How To Start An Art Business: 3 Action Steps To Do Today!

By Nicole Tinkham

How To Start An Art Business_ 3 Action Steps To Do Today!

We engage with hundred of artists on our Facebook page every week, and wanted to take a moment to brag on how amazing your work is. We are always blown away at the response we get anytime we ask to see their artwork. But we also see some frustration. Many of you have the dream of following your passion but feel stuck in a full-time job or other responsibilities where you can’t give your art your complete attention. We want to help you get there! We believe in you and your dreams. We know that you are capable of incredible things and we want you to succeed. But first you’ll have to put in some serious work. If you want to start your own art business but have no clue how to begin, here are the 3 action steps you can do TODAY to get started on your new journey.

What exactly do you want to do?

If your answer to this question is “do art” you need to dig a little deeper. Before starting any business, you must have a clear plan and vision on where you want to take it. The first thing you must do is find your niche. Many of the artists we know are so talented in many areas but we recommend narrowing it down and getting laser focused on one particular thing you do well. We say this because you need to stand out in the crowd. There are so many artists just like you trying to make a living with their art. You have something different to offer this world. Stop trying to do everything and instead do one thing really well. Do that one thing like no one else. Choose something that other people aren’t doing or if they are, put your own unique spin on it. We understand that it’s easy to think that the more variety of artwork you produce, the more people you will attract. However, if you really get focused on one type or style, you will build a strong following of supporters. Those who like your unique style will keep coming back for more and will love everything you put out there. To us, it’s more valuable to gain the trust of some loyal customers than to have many customers come and go who may not return.

Finding your niche isn’t an easy thing to do. Don’t just sit down for 5 minutes and think of something. Take plenty of time to figure out where you want your art business to go. Here are just a few action steps you can take right away to help you figure out your niche:

•    Take a look at your artist portfolio. What stands out to you? What’s your favorite piece? What did you have most fun creating? What do you get the most compliments on?

•    Ask for opinions. Let some of your artist friends take a look at your art portfolio and explain to them what you plan to do. Ask non artists as well what they like from your portfolio and also current customers. Is there a common theme of what they like? Sometimes an outsider can give you insight on where your talents lie better than you yourself can.

•    Look at the competition. What are other artists in a similar niche doing? How can you be unique and different? Why would someone rather do business with you?

Get down to business!

When starting an art business, or any business for that matter, it’s important to treat it like a business. We could be wrong but we’re going to assume that your talent lies in creating artwork, not in building a business and that’s totally ok. You don’t need to run out and get a business degree or anything like that, but having an understanding of the basic business principals is always good to know before getting started. Here are some initial things you’ll want to start thinking about now:

•    Pricing your work to sell
•    How you will market yourself
•    Managing business expenses

This may not be the fun and exciting part of your art business, but challenge yourself to learn a little about the business world each day. You can pick up a few books, listen to audio, research online, watch YouTube videos, or ask someone else to help you out with it. Never feel like you’re alone on this journey. There are so many people and resources out there to help you along. Remember that you can look up just about any question you have on Google and find an instant answer!

Grow your network

Once you get your business going you’ll need customers, right? So why not start growing your network now? Let the people already in your life know what you’re future business plans are. They may even be able to give you valuable feedback. Also begin meeting new people that you connect with that could be future customers. Start by being active in your art community and get your name out there. Have your friends spread the word of what you’re doing and be sure to have all these new contacts saved in one place. You can organize all contacts in a spreadsheet or write them down in a notebook if you’re a pen and paper kind of person. Either way is perfectly fine as long as you’re keeping track of it! You can also explore online forums and Facebook groups relating to something you’re interested in (doesn’t necessarily have to be art related). This is a great way to find like-minded people and build that relationship with them so when you do start up your business, they’ll already have an interest in buying from you.

