Welcome back! Previously on Clare and Naomi’s “Let’s Get Ready To Pivot” series…
We explored how to get little things done (at last!)
Today, we’re talking about making and keeping new habits – and why that could be A LOT easier to do now than other times you might have tried.
So let’s dive in.
The easy way to add, subtract or change habits during your pivot.
Many people like to include new habits as part of their pivot – the idea being that if you’re going to shift your business to something more aligned, sustainable, or lucrative…then why not throw a few life upgrades in there as well?
Pivots are transformations, and on a level, it can be easier to transform in multiple arenas during that pivot than it would be otherwise. You’re already making a shift, loosening your status quo, and choosing your direction consciously and with intention.
Your brain is saying, “Change is cool! Let’s improve things! I’m flexible!” That means a lot of new and meaningful habits can slip in there under the radar.
Wait up – isn’t changing habits hard?
Yes and no. When there’s nothing inspiring going on to provide you with a good enough reason to change a habit now, then yes, it’s hard. Deciding to start doing yoga all by your lonesome has its own uphill climb.
But starting yoga just after you get a raise?
Or you meet a new flame?
There’s an excitement and a momentum that can carry you along and make habit change not only easier, but kind of effortless. You want to do it, and so you’re inherently motivated.
When you’re getting ready to do something new in your business, your pivot is your new flame.
You can ride that excitement and renewed sense of possibility to make additional mini-pivots (habit changes) far easier than they were before.
But there’s one simple trick you can do to make habit change even easier than THAT.
Enter: Habit Stacking.
The concept of habit stacking has been around for a while, but it was popularized by James Clear in his book Atomic Habits.
One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top.
You probably have very strong habits and connections that you take for granted each day. For example, your brain is probably very efficient at remembering to take a shower each morning or to brew your morning cup of coffee or to open the blinds when the sun rises … or thousands of other daily habits.
You can take advantage of these strong connections to build new habits. Rather than pairing your new habit with a particular time and location, you pair it with a current habit.
So if you kind of suck at replying to emails, or dry brushing, or writing in your gratitude journal, you don’t just decide to start doing that new thing out of the blue.
You decide to take a few short minutes to start doing one after pouring your first cup of coffee. Or after brushing your teeth at night. You just stack it on top of another habit, one you never forget to do.
(Because it’s a habit.)
Stack a new habit like this, and you’ll never forget to do it, because you never forget to pour your first cup of coffee.
The new habit comes along for the ride, no willpower required.
And if you want to be really ambitious, you can stack multiple new habits at a time once you get the first one in place.
Drink your coffee, then do your dry brushing. When that’s established, add the gratitude journal immediately after. When that’s in place, then add one, or two, or three emails immediately after that.
Because you’re placing each activity in sequence after the other, you’re not requiring your new habits to find a place in your day. You’re just slipping it in while nobody – including your old status quo – can notice it.
Ideas for habit changes during your pivot.
You may already have a bunch of stuff you’ve wished you could be doing, and if you do, you can just start with some of those during your pivot.
But if you could use some prompting, here’s a list of things that people just like you put on the “I really wish I could / I really should” list in their head.
And remember, you don’t have to do these things well to start building a new habit. You just have to show up and do them, if only for a few minutes. Nobody’s good at anything at the beginning.
That’s just weird.
(And some of these? They’re things you might want to STOP doing. In these cases, you can either simply stop them and just do whatever you like – sleep in! kiss a puppy! play mobile slot games! – or replace them with a better habit. Your call.)
Answer email first thing
DON’T answer email first thing
Do a random act of kindness
Drink hot water with lemon
Wake up earlier
Go to bed earlier
Review your weekly goals / projects
Set your daily goals
Lay out your “work clothes” the night before so you don’t stay in your PJs all day
Use your essential oil diffuser
Shower! (We work from home. We’re all friends here.)
Water the plants
Take all screens out of your bedroom
Write your morning pages
Work on a blog post (or whatever content you make or would like to make)
Follow up with prospects
Do sun salutations
Take yourself on an artist’s date
Write in your journal
Tidy a specific room
Get on social media
Get off social media
Create a bedtime ritual
Practice a new language
Hang up your clothes (goodbye floordrobe / chairdrobe!)
Identify tomorrow’s MITs (Most Important Tasks)
Take a walk
Do some creative writing
Plan your meals
Batch your social media content
Read a grown-up book (you know what we mean)
Keep a gratitude journal
Take vitamins or supplements
Get to inbox zero
Make your bed
Clear your desk / table / counter (wherever you spend the most time)
Send fan mail or thank you notes
Touch base with someone
Micro self-care (dry brushing! exfoliation! All that Ayurvedic stuff)
Play an instrument (or practice playing)
Make a playlist for the day or week
Your pivot can transform more than just your business.
When you transform one part of your life with a pivot, you open the door to a cascade of changes that would have seemed out of reach before.
With just a little bit of forethought, you can transform more than just your business – you can start building new habits that make the rest of your life include a lot more of “what you really want to be doing.”
Up next in this little series: impostor syndrome (and how to stop it holding you back.)
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