Put Your New Habits to the Test

LISTEN TO PODCAST EPISODE HERE -> https://spotifyanchor-web.app.link/e/wtc3zlnNvwb

In today’s episode of the Inspiration2Grow podcast we are going to take a test, an easy yet impactful test that will help you define and solidify any new habit you want to implement.

We are quickly approaching the end of the year and many of us will start reflecting on what we have accomplished throughout 2022 and start looking ahead to the new year full of possibilities.  Setting new goals and intentions is normal, however most people aren’t realistic or make these small promises to themselves on a whim without much thought.  I’d like to help you make lasting change by introducing new habits, but ones that will be ‘stickier’ than before. So, stay with me and let’s put our new habits to the test.

If you’ve been following this podcast, you’ll know I talk about habits a fair bit:  I did a whole episode on “micro habits” and 5 morning habits worth considering.  So, be sure to check them out after this one.

Why am I so obsessed with the topic of habits?

It’s simple.  Habits are the super glue holding our everyday life together. Consider of all the daily habits you perform without even thinking about it – brushing your teeth, washing your face, etc. Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits. Whether you are in shape, successful, happy – is the result of your own habits.

Therefore, habits determine the quality of our life.  By slowing things down and approaching our behaviour, we learn to develop an awareness of why we do the things we do.  As a result, our mindset shifts to support the development of new habits, which in turn brings about meaningful and lasting change.
With my clients, I focus on three levels of change in our coaching sessions:  behaviours, beliefs and identity.  We work on recognizing self-defeating behaviours as well as patterns and solidifying healthy habits that last.

I think we can all agree that implementing new habits and breaking old habits that are not serving us any longer isn’t always easy.

Just like myself, you may have heard different statistics on how long it actually takes to form a new habit.  I thought I would go right to the trusted source, James Clear, well-known author of “Atomic Habits” to get his take on this question.  He talks a lot about 21 days, however, he also writes about the data collected by Phillippa Lally, a health psychologist researcher at the University College of London.  She tried to figure out exactly how long it takes to form a new habit.
Her findings state, on average, it takes more than 2 months (the magic number sited is 66) for a new behaviour to become ‘automatic’.  Since the factors influencing the formation of new habit are wide ranging, such as a person’s behaviour, circumstances, and the individual herself, she concluded that it takes anywhere from 18 – 254 days for people to form a new habit.

Incredible, right?

Since this is Tangible Tuesday, I’d like to walk you through a test called ‘The New Habit Test’.  But before we do that, I’d like you to think of one new habit or change you’d like to undertake in your life.  Perhaps you’ve been thinking of learning a new skill, flexing your creativity muscles, getting in shape, writing your memoirs, decluttering the house, eating healthier, journalling or meditating, taking piano lessons.  The list is literally endless.  But no matter what it is, you’ll have to create a new habit around it and find time to dedicate to this new habit.

For this new habit to have sticking power, by that I mean, you will actually implement it, enjoy it and start to get better at it and eventually automate it … it will have to pass the test.

So, first off – Get Real With Yourself.  Be completely honest.

Choose one change or new habit you would like to introduce to your everyday life.  Just one and let’s use it as our example today.

Clearly define the change you’d like to achieve or define the new habit you’d like to incorporate in your life.
Here are just a few ideas from the most common categories:

·         Start your day with a tall glass of water. …
·         Walk for 10 minutes at a time. …
·         Take a day off to take care of your mental health. …
·         Swap one takeout meal for a homecooked one. …
·         Revisit your household budget. …
·         Tackle your debt. …
·         Consider investing in ways that matter to you…
·         Plan and start a side hustle in increase income
·         Make more time for your partner in small ways. …
·         Make more attempts to show love in your everyday language through greetings and affectionate words …
·         Notice the positive in your partner and tell them. …
·         Be thoughtful in small ways for a big impact. …
·         Schedule time for your own professional development. …
·         Make time each week to reflect and plan. …
·         Every day, identify your big three. …
·         Identify and limit distractions. …
·         Take regular breaks away from screens. …
·         Take up meditation
·         Watch what you eat
·         Listen to people when they speak
·         Notice the world around you
·         Turn off your devices more
·         Practice gratitude