Your homework for today is: Make a list of 100 people you already know. This could be close friends, family, your neighbor, someone from your past that you haven’t spoken to in awhile, or your hair dresser. 100 People sounds like a lot but if you really think about everyone you know, you’ll have your list created in no time. Once you have this list, it’s time to start reaching out to these people. You don’t have to jump in and tell them all about your business plan right away. Just catch up with them and see how they’re doing. If you have the chance to mention your new art business, go for it but make it sound natural.

Starting your own art business isn’t as easy as just creating art and having fun with it. We definitely think having fun and enjoying yourself is a huge part of success but there is more that goes into the business side of it. First you’ll have to figure out exactly what you want to do and determine your niche. You’ll also have to learn basic business practices or have someone help you get started. And you’ll always have to be growing your network so you constantly have new buyers. Not only will these three action steps get your art business started right but they’ll also open your eyes as to what’s involved in running your own business. Maybe you’ll discover by doing these things that an art business is just not for you and that’s perfectly fine! It’s better to find out now than later on down the road.

Do you already have your own art business? We would love to hear your story on how you got started. Feel free to share with us below in the comments!

You Don’t Have To Be Perfect! – How To Overcome The Fear Of Getting Started

By Nicole Tinkham

You Don’t Have To Be Perfect! – How To Overcome The Fear Of Getting Started

We asked (on our Facebook page) what your biggest struggle was when starting a new art project or learning a new art technique and we were blown away by how similar your answers were! So many of our artist friends responded to the question with “the fear of not being perfect”. We totally get where you’re coming from because we’ve been there too, and are still learning how to navigate fear in our lives. It’s difficult to jump into something new when you’re not sure exactly what you’re doing or how to achieve it. Not to mention how daunting that blank canvas looks when first starting. But we’re here to tell you that just getting started is more important than worrying about it being perfect. Learning as you go is part of the process! Read on for our top tips on overcoming the fear of getting started.

Determine where your fear comes from

We believe that understanding why you feel a certain way can greatly help in overcoming your fears and becoming a stronger person. So what are you really afraid of? Before you say “getting started” take some time to seriously think about this question. Are you afraid of failure? Are you afraid of what people may think of you? Are you afraid of rejection? Dig deep and figure out what is behind the fear you’re experiencing. Once you have a clear idea on what it is that’s holding you back from starting, you can work on overcoming that fear. For instance, if you’re afraid of rejection you may need to work on your confidence. If it’s failure, you need to remind yourself of the benefits of making a mistake. You will be learning along the way and mistakes mean you’re trying. That’s a good thing! In order to overcome the fear, you must start at the beginning and figure out what’s causing it.

Live in the moment

When it comes down to it, fear of getting started is really fear of the future. You must remember that the future is out of your control. You have no idea what will happen yet. You may make a mistake but then again you might nail it on the first try! You never know until you begin. It’s not only the future that you’re focusing on though. You’re probably looking at past mistakes as well. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t have the doubt that you have today. The point is, we need to stop comparing the present to the past because we can’t go back and change the past. We also can’t control what will happen in the future. So the best thing we can do is live in the moment. What does this mean for your new art project? It means you must begin today. You just have to get started. Follow your heart and have an open mind. Know that anything can happen and roll with the punches, learning as you go.

Consider the worst that could happen

Whenever you’re worried about anything in life, think about the absolute worse thing that could possibly happen. Often times it’s not as bad as what you make it out to be in your head. Maybe you have the fear of being rejected. If you are rejected, what would you do? You’d learn from it and move on. You’d push yourself to improve and do better next time. Even if it is hard to deal with, you will live! Next time fear and worry creep in, do this little exercise. Jot down the worst case scenario and determine how bad it really is. You can do this with any area of your life too, not just when starting a new project.

Just do it

Take a deep breath and just go for it. Let go of your fears and worries. Pretend this is just for fun or just practice. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Have fun with it. We believe that it’s impossible to mess art up anyway. Let us explain: either you completely hate the piece in which case you paint over it and start new, or you fall in love with the imperfections or “happy little accidents” and keep it the way it is. Either way, you can’t lose so jump all in and give it what you got!

