I’m getting older.

I can tell, because I’m wearing slippers more often.

The greying hair, creaky knees and constant reminders from my children are indicators as well, but it’s the slippers that seal it for me.

As I wore in another new pair recently, it occurred to me that our habits are a lot like slippers and they go through similar stages.

They take a while to wear in – Just like new slippers, new habits always feel a bit uncomfortable at first.

Whether it’s a new golf club grip, a more positive mindset or a new leadership skill that you’re trying to develop, during the first few days it can be tempting to go back to your old habits.

Just as it takes a while to get used to new pair of slippers, it takes about 21 days for a new habit to settle in, so make sure that you through the initial period of being uncomfortable so that you reap the benefits of your new behaviour.

Then they fit perfectly – There’s nothing more comfortable than a snug pair of slippers and when you have settled into a new routine, it can seem as though you’ve done it forever.

During this stage, you are able to cash in on the full benefits of your habits as they become easier for you.  You have less mental resistance and have started to train your brain and body to act in certain ways, enabling you to increase your effectiveness.

This is a very positive time and you will wonder how you ever managed before your new habits settled in.

They need to be replaced – Just as all slippers need to be replaced, so too do most habits pass their use by date.

When a habit becomes too comfortable, they lose many of their benefits and your level of personal development slows.

I would challenge anyone not to settle into a routine for too long, but to keep finding new ways to grow and develop, and increase your impact as a result.

If you have a new habit that you’re trying to develop, which stage are you in?

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