Giving back/helping others
·         Join a local charity group
·         Volunteer your time at a food bank
·         Set aside a certain amount for donating each week/month
·         Schedule a declutter of your home each season & donate the goods
·         Research ways of helping out within your community – aim to get involved in one activity
So, the time has come to run your new habit through the test.  This test is comprised of 10 questions.  First off, I’ll read the 10 questions and then I will repeat them adding in very brief explanations.  Trust me that taking action on your new habit right away is paramount for it to take hold and become sticky.  The other important ingredient for a successful habit is for it to be part of your day, which means you have to dedicate time for it. 
10 Questions to finally change your habits for good

1.        Is there a small action step I can take immediately?  No waiting, no hesitation, no putting off until “some day”.  Implementation right now is key for this action step.
2.       Am I willing to commit to this action step for an entire month?  New habits or life changes require time and commitment, so if you are not willing to see this task through for 30 days now, it likely isn’t important enough to you.
3.       If I do this every day, what change will I see and what will be the result? Remember that small action steps done consistently over time truly add up to larger results.
4.       Does this habit (and result) have major meaning in my life?  All new changes you implement must pass this test. This is often referred to as your WHY.  If you have a compelling ‘why’, your chances of succeeding are far greater.
5.       Does the pain or not doing it outweigh the fear of doing it? Quite frequently people don’t take action because they’re afraid of failing, not being good enough or possibly embarrassing themselves.
6.       Can I make this a small action step only requiring a few minutes to complete?  Unfortunately, many of us use the excuse of not having the time to complete tasks we want to.  However, breaking down the action/goal into tiny, doable chunks and seeing these small actions through on a daily basis will provide the necessary momentum.
7.       When will I carve out time? This is key to your success, and it must be on your daily schedule just like brushing your teeth.  Whether it is done straight away after waking up, or during midday break, or in the evening, it must be scheduled AND be done around the same time each day.
8.       How can I hold myself accountable? Having a person or means of staying accountable is pivotal during the month.  It could be a friend, family member, co-worker that you “report” to. Accountability cultivates the environment for your new habit to grow roots and succeed.
9.       Can I give myself early small successes?  There are many ways to reward yourself for sticking to your new daily action steps. I like to have a glass jar sitting in a noticeable place in my home, and each time I complete my action step, I drop a loonie or toonie (Canadian coins) in the jar.  Once the time period is over, I buy myself something new.  Depending on your tastes, fresh flowers or a new candle, day at the spa, or a relaxing day in nature could all be rewards – whatever makes you happy and excited to do is a perfect reward.
10.   How will I make sure not to forget?  Here too, there are multiple ways of reminding yourself:  send yourself a daily reminder text, sticky notes on the fridge, computer, bathroom mirror, etc., ask a person close to you for a reminder, alarms on your phone, and the list goes on.  Try, if possible and suitable, to do this new habit first thing in the morning so that the chances of your everyday life getting in the way of your success are significantly reduced.
Okay, did your new habit pass the test? If so, then your chances of being successful are good.  If not, then you might want to re-evaluate.

Good habits are a dynamic thing.  They facilitate change one step at a time, and they help you ensure that these changes become part of your life.

Forming new habits is important as they can play a crucial role in several aspects of your life, including mental as well as physical health, productivity, relationships and self-esteem. 

It’s always advantageous to revisit your habits and assess what is serving you and your health well and which ones aren’t.  Remember that both your mental health and your physical health depend on these habits.

One final note on habits…

Setting good habits is a powerful way to achieve your goals keeping us focused and organized.  Once a good habit is etched in your brain, you’ll be much closer to reaching your goals without even thinking about it.
Today, I challenge you to commit to a new habit for 30 days, carving out the necessary time, making it a non-negotiable item on your everyday to-do list. Get the momentum going now and don’t wait until January 1 to implement it.  There will never be an optimal day to begin.  The time is now, go after it!

That’s it for today, goal getters.

In case you haven’t heard it from anyone yet today, let me be the first to tell you…

You are an amazing human with so much potential and greatness.  I believe in you. Now, go out and show the world what you are truly made of.

Thanks for tuning in and I hope to have inspired you to grow.

Til next time,



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