Plan to succeed

If you’re not a jump all in, wing it kind of person that’s totally fine! There’s nothing wrong with planning for success as long as you’re moving forward and aren’t just stuck in one place or allowing yourself to move backwards. When we say “plan for success”, we mean do some research before you begin, watch tutorials, take some classes, and really get an understanding of what you plan to do. Get yourself mentally ready to take on the challenge and once you get there, then it’s time to go for it!

Embrace the imperfections

Ok so you went for it and you made a mistake, now what? Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up over it. Everyone makes mistakes so this just means you’re totally normal (or at least somewhat normal…we can’t speak for other areas of your life :)). Don’t let this be the point where you give up though. Embrace those mistakes, learn from them, and allow yourself to grow as an artist. We’ve found that there’s no better way to learn than through making mistakes. It’s also important to laugh it off, forgive yourself, and continue moving forward.

The fear of getting started in any area of your life is a challenge for sure. But at the same time, you can’t let this fear of perfection hold you back from doing amazing things. We know how talented you are (we’ve seen your work on Facebook!) and we know you can achieve whatever it is you’re setting out to do. We realize that you’re often your own biggest critic but loosen up a bit. Of course there’s always room to work on your art but don’t be so hard on yourself that the fear prevents you from doing your thing! Really understand where this fear is coming from, focus on this moment right here and right now, realize that the worse that can happen isn’t as bad as you probably make it out to be, jump right in and do it or plan to succeed, and embrace those mistakes when they happen. We believe in you and know you can do this. Even if you aren’t your biggest cheerleader at the moment, you do have a support system RIGHT HERE!!

Tell us, what are some other ways you are struggling with starting a new project or learning a new art technique? Let us know in the comments and it could be answered in our next blog post!

5 Key Things You Need To Know About Making Small Talk

By Nicole Tinkham

5 Key Things You Need To Know About Making Small Talk

Do you dread the thought of going to a wedding, party, or event because you feel awkward making small talk and rather just stay home and not talk to anyone at all? If you do feel this way, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. I feel like this quite often because a) It totally drains me and b) I have a hard time just being myself around people I don’t know well. Small talk may seem unimportant. I mean, why must you know every detail about someone else’s vacation they just had when they don’t live in the area and you’ll probably never see them again? Well for starters, research shows that those who engage in more meaningful conversations live happier more fulfilled lives. Also, as an artist you want to get your name out there. Yes, networking can be a scary thought but getting better at small talk can turn you into a more confident person. A person people want to do business with. Intrigued? Read on for the top 5 things you need to know about small talk so you don’t have any more of those awkward moments.

1.    Don’t worry!

You’ve heard it before. The thoughts you think and the things that run through your head on a daily basis become your reality. It sounds crazy, but it’s true! If you picture yourself failing miserably at every conversation and making a fool of yourself, it’s like you’re painting a picture of what will actually happen. Instead, focus on how incredible you’ll be at the even. Imagine that everyone there already loves you because let’s be real, why wouldn’t they?

Stress can be lethal. Seriously! You can lose sleep and make yourself sick over it. It’s simply not worth your time. Think about this. What is really the absolute worse that can happen in the situation? Is it really as bad as you’re making it seem? Most likely not.

2.    Approach them first

Make it your goal to say hello first. In fact, you can even turn it into a game. This will hopefully get you out of your comfort zone and eventually get you better at initiating small talk in the future. Plus you won’t be disappointed just waiting around for others to come up to you. I like to think of starting off the conversation as if you’re in control of it. You won’t be thrown off guard by someone striking up a conversation out of the blue and you set the initial tone for the conversation. Remember to smile, be friendly, and ask questions (more about that next).

3.    Continue to ask questions

Have you ever had a conversation trail off awkwardly or end abruptly? These situations just make you feel weird and at a loss of where to go with it. Be sure to always be asking questions to keep the conversation going. Avoid simple yes or no questions because you can easily find yourself stuck. A good idea is to have a go to list of open ended questions that you can ask in order to get to know someone better. Ask about their family, their occupation, and their hobbies. Remember to be interested instead of interesting. It’s all about the other person!

