Episode 1: Create & Break Habits • Cat Morley

FiloCat is a new podcast series where I’ll be teaching you how to get organised, save time for doing fun things and hopefully achieve some of your big life goals and dreams.

Each short episode will be designed to teach you a simple new skill to either save some time, get organised, do things a little more efficiently or build up the confidence to go for your dreams. To go along with the podcast, we’ll also be building up a FiloCat handbook with sheets to remind you of the skills we’re learning and helpful charts, pictures and exercises.

Episode 1: Create & Break Habits

We've all got habits, both good and bad and some entirely inconsequential. They're part of our routines and every day life and they come and go without us even realising. One awesome thing you might not realise it just how easy it can be to create a new habit and in this episode of FiloCat, we'll be breaking down how to create a new habit in to simple steps so you can get started creating your first one this month without even realising it.

Step 1. Write a habit list

Before we do anything else, let’s write a list for all the habits you'd like to start and the bad ones you want to break and then every time you get an annoying feeling or thought like "I really need to drink more water" or "I'd like to learn French one day" or "I just wish I could stop leaving my clothes on the floor" - add it to your Habit List. You don't have to do a single other thing about any of these thoughts right now - in fact, it’s best, you don't - just add them to your list. I bet you'll feel instantly better and maybe even a little bit motivated to take one of them on!

If you're struggling for inspiration, you can always ask your friends what they're good and bad habits are and which news ones they’d like to have. If you’re feeling brave, ask what habits they think you should make or break but be careful it doesn’t lead to a huge fight.

Step 2. Pick a habit

Start easy - really really easy. Creating a new habit is a actually just a habit in itself and will be a big enough achievement without having to take on one of life’s tough challenges at the same time. Give yourself a free pass to go easy and pick something simple and fun for the first month like "take a photo of your pet cat every morning" or "drink a calming herbal tea before bed" - something you can do every day which won't make a huge difference to your life but is easy to measure and tick off, so you can know when you’re done.

Step 3. Set a reminder

Once you’ve got a habit in mind, decide when the best time of day to do it or at least check in and see if you’ve completed it would be. You might need to give yourself 15 extra minutes in the morning to chase down your cat and have him pose for a photo, or take a trip to the pet store to find him some adequate props - make sure there are no obstacles that might get in the way when you’re ready to start. If it’s something like drink hot tea before bed, the time and place are pretty self explanatory and you probably don’t need much else to remind you but in most cases, setting an alarm or reminder on your phone to do / check off your habit for that day should come in really hand.

Step 4. Repeat for 30 days

The magic about repeating a simple task for 30 days is that it’ll become second nature to you and a habit you do without even thinking about. Ready to give it a go? Grab that cat or brew that teabag and take it one day at a time. 30 days tends to be the optimum amount for most people but don’t feel bad about giving yourself a little longer if it hasn’t kicked in by the end of the month.

Step 5. Tick off your habit calendar

You can print out a Habit Sheet for your Filofax or you’re welcome to track your progress however you like - from a streak focused app on your phone, to a dry erase calendar on the wall, to magnets for the fridge - whatever will work best for you. Just promise yourself that you’ll make sure to tick it off at the end of everyday so you don’t break your 30 day streak.

Step 6. Reward yourself

The most important step of all is to reward yourself for your hard work and dedication. It can be something big or small, or something you’ve been looking for an excuse to get yourself. Writing up a wish list of all the lovely things you’d like to have is also great motivation when it comes to starting your next habit.

FiloCat Pages for Episode One

Here are the print-outs for episode one with a round-up of the key points, a habit calendar, a habit list and wish list. Just print them out, fold in half vertically, cut around the dashed line, punch holes along the open edge and pop in your Filofax. These pages are designed for a Personal sized Filofax so let me know if you'd like them in any other sizes and I can make them too.