning curve was, you know, from experience to the theory.

And I would like to share this today with you. OK. So, um I already entered into the topic. So habits are something we do uh when we are on our our an autopilot, something that it's unconscious so we can call them to be our unconscious routines. Uh It's something that we learn something we do repeatedly and not even thinking about it. And if you wonder why it's so, uh I like the expressions and to think about habits like uh shortcuts. Uh because, you know, our brain really um needs to make a lot of decisions during the day. So habits are here to help them help our brain to automate a couple of uh decisions, some of our behaviors. So uh it can free up some uh some brain power from for other important challenges, like making uh very conscious decisions. You never think about, you know, how can I drink this glass of water? Because it's something you do automatically something you know how to do. So OK, moving on uh the to understand habits, it's important to understand how to practically habits work. So uh usually this is a very easy example. Uh I believe you all uh after waking up in the morning, you enter first in your bathroom. So when you see the toothbrush, you do your routine and then you as a reward, get nice smile, a fresh breath and so on.

So when we think about habits, uh practically it's when you see or experience something, some kind of cue some kind of trigger, then you do some kind of behavior or routine in order to get some kind of reward and uh this is how things look like. So cue or a trigger, then a routine and then a reward. And uh when we talk about cues, these are practically triggers, they can be internal, like some kind of feeling or external. Like you see here, a glass of water. So it reminds you to practically drink it. Then uh routine is the usual behavior, you know what we usually do. And this is the part of, you know, automatism. And then the reward is that usually feeling what we get after going through uh this loop and why it's called loop because uh we repeat it and if you want to build uh a habit, then you need to pass through this loop several times to make it automatically. So, uh during our days, uh we have a lot of uh different habit loops. Uh For example, you can sometimes feel stressed during the work day. Uh something triggers you and then what you do, you do your routine of going into the kitchen and then you find something sweet to make this bitter, feeling less bitter. So this is the one of uh the example of habit loops.

I can, I have to admit it's one of my habit loops, but there are some others that maybe bring uh more value. So you set some kind of alarm that reminds you that it's time to take your uh workout routine. And then after you're done, you feel refreshed. You feel happy, you feel rewarded because you invested some time in yourself. So if we want to make a change in our habits, we need to really understand the habit loop. And uh as we speak about making change in our behavior, that means this change is hard, but it's doable. And since I really uh learned it the hard way, uh I would like to share some of my findings with you and my suggestion to you would be not to wait, that life hits you to be rather proactive and to start changing your habits. Uh Now, in order to, you know, make them serve you. So, uh what happened to me, uh my change started like three years ago. So before uh 2018, I was having pretty different habit loops, pretty different lifestyle, not so healthy and uh not being in a good shape. But that didn't stop me to spend my uh vacation uh on skiing. And the very first day this vacation really got a different turning point. So I ended up, um, with a broken ligaments, I ended up, uh on a surgery.

I ended up in a hospital and there was no time for starting on Monday. I really needed to start the change. Now. Uh fast forward to 66 days later, I really learned how to walk again. And then finally, luckily I was able to walk again. But, um, the overall process really changed me and my biggest takeaway from this period was that every day matters. I would say we all, you know, during the day, we underestimate the power of small things we do daily like drinking this glass of water now and a bit later and so on. But really every day matters because each and every day during my recovery, I really managed to feel better and better and better. And then from being completely broken to being able to walk again, it was just some of all those small moments of all those small days. So uh how things usually go, you know, one thing led, led to another, I needed to uh start to work out in order to recover. So then I started to work out. Then I started to wake up earlier. Then I started to prepare my meals and then I decided that I will start my weight loss journey and to track the food, then I started to include as well the hydration because I notice if I drink much, my weight loss journey, uh it's uh faster and uh 2020 happened.