4.    Just be yourself

Let your hair down and be yourself! Trying to be someone you’re not can be stressful and draining. It’s just way easier to let your true self shine. People will like you for who you really are, not who you’re pretending to be. You’ll feel more comfortable in your own skin and they’ll most likely appreciate you for being genuine.

5.    Do it often

The best way to get really good at something is to practice it often. We’re all familiar with that concept when working on new art projects, right? So instead of hiding in the shadows when an event comes up, put yourself out there even if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. Actively sign up for events that you’ll have to make small talk at. Before you know it, you’ll be the life of the party.

The most important thing you need to remember when making small talk is that they’re just people like anyone else. There’s nothing special or intimidating about them. Act as if you’re talking to your best friend. Be yourself, be calm, be friendly, and be inviting. You may be wondering why even go through this torture, right? Do it to improve your people skills! Do it to meet new friends. Do it to get your name out there. You won’t die from talking to someone new so just get out there and do it. What’s the worse that can happen?
Some people are just naturally good at talking to people and others really struggle with it.

Tell us, which type of person are you? Leave a comment to let us know!

The Power Of A Success Partner And How To Find One

By Nicole Tinkham

The Power Of A Success Partner And How To Find One(1).jpg

I have always thought that I could do everything on my own and never needed anyone’s help. I can be a little picky about the way I do things and figured it was just better for me to work solo. I think a lot of people feel that way. Anyway, I did this with my weight loss journey and with other goals I had in my life and the process was really slow. I was learning along the way but I had no idea what I was doing or how to get to where I wanted to be. I also didn’t have anyone pushing me and holding me accountable along my journey. That was the biggest thing that held me back from reaching my goals much sooner. Even though I was learning along the way, I feel like there was so much wasted time that could have been spent moving forward instead of stuck where I was at. Whether your goal is to start an art business or to live a healthier lifestyle, the number one thing you need to do is take action and a success partner can help you get there. You’re probably wondering what a success partner is, how they can help you, and how you can find one. Read on to find out!

What Is A Success Partner?

A success partner isn’t necessarily someone that you have to pay for their services, like a life coach. It can be! But it doesn’t have to be. Your success partner can be a friend, another professional, a family member, or a spouse. They can be going after a similar goal or have their own unique goals. The important thing is that you have a deep understanding and connection with that person.

Your success partner is a person who understands what you want to accomplish, can help you lay out the steps needed to take in order to reach your goals, and someone who helps you stay on track and pushes you when you feel like giving up. You’ll talk with your success partner about your plans and progress as well as give feedback and advice to one another. I also find it fun to brainstorm with this person and come up with new things to try and creative strategies which help you grow personally and professionally.

You’ll want to meet with your success partner regularly, most likely weekly. When you chat with them, you should be serious and get right down to business without procrastinating. If you need to, allow 5 minutes to vent but then no more complaining! I suggest having an agenda to keep you on task. Talk about what went well in the past week, your goals from the past week, action steps to improve and new goals.

IMPORTANT! Be consistent with your meetings. This should be a professional conversation and you should always take your goals as well as your success partner’s seriously. Meet or talk at the same time each week. It can be a short meeting as long as you’re focused and efficient.

Also remember that your relationship doesn’t have to be strictly professional. You and your success partner can talk casually throughout the week, check in on each other, and just be really good friends. As your relationship grows you’ll form a strong bond and most likely, will start talking more frequently.

How Can A Success Partner Help You?

If you’re anything like I was in the beginning, you don’t think you need a success partner. You think you’re on the right track and already know exactly what you’re doing. Reality check! No matter what your goals are they’re scary. And if they don’t scare you then they’re not big enough. It’s so easy to feel completely alone when life gets difficult. There are so many times when I feel like people just don’t understand me. But my success partner always does. They’re always there for you and you’re never alone as long as you have one.

