Episode 32: Struggling to Achieve Your Goals? Habit Audit Will Help You Get Unstuck!

You probably have a lot on your plate. Regular 9-5 job or existing business, children to take care of and spend quality time with, romantic relationships to nourish (or dating life to handle), trying to stay fit, eating healthy, finding time for yourself and your hobbies…

All this means that things are not that predictable in life and can change really quickly sometimes.

There’s so much talk about creating habits, but not that much about adjusting and updating our habits so they keep working for us.

The solution is a regular habit audit. 

In this podcast episode, I share how to do it.

Remember, I’m here for you. If you’re ready to get stuff done and make your dreams happen, click here to see how I can help you get there and if having an experienced and energetic coach by your side is your next best step.

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Transcript

Ever wondered how is it possible that despite doing your best, the tasks are too many for the time there is and you feel like you keep falling short of reaching your goals?

You’re certainly mindful of your time, but it can feel overwhelming and frustrating.

I know that feeling too. And it’s okay.

Your answer might be habit audit. Even though you’ve been trying to create the best possible habits to get you to your goals, you did not audit these habits regularly.

In this episode, Ill talk about why a regular habit audit is so important to get stuff done and achieve your goals.

I know, this is March 2024 and the beginning of the new year excitement is over, but if you want to get stuff done, be at your peak productivity and make consistent progress towards your goals, you should audit your habits regularly.

You’re in control of your habits and routines and there’s no need for you to wait for some arbitrary calendar event to get this done.

You’ve got this and in this episode, I will share with you how to do it.

Before we dive into the HOW, let’s talk about WHY.

For most of our lives, we run on autopilot, thanks to the habits we develop.

 These can be habits that are serving us – for example exercising regularly, planning our day in the morning or going to sleep around 10 pm.

However some of our habits are not actually helpful if we want to create something amazing in our lives – for example the habit of always finding reasons why not to do that important task, opting for a quick not-so-healthy snack in the middle of a busy day or staying up late watching our favourite show or the habit of constant self-critiquing

We want to make sure, we constantly review our habits, focusing on strengthening those that serve us and getting rid of those, that hold us back.

I bet you have some amazing goals and dreams…

You’ work SO hard. You’re always looking to develop better habits and find ways to be more productive. You’re certainly mindful of your time. 

And you’re doing great. But still you feel there’s more to do than there is time.

Sound familiar? (I see you out there – to be honest, ALL of us feel this way.) 

And this just feels so unfair, doesn’t it?

Talk about feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.

Helping you break free from this cycle is my secret sauce. You’re already pretty amazing, and maybe it’s time to have a guide by your side who can help you finetune even more.

So let’s dive into it!

Unfortunately, developing a good habit once is not a win for an indefinite amount of time. As a coach (and a human), I believe that real progress is not a straightforward line heading upwards. I always say this to my clients (and to myself):  real progress is more like “two steps ahead, one step back”. When it comes to this upward line, real life looks more like a series of small ups and downs progressively going up (that is if you keep up your commitment!).

If you are like me and my clients, you probably have a lot on your plate. Regular 9-5 job or existing business, children to take care of and spend quality time with, romantic relationships to nourish (or dating life to handle), trying to stay fit and healthy by exercising, spending time outdoors, eating healthy, finding time for yourself and your hobbies, working on your side projects, creating community in the place you were not born……All this means that things are not that predictable in life and can change really quickly sometimes.

The point is that one great habit you developed a few months or weeks ago might not work so well now, because so many things have been changing, yet you have not been keeping up with your habits and updating them. You’ve been running on autopilot – please, this is normal, this is why they are HABITS – something we do without thinking about it. That is why stopping from time to time and reflecting on our existing habits is so important. Otherwise we’ll keep going, even if the habits are not serving us so well anymore.

The second reason why we should review our habits is that it is quite normal that we slip from our habits, and sometimes we don’t even notice it!

I reduced my coffee to one cup a day in April last year. During the Christmas period, with all the festive breakfasts out and outings, I slacked. I started drinking about 3 cups a week, because it just felt so good to have a really good cappuccino with a breakfast that was not prepared by me or surrounded by a group of friends receiving Christmas gifts.

The second habit that I slacked in was my noon workout. My 12pm working routine was no longer working that well as my son was now at home during the school holidays, no longer coming home just after I finished my noon workout.

The third habit that I was not so happy about was … wait for it… surprise – checking my social media and inboxes too often.

It was time for habit audit! This is something we should do regularly, I would say at least once each quarter.

Here are the 2 steps that will help you to be in control – of your time, energy and GOALS.

