Updated: Sep 17, 2020
Hobbits are amazing creatures. Yet, they have terrible eating, smoking, and drinking habits. Well, that is according to Peter Jackson & Tolkien. I often feel we are a lot like hobbits with our habits. As we begin the year, what if instead, we work toward adopting healthier habits. I am certain hobbits also have some of these. Two contemporary authors have done significant work around habits: Charles Duhigg inThe Power of Habit and James Clear in Atomic Habits. Both authors do a fantastic job explaining the science behind habits. They identify clear steps to building new habits into our lives, while starving (no pun intended) unhealthy ones. There is no foolproof system for this, much like Frodo's journey to Mordor. However, here are a few steps to take towards developing habits that stick. I call this non-foolproof approach, S-T-A-I-R-S. Keep in mind that one key step is the "A" for Accountability. Frodo could never have reached Mordor without his friend Sam. Social support is key to this process.
Most people want to do too much too fast. Be realistic! Start with smaller habits that help you get to your desired goal.
Understand what are some of the emotional and environmental triggers that keep you from moving forward. Find ways to overcome each trigger. Also, discovery ways not to allow one bad day or one bad week to derail you completely.
Hire a coach, find a support group, or enlist a good friend to ask you how you are doing regularly. Be accountable to someone other than yourself. This is key!
Find blogs, podcasts, and books that have words to boost your enthusiasm, encourage you to get up when you fail, and give you tips on how to keep going. Connect with the people who are engaging in the same habits you want to mimic.
Give yourself rewards for moving consistently toward your new habits. We are motivated by rewards, so you may want to reward yourself weekly.
Habit stacking is one of the best ways to start a new habit. Rather than adding to your already busy schedule, stack it up with another regular habit.
These ideas are not new, but they should help you get a good start. Try adopting a new habit over the next three months. See how it goes. Tweak it along the way. AND don't forget to get support. Humans and hobbits need each other.