The most IMPORTANT way a success partner can help you is by you making a promise to that person. Promise your success partner that you’ll reach a specific goal by a set date. Once you do this, you will do everything you can to not let that person down. It really works!

When we set goals, we typically set ones that we know we can easily reach. A success partner will push you a step further and let you know when to set bigger goals. They are totally real with you and will honestly tell you when you need to step it up.

When you’re completely stuck on a certain problem, sometimes you just need someone to listen. But other times you need an answer or advice on how to handle a situation. That’s where your success partner comes in. That’s what they’re there for! To help you overcome the difficult times. And of course, you would do the same for them.

How To Find A Success Partner

Finding your ideal success partner is just like dating. You may not find your soul mate on the first “date”. You have to click with that person, have a strong connection, understand each other, and have a relationship where you aren’t afraid to give some tough love and really push one another. As with dating, you’ll want to chat back and forth to get to know each other a little better. You can even “date” around with a few people until you find the right fit. Remember that it goes both ways. How can you also help THEM? What will they get out of this partnership?

As far as where to find these people to “date” or start talking to, you have many options. Think about the people you already know in your life and keep in mind that this person doesn’t have to be local. You can chat virtually through email, Facebook, a phone call, or Skype. All of those things work well and if you can manage to meet up at some point, that would be awesome too. You can also check out local events to meet new people. Remember that you are just getting to know them at first so there’s no pressure! Another way to find potential success partners is through Facebook group pages. Find a topic you’re passionate about and start connecting on there.

When you’re talking to people, pay attention to where they’re at in their lives. Are they where you one day want to be? Do you look up to them? I caution getting involved with anyone who may bring you down rather than lift you up. The last thing you need is a negative success partner. You won’t go anywhere except perhaps backwards. But it’s totally ok if they’re in the same position as you. You can always move forward together.
You may find a success partnership that you really think will work out and then it just doesn’t. That’s fine! Be honest (but kind) with that person and move on. Just like with a real relationship, you don’t want to waste your time if it’s going nowhere. Don’t become discouraged, your soul mate success partner is out there somewhere and you will find them!

Many of the artists I’ve been talking to on the Keeton’s Facebook page have huge dreams and I love the uplifting and supportive artists in the community. Some are retired and focusing on their art. Some would love to quit their jobs and just create all day long. Some of them already own an art business and are super successful! No matter where you’re at as an artist or anywhere else in your life, you can benefit from having a success partner. They help you achieve things you never thought possible. They keep you focused and on track to reaching your goals. And they’re always there for you when you’re feeling totally defeated. Finding a success partner should be fun so get out there and mingle with some like-minded people! Note: When it feels right, you just know🙂

How To Choose A Blog Topic That Speaks To You

By Nicole Tinkham

blog

Something that has recently come up on our Facebook page is blogging. Many artists would love to start a blog but have no clue where to start. In our first segment on blogging, we went over how to set up your own blog in 6 simple steps. We touched on how to come up with content ideas but now it’s time to really get into it. If you’ve set up your blog and are experiencing writers block or are overwhelmed with too many ideas, we can help! Here’s how to choose a blog topic that speaks to you.

Are you being yourself?

This is YOUR BLOG! There are so many other blogs out there that readers can choose from, having similar content to your blog. Why should a reader choose yours? Be a little different and let your personality shine through. Blog about the things that interest you most. If you’re fun and laid back, don’t try to be super formal in your writing. Write in the same language you use in everyday life. This will attract more like-minded people to your blog and make it easier for you to build a relationship with those people. You also don’t have to stick to one particular topic. There are so many different branches you can go off from the main theme of your blog. Take our blog, for instance. One day we’ll blog about acrylic painting techniques, another day it’s how to be happier in your life and the next it’s about growing your art business. They’re all different yet make sense together.

Are you solving a problem?

When you do some research online and look up various blogs, what are you really searching for? Most likely you’re looking for an answer or solution to your problem. When coming up with a blog post idea, think about what other people are often asking you. What are other artists searching for online? What are YOU looking up answers to? Be a resource for other people. Be the blog they go to for incredible information! We know many artists who experiment with their artwork and try new things. This is the perfect opportunity to share what you’ve learned and your personal tips and tricks.