Step no 1: Review the habits that you want to keep but haven’t been so consistent with recently, re-commit and redesign your strategies

I my case it was coffee and exercise. In the case of coffee, all I needed was to commit again. Even after the short period when I was drinking more coffee, I could feel how my body is getting used to it again and requiring it more often, causing me brain fog and terrible tiredness on the days without coffee. I committed again to drinking just one to two cups a week. I kept my same strategies – either I can have decaf cappuccino or kombucha instead of the real coffee and I go to sleep early enough, which is sometime between 10 and 11pm.

In the case of exercise, I needed a new strategy. Schools unfortunately remained closed this February due to cholera outbreak in Zambia and I felt I needed a reshuffle in my schedule. Starting the January 6th, I started working out first thing in the morning. Since then, I have been consistent 7 days a week with a few exceptions when I worked out later on in the day. For now, this new strategy is working wonderfully. Additionally, I committed to daily 1-2 minutes using the ab wheel to see where I can get from a point when I could not do even one rep.

Now, it’s time for you to get to this! Nothing is going to change for you just by listening to this podcast. If you want to see the results, you want to take action. Take out your journal and pen, and ask yourself this question?

Are there some habits that are really important to me, yet I have been slacking?

Pause the audio and write it down. After having a list of the habits, think about this:

Do I just need to re-commit? Or do I need to come-up with some new strategies?

If you need to come up with new strategies, brainstorm what they might be and how you will implement them.

Let’s move on to the second step.

Step no 2. What are the new habits you want to adopt?

The end of year period was a learning period too. Committing to social media detox created such great feelings for me, that I couldn’t help but think: how can I bring this into my daily life even when the festive period is over?

To be honest, being on social media and being way too fast in responding to my messages is something I have been trying to work on for a while. The end of last year reminded me again how my life can be different, in a good way, if I get this tackled.

So I decided to adopt this new habit:

–          Responding to email and messages just once a day (except for my accountability clients who check-in with my once or twice a day!)

I’m not there yet, but I keep working on this. Some of the strategies I use is: creating “responding messages” as a task in my to-do list, having post-it reminders, 98% of my notifications on the phone are off and switching off my WhatsApp browser app.

Even if I have not achieved my goal with this yet, I already improved as I am being much more intentional about this and I’m committed to getting there.

The second habit I decided to adopt stemmed from another experience during Christmas. Me and my son went to visit for a second time a chimpanzee orphanage located in the middle of the bush about 3 hours away from where we live. We enjoy the chimps, but what we love most about it is being in amazing Zambian nature, spending time on strolls, finding beautiful flowers and mushrooms, enjoying the fresh air. This reminded me how much important is nature to me and how I miss going to a park or a forest.

I decided to create a new Friday afternoon routine: I finish my work a bit earlier on Fridays and we go to the university campus – the only place that remotely looks like a park where we can spend 1-2 hours walking and enjoying a bit of nature and fresh air.

I made sure I adjusted my booking calendar on Fridays so my schedule is free after 4 pm. This is something we both love, so executing this new habit was so far very easy.

Take your journal again and think about this now: Are there some new habits that I want to adopt?

Additional questions that can help you to think more about this are:

  • What is missing in my life right now?
  • What do I need more of in my life?
  • What do I need to get rid off?

Journal and include strategies, that will make these new habits easier for you to implement. Think of the challenges and try to pre-empt them by already thinking what you will do if x,y,z happens.

Start small, one, two or three habits are perfectly fine. Tackle them one by one. When it comes to habits, it needs commitment, strategy and time. Don’t overwhelm yourself with making a wish list of 10 habits and starting to implement them all at once.

It doesn’t matter it is March already. You don’t have to wait for next end of year to set your resolution and do this. You can do it right now – in fact, you should NOT be waiting for some external date, you want to do this regularly.

 I hope this was super helpful and you are doing your habit audit right now! Reach out to me on IG or via email to let me know – Id love to hear.

Having the winning habits is one of the puzzle pieces you want to have if you want to achieve your amazing goals. I dive into this and the four remaining pieces with my clients in my exclusive get stuff done blueprint. I know this is not easy and I see this podcast episode as the first initial impulse for you to start looking into this. Creating new habits (and getting rid of the old ones) is not an easy or quick process and I dive much deeper on this with my clients to get the set up for success.

And if you’re ready and take this one step further, so you nail your habits and put all the puzzle pieces together so you make sure, you dreams are not just dreams, but a reality, let’s get on a call and have a conversation about what you need and if my “Get stuff done blueprint” is the right strategy for you. Your goals matter, lets beat overwhelm and distraction together!