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If you want your habits to stick, you’ve got to make them easier.

Too often, we make things too complicated. We think we have to jump through a certain amount of hoops when we don’t.

Are you wondering why your new habit or process you’re trying to build isn’t sticking?  Maybe it’s because you’ve overcomplicated it.

Picture something as simple as wanting to wake up earlier.

The process of waking up early is a chore for many of us. We aren’t morning people. I could sleep until noon as a child, so getting into the routine of getting up at 5:00 AM was a challenge.

I tried a number of nighttime and morning routines to help me become a morning person but do you want to know what ultimately helped me the most?

I put the alarm clock across the room. 

My phone wasn’t right next to me where I could just reach over and hit snooze or turn it off. I set up my environment to make it easier to get up.

Here’s the best part…

If you put your phone across the room, you can put your workout clothes and running shoes right next to it.

Even though you’re tired, if you’re already up turning off the alarm, and your clothes right there, you’re much more likely to just put them on and go. You may still be tired, but you’ve set yourself up for success by starting that day easier.

If your goal is to eat healthier, make it easier on yourself.

Maybe there’s a time of day you instinctively go to the pantry and start snacking.  You know you’re going to do it, so make sure the snacks available are healthy options and puts you in a better position.

If you know you’d choose chips or a low-calorie popcorn, don’t even buy the chips.

If we want to build successful habits, we have to make it easier on ourselves.

Do you want to start going to the gym before work?  

Find a gym or location that’s between your house and your work.

If it’s on the way, you’re much more likely to stop and do it. If you have to go out of the way, you’ve made it harder on yourself and you’re not going to stick with it.

Do you want to start journaling?

Leave a small journal on your desk and know that before you turn on or open your computer, you have to write three bullet points (or even just three words) about:

  • How you’re feeling.
  • What you’re thinking.
  • What you’re grateful for.

Once you start building a habit, then you can make it more complicated. The trick is to not make it complicated at the beginning because you’ll never stick with it.

So ask yourself today:

  • What habit am I trying to build?
  • Is there an easier way to do it?
  • Is there an easier way that I can set myself up for success?

This is not about shortcuts, hacks, or cheating the process. This is about making the process more simplified so you can be more successful at it.

Don’t overcomplicate what you want to get built. Make it easier to get it done.

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