Are you encouraging?

So many people have a fear of simply getting started whether it be starting their own business or just beginning an art project. There is no greater feeling that being able to help change someone’s life by giving them the encouragement they need to start. Positive and uplifting blog posts have a greater impact on others than you may think. They actually have a huge impact on you as well! It’s great to be informative but we also suggest throwing in a little motivation as well. These posts don’t have to be long, just make sure they come from the heart.

Not sure if this type of post is for you? We’ve actually been sending out encouraging emails every Monday morning and have received an incredible amount of positive feedback. Sometimes what’s on your heart is exactly what someone else needs to hear at that very moment. You can sign up to receive our encouraging emails here.

What are you most passionate about?

One way to never run out of blogging ideas is to blog about the thing you’re most passionate about. What’s one thing you can’t stop thinking about? What to you talk most about to other people? What keeps you up at night? What excites you? Once you figure out exactly what you’re passionate about, the ideas will start to flow and you won’t run into trouble thinking up blog ideas. They’ll just come naturally. Sometimes your passions change and that’s totally fine. Just go with the flow and share what’s currently inspiring you.

What is your unique twist?

We mentioned the importance of being yourself but is there other ways you can stand out in the crowd? Maybe you’re better on video in which case you can turn your blog into a vlog (or video blog). Do you interview local artists? Maybe do some sort of fun post on Friday’s. You could even have wild card blogs where you throw in some of your favorite recipes among your art posts. You can showcase other artists on your blog or have a critique day. Another fun idea would be product reviews. The options are endless so get a little creative and do something totally unique!

What are some of your favorite blogs?

What made you subscribe to your favorite blogs? What do you like about them? Let these blogs be your inspiration but don’t copy them! Look at what topics interest you, the length of the blogs you like to read, and the structure of the blogs.

There seems to be a lot to think about when starting up a new blog but don’t let that overwhelm you. Don’t let this be the reason you never get started. When you find yourself completely lost, always go with your heart. What do you love to talk about? What are you passionate about? What do you have to share with the world? Be unique and be yourself – you do not have to be perfect! Choosing a blog topic that speaks to you should come easily if you keep these things in mind.

Have a blog already set up? Share a link with us in the comments below! We can’t wait to see what you’ve been blogging about!

4 Simple Steps To Staying Motivated

By Nicole Tinkham
4 Simple Steps To Staying

I’m the kind of person who never gives up. People ask me all the time how I stay so motivated and consistent and I never really know how to answer them. I’ve been reading a ton of personal development books over the past couple years so I guess all of that information has been somehow absorbed in my brain and now it just comes naturally. But I really took some time to think about how I got to where I am today. The first thing I did was set a goal for myself. I set a big goal. One goal that would make the other things I hoped and dreamed for in my life become my reality. Then I created a plan, took action, and never stopped. I have many systems that I follow to keep my life organized and on track but here are 5 simple steps to staying motivated that will help you get started.

1.    Set a goal

Write down your biggest goal and have a vision of it. Include every detail down to the places you’ll vacation when you make more money to travel or the flooring in your dream house. How does achieving your goal make you feel? You’re no longer dreaming. You are now PLANNING your future.

2.    Know your why

Next you should make a list of reasons why you want to achieve your goal. At least one thing on your list must have an emotional connection.  This is the one thing that will keep you going when you want to give up. It’s the one thing that makes it worth fighting for.

3.    Create small tasks

Now you want to take your big goal and write out all the things that must be done in order to achieve that goal. By breaking your goal down into smaller chunks, you can actually start taking action by putting these things on your daily to-do this. You’ll feel so accomplished checking those off your list every day knowing that you’re one step closer to reaching your goal.

