It’s finally here, guys! The fourth and final blog post of my Creating Habits That Last Series! You know..that crazy thing I started right at the start of quarantine and then didn’t finish because I fell into old bad habits 😉 Bahaha.
Anyway, if you’re just joining, here’s a list of what we’ve covered so far:
And now.. we gotta learn how to create habits that align with our vision.
How to create habits that align with your vision
In Daring Greatly, Brene Brown talks about how important it is that we “mind the gap.” It’s a phrase that stuck with her after visiting a subway station in England or something fancy like that (and is now a sign that hangs on the wall above my desk in my office – because it also stuck with me when I read that particular chapter).
In this subway station, Brene saw a sign warning people to “mind the gap” – aka the gap that stood between the platform and the subway itself. If you didn’t pay attention to the gap, you could fall in. Or maybe it wasn’t that big of a gap, I don’t know. I’ve never gallivanted around England and I haven’t seen this so-called gap for myself in person. But I bet you could trip if you didn’t look down and see it, right? I want you to think of that “gap” as a metaphor for our lives. The gap is what lies between where we are presently, and where we want to be. It’s what we do in that gap – the habits we practice, that either get us on the right subway headed toward our future happy highest self, or on a subway train back to self-destruction and self-wallowing thinking about all the things we wanted to do with our lives but didn’t because they seemed too difficult or too overwhelming.
Have you ever thought about what your future self looks like? I’m not talking about when you’re staring in the mirror trying to spot a gray hair and wondering how deep your laugh lines are going to continue to plummet into your face over the next ten years (I mean…you do that, too – right?!) No. I’m talking about the you in the future that you hope to become. Your super perfect self – because don’t we all envision ourself to be better than we are now when we think of ourselves in the future?
If you haven’t given the future you any thought, I want you to mull over it for a bit. But I’m guessing you have – if you’re reading my habit-changing posts then I’m guessing there are some habits you’re either looking to adopt, or some habits you’re looking to drop – and whatever the case may be, adding or removing those habits from your life are going to alter your future course. Even if it’s only in a teeny tiny way. So.. there are two things you should do to figure out what your ideal future self looks like.
- Come up with three words that describe who or how you want to be. For example, I am fit, healthy, and happy.
- Create a personal transformation worksheet. (Access your free worksheet here).
When adopting the habits that mimic the person you want to be, it’s also important to evaluate your environment. If you want to start working out more, maybe you should join a gym, or insert yourself in the middle of a running club. Well duh, right? No – think about it. Surrounding yourself with the type of people you aspire to be like will help you stay the path. When you continue to surround yourself with people who have the opposite goals as you – you’re not getting yourself any closer to where or how you want to be. I’m not saying you need to drop all your friends like they caught the ‘Rona. Instead – I’m saying you need to evaluate your surroundings and your daily habits, and make adjustments that are more in line with how and who you want to be.
When you join a CrossFit gym, for example, the community is usually pretty tight knit. In joining this kind of environment, you have put yourself smack in the middle of a group of people who already have the habits, or who are working on similar habits, as the ones you’re trying to adopt. You are surrounding yourself with an environment that is similar to the person you are wanting to become.
Another trick is to make the habits you want to work on be easier to obtain. You want to eat more fruit? Put a big bowl of apples in the middle of your counter so you see it every single day when you walk by. You want to go to the gym first thing in the morning? Set out your clothes, your shoes, your gym bag, and your water bottle the night before. You want to hang out with healthy people? Join a bootcamp style gym and spend more time around people who share a common goal. You want to read more books? Join a book subscription where a new book gets sent to your doorstep every month. Prime your environment in a way that sets you up for success. You want to limit the amount of mindless Netflix scrolling you do before bed? Hide the remote. See? It works in the opposite way, too. Make it harder to do the things you’re trying to do LESS of, and make it easier to do the things you want to do MORE of. It’s not rocket science, people. Sometimes we have to give ourselves the little push we need to make things happen, instead of simply WAITING for the things to happen to us.
Natasha Funderburk is a wife, #boymom, NASM-Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Consultant, and ACE-Behavior Change Specialist. When not watching her son play baseball, she can be found on various writing platforms, coaching her clients to live their best lives, drinking all the coffee, and conducting living-room dance parties.