So I started to finally to have some uh hobbies. So I started to uh micro blog on linkedin. Uh tried a bit of gardening, finally discovered that I really can meditate. And uh what's my biggest win lately is that I managed to quit smoking. And I was thinking, wow, this is not ha this is not possible. So it is. And uh when I started to become a non-smoker. I started to walk more and then, you know, when you not spend your money on cigarettes, then you have some money aside and, uh, then you decide, you know, to be more, to invest your time more meaningful. So I started as well as social media detox. And that gave me much more time to really start, uh, to read, to go back to the books because I really lost that habit along the way. Um So, yeah, um definitely one good habit can really motivate you to, to different changes. But what is even more important is that practically it brings you results. And uh in general, you know, I really from couch potato became somebody who is in a good shape and who uh prioritize uh workout and I do it in the morning, you know, that was like completely impossible for me then uh in, in general, I really managed to lose 25 kg uh quitting smoking.

Um It changed me. So a lot of all these habits you've seen on the previous slide really made me become a different person. And uh I'm mostly proud on this part of becoming a non-smoker because that was really uh actually, it's not so hard as you think, but it was a battle. So, uh what I want to share with you is practically that habits will bring you to one big change. And this change is uh the new identity So you are definitely thanks to the habits becoming a newer person. So habits will help you bridge this gap between your intention to change and actually do this change. And if you wonder, uh what time investment is required. So practically, usually you will have like 21 days to, to make a habit. Some of the researches are uh talking about 66 days and they are the, the not so optimistic ones And the real answer is practically depends, it's very individual. Uh So these are just the, the estimations your path uh can be slightly different. But the key is in a repetition. If you do um more reps I of one habit loop in a day, you will get faster to making this habit the automatic behavior. So my magic formula after going through all of that is very simple. So small steps really start small and don't underestimate uh each and every day be consistent because this will help you, you know, continue along the way and uh give you discipline.

So magic formula is very, very simple and every, all the change is very, very doable. Uh I would like to share some of tips and tricks I learned along the way. And at the end, we have uh some homework for you as well. So um definitely starting is not hard, you can start immediately now. But what it makes hard is, you know, uh continue along the way and practically not give up, uh how to start to, to think about your habits or to change something is, you know, you need to be aware, aware of the moment you are aware of your current habits, then definitely make a decision to change.

After decision, it has to follow up with an action and then consistency, consistency, consistency and then your habit becomes automatically and uh definitely how to start. This is something you can do today. You can do it now. So meet your autopilot. What is your usual habit loop?

What do you do when you're stressed? When you're tired, when you're hungry, you need to know your, you know, what are your choices figures? What do you do then? And how do you feel later on? So do you, after you get some email, does it make you stressed and then you go to eat as we seen in the example or you know, there is, there are some other uh loops you are following. Secondly, decision. This is maybe even uh the most important uh part. And here I would like to point out that uh you should focus on your identity, you know, who you want to become. Uh not, I will quit smoking but I will become a non-smoker or um I not to focus on, I will lose 10 kg. Uh focus rather on, I will maintain a healthy lifestyle and uh I will maintain a healthy diet. I will nourish my body with the quality food, you know, so I will be someone who is living healthy. So this is something you should start to, to think about uh from the identity perspective, like who you want to become. And definitely why, what is the driver uh inside of you, why you wanna do this change? Uh Secondly, uh set yourself for success.

So put uh a reminders uh plan your activities, plan everything to support you, to move towards your goal of uh changing habits and definitely start small because you cannot now change everything you do, you know, really small steps. Uh uh I have managed to walk again because I did uh each and every day, some of the small steps, you know, and uh definitely make it easy, you know. Uh what we often do mistakes is that we want to change everything, um everything now, no change a small thing today and do it tomorrow and the day after and you know, it should be really, really easy. So uh to boost your motivation and uh to be doable. Secondly, consistency. So tracking progress is something that will keep you uh motivated, that will show you where, how far you come. And uh definitely it's good to have support. Uh support can be mobile application support can be your best friend, support, can be your diary.

