What’s almost more important than picking and implementing a few new habits is figuring out the best way to life a well-designed life every day. If you make setting yourself up for success a daily habit, you’ll be a lot more likely to stick to the practices you’ve chosen, no matter the habits you incorporate into your life!
Here are five ways to set yourself up for success every single day:
At Day Designer, we’re all about helping you live a well-designed life — and that’s a life that only you can design. While we’ve shared some of our favorite habits to incorporate throughout the day, only you know the habits that would make each day successful to you.
Take a look at the habits we’ve shared in our previous posts, or come up with a few new ones that are wholly unique to you and the life you’re trying to design. Which habits would make you feel successful at the end of every day, every week, every month, or even this year?
Success is completely subjective, so try to get clear on what it looks like for you, and choose the habits that will help you get there.
A habit, by definition, only becomes routine when you do it consistently — and, at least in the beginning, this often means every single day.
Remember that it might feel weird or even challenging to incorporate a new activity into your daily routine, but by doing it consistently it will start to feel normal; it will start to feel like part of your life. And that’s the goal here! Practicing a habit every single day is what helps you move past the challenging phase and into making an activity just part of your daily routine.
Try not to stop when you’ve done it every day for a week or even a month, though. The goal is to make this habit routine, remember? This isn’t a short-term solution for temporary success. This is about creating and actually living the life that you’ve designed, and long-term consistency is what will cement that habit in your subconscious mind as a regular part of your everyday life.
Set Your Schedule
Research shows that people who make a plan for their new habit — identifying where and when they’ll perform the habit each day — are more likely to stick to their new practice. And it makes sense: It’s a lot easier to practice your new habit when you know that you’re going to do it every single day at 7am, after you’ve woken up and started brewing a fresh pot of coffee.
If you tell yourself that you’re too busy today and you’ll just try tomorrow, it’s a lot easier to let the general routines and responsibilities of life get in the way . . . every day. You might find yourself falling into bed at the end of the day, wondering where the day went and why you still haven’t stuck with your new habit.
Pick a time and a place to perform your new habit every day, and then write it down in your Day Designer every day. By giving the habit a space in your calendar the same way that you would an appointment or a meeting or any other to-do, you’re also giving it designated and important space in your life.
Track Your Habit
In his book Atomic Habits, author James Clear says that a habit tracker is one of the best ways to ensure you stick with good habits every day because progress — and in particular, visual progress — is so satisfying.
You can use your Day Designer to track each day that you complete the daily habits that will most contribute to your definition of success. Mark each day with an X, a checkmark, or even a fun sticker to visually track the progress that you’ve made, and watch the commitment that you’ve made to yourself and your life continue to grow.
Eventually, your progress will be so significant that you won’t want to break “the chain,” even on your busiest days. Actually seeing the progress that you’ve made is a daily reminder of how far you’ve come, and is often the only motivation you need to keep up the good work!
Give Yourself a Reward
James Clear calls this the Cardinal Rule of Behavior Change: “What is immediately rewarded is repeated. What is immediately punished is avoided.”
Use this rule to your benefit as you work to make your daily habits into automatic routines. Especially in the beginning, it’s important to reward your brain for creating a new neural pathway; a new way of moving and behaving in the world.
It may seem silly and childish, but it’s the way all of our human brains work, adolescent or not: We repeat what we’ve been rewarded for. And besides, after all of the hard work you’ve done to build and strengthen new habits, you deserve something special! While living the life of your dreams may ultimately be its own reward, you’re doing the work to intentionally design and live that way now . . . and that’s worth celebrating too.
Whether you’re following along with some of our favorite habits or you’re looking to incorporate some new good habits of your own, it helps to make setting yourself up for success a daily habit first.
Which of our tips will you be following to help set yourself up for success every day? Let us know in the comments below!