4.    Work on yourself

When things get ugly, you have to take a step back and focus on yourself again. As we get so involved in what we’re doing to reach our goals, we can easily get lost. Things start to become more difficult and we lose our momentum. When all you want to do is give up, revisit your why. Maybe things have changed and you need to now take a different route. That’s perfectly fine. The important thing is to get your focus back. Read some personal development books or listen to some podcasts to help you gain a positive mindset moving forward.

Remember that you are not a failure when plans change. You’re just learning more about yourself and who you want to be. The time spent working on one goal just to have it morph into something else is never wasted time! The important thing is that you always continue moving forward. Things may come up in life and slow you down but never let these things hold you back.

7 Steps To Turning Bad Habits Into Good Ones

By Nicole Tinkham

7 Steps To Changing Bad Habits Into Good Ones

Whether you’re a smoker, an over-eater, or just can’t seem to keep your art room organized there’s a system that will help you break the bad habit and replace it with a good one. I’ll be honest with you up front and tell you that it won’t be easy. This will be a process, it will be difficult, and there will be times you’ll want to give up. Because you’re reading this post, I’ll assume that you’ve already made it through the hardest part, the decision to make a change. From here, you’ll want to identify your triggers to avoid slip ups, hold yourself accountable, and keep on pushing through when it gets difficult. I know you can overcome your bad habit, whatever that may be! Read on for 7 steps to turn a bad habit into a good one.

1.    Make the decision to change

The first thing you must do to break your bad habit is make the decision to change. Sometimes we have a hard time recognizing our bad habits and even when we do recognize them, we can often feel like that’s just the way things are and always will be. We know how hard changing our habits can be and how much effort we’ll have to put forth. It can seem much easier to stick with the bad habit than to change it. In my personal experience, timing is everything. If you’re not mentally ready to take this on it’s best to just wait until you are able to get your head in the game.

2.    Know what your triggers are

When you get in the habit of doing something (good or bad), there’s often a trigger that causes you to do that particular thing. It could be eating a snack when you’re bored or shopping when you’re stressed. Whenever you find yourself about to give into your bad habit, write down how you feel in that moment, what time of day it is, and what’s currently going on in your life. This should open your eyes to a pattern that will help you determine what triggers your bad habits. Once you know the cause, you can begin to make changes.

3.    Make a promise to yourself

This time will be different! You will not go back to your old ways. You will make a promise to yourself and you will keep that promise. Write it out as if you already reached your goal. Visualize yourself cutting that bad habit from your life for good. The only direction you will move is forward. Now make the promise to someone else, someone you care about and respect. There’s no better way to stay accountable than telling someone else your goals. You wouldn’t want to let them (or yourself) down, would you?

4.    Replace the bad habit with a good one

Habits aren’t all bad! There are so many different GOOD habits that can replace your bad habit. For example, you may consider exercising during your normal TV time. Remember we talked about triggers? If you continue to pick up good habits in place of bad ones, your triggers will eventually lead to the good habit and you’ll forget all about the bad habit. Give it a few weeks though; they say it takes 21 days to form a new habit.

5.    Find a success partner

A success partner or accountability partner is someone who will push you to reach your goals. They won’t take it easy on you and let you slide. Instead they’ll give you a good dose of tough love to make sure you follow through with your promise.

6.    Believe in yourself

Breaking your bad habits won’t be easy but it’s important to believe in yourself no matter how difficult it gets. The more you think you can’t achieve your goals, the more difficult they become. But if you believe that you can push through during the toughest times, then you will. Be your own cheerleader and keep your spirits high. You can overcome this!

7.    Get right back on track when you slip

Don’t be too hard on yourself when you get a little off track. In life, there will always be slip ups but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on yourself. Instead, stop and get focused on your goal. Be sure to get back on track the very next day.

I strongly believe that all 7 of these steps for turning a bad habit into a good one are essential for success. You can’t just wing it. You have to get in the right mindset, make a promise to yourself and others, find someone to hold you accountable, believe that you can do this, and never give up! As mentioned it won’t be easy so be ready to take on this huge challenge. The key is getting through it one day at a time. You will get there if you keep pushing forward!