Uh It's, it's up to you, but you will definitely uh need it. And um I see the question how to handle setback. So one of the answer can be remember your past successes. So there will be rainy days. But on the rainy days, it's good to have a reminder on the shiny days because you know, it's uh not very linear road, it's very um different uh graph of uh you know, rainy days and shiny days. So definitely it's good to remember your past successes and celebrate milestones. So uh decide uh about, you know, what kind of miles milestone you would like to achieve and then definitely make a celebration that will help you to boost your motivation and something for you for your homework.

Um I would really like that you have some value from this session. So I would like to, you can put uh you can take a picture of this uh slide. Uh I would like you to start to think about, you know, who you want to become like in July, you know, maybe somebody who drinks more water, maybe somebody who uh has some morning routine or uh is exercising once per week, you know, starting small, remember. So uh then after thinking about what kind of person you would like to become, then uh the second question uh you should uh ask yourself would be, you know, what kind of habits does this new person, uh new version of you has? And then you can pick one habit and try to practically work on it and develop a strategy, how you will, you know what kind of loop you will be having and how you will uh set yourself for success to uh build this habit and how to motivate yourself during the time not to give up.

And I wanted to share some of the tiny ideas for starting now. So as we uh have been uh talking about to start from the identity perspective to start to think who you want to become actually. So here are just some of ideas what you can do practically today now immediately. So if you want to be healthy, you can eat an apple. If you want to be hydrated, drink a glass of water, uh, something you can do, uh, in the, uh, afternoon or after, uh, uh, in the evening. If you want to become a reader, this is something I'm working on currently. Then you can read just one page per day. You can even read one paragraph per day. Remember of uh, the, uh, starting small consistency and the discipline. Uh, if you would like to start saving, just put the coin aside. If you would like to start exercising, you can stretch your arms. Uh Right now, this is as well, some, uh starting point. And, uh, yes, if you would like to, uh, build a discipline, uh, this is my favorite. You should start to make your bed every day. So what I would like to, to sum up, um, changes are possible and doable, but to be able to make a change, you need to change something you do daily.

So, um small steps, consistency and uh if you need the discipline, you can start to build your discipline with making your bed early in the morning with that kind of habit. Uh I would like to ask you before we conclude the session. Um, for your key takeaways of today's session. Can you please maybe write uh in the chat? Uh What would be your key takeaway from today? So we can exchange uh our takeaways and practically wrap up this session. Um Together super, the rain starts with small steps. I see a question from Jana. How do you prevent the motivation when you mess up with your habits streak? Um I think it's the individual thing that everyone of us should decide or um you know, you know, your yourself best for me. Uh It's always good to uh I like to track progress. So then I start with a clean slate like uh setting myself uh in the mood like I'm starting today because you can start now. You don't have to wait for the Monday. Uh Practically starting like um from, from the empty page. Uh again, like not nothing happens and of course you need to forgive yourselves, but you know, mistakes are as well part of the uh the road and in general, you just start again. That's the easiest part. Super. Um I see a lot of uh key takeaways, tiny changes are very effective. Think what you want to be consistency is the key start now and start small. Who do you want to become everyday matters? Wow. Thank you ladies. Track progress. Yeah, super.

Um I must say I really enjoyed the session and my intention today was to share with you uh my story to share my example and really uh to share with you that changes are possible even though we think uh it's hard and especially if you uh manage to, to give yourself practically a chance to start small, not to be hard on yourself because habits are really important and they are the ones who are making difference about who we are today and who we can be tomorrow.

So, uh this is something with what I would like to conclude this session. Um Thank you a lot for your time. Thank you a lot for joining, for being here. Uh My contacts are on the slide and I will be more than happy to uh connect with you on linkedin and uh to continue the uh the discussion about habits and as well to have some of your successes um in my inbox. And uh that's it. Ladies, enjoy your day. Uh Thank you for being here and it was a pleasure to be your host uh for today. Thank you.