During lockdown we’ve heard a million warnings about developing bad habits.

Burning the candle at both ends, over-working, eating the wrong thing, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising enough, the list goes on.

We don’t hear quite so much about the flip side of the coin though.

There are many people out there who have used these unprecedented times as a chance to reflect on what’s important to them, and as a result have created new and positive habits.

I had the privilege of taking part in a webinar with US-based TEDx speaker Joshua Spodek who says healthy daily habits create success. But most importantly of all, he acknowledges that the real challenge is getting started.

Let’s face it, most of us know what we SHOULD be doing or COULD be doing. But giving ourselves a kick and getting on with it is another challenge entirely.

So I love that Spodek takes the time to remind us habits are behavioural and guides us how to actually begin. He advises us to think of the emotions we want to feel and choose the habits that bring us those emotional rewards, making us more likely to stick to them.

It’s important to remember that aiming high doesn’t necessarily mean you need to take any giant leaps. Baby steps are perfect.

Often, when people think about their long term goals, they feel overwhelmed by what they want to achieve and this can put them off even trying.

Instead, focus on what’s achievable right now and, in the wise words of Nike, just do it. By simply beginning you’ve won half the battle.

I learned this all too well when I decided to start running. I couldn’t cover any great distance so I aimed to run for one full minute until I could do it with ease.

I upped it to five minutes, then ten, and although it took a whole year I eventually found myself able to run 10k. Fast forward five years and I managed to complete the London Marathon.

To be honest, I never dreamt I’d ever run a marathon - the challenge seemed too great, but as it turned out running for a minute at a time was perfectly doable. That mindset was the key to my success.

The baby-steps approach takes me back to another of Spodek’s sensible and practical tips, and that is committing to doing something every single day, even if it’s just a small thing. In his case it was blogging, burpees and even cold showers.

It wasn’t the first time I’d heard about the power of a cold shower, with claims it can increase feel-good chemicals, burn fat, improve sleep and much more, so I gave it a go myself. I added it to other daily habits I’ve committed to, which include yoga and meditation.

None of these things take very long but for me the impact has been incredible, from physical benefits like eradicating back pain to psychological benefits like boosting my motivation – setting me up for a highly productive working day.

Why not pick a once-a-day habit of your own and see if you can reap the benefits, whether in your personal and /or professional life?

If you’re looking for examples pop onto Google and search “every day for a year” and you’ll find plenty.

One of my favourites is David Delahunty’s commitment to come up with ‘five ideas every day for a year’ which has resulted in an e-book of 1825 ideas. There are flashes of genius in there mixed with some side-splittingly funny ideas making it well worth a look.

Who knows, maybe one of his ideas will even spark inspiration for your new habit.

Laura Gordon is a CEO coach and group chair with Vistage International, a global leadership development network for CEOs.