What goals are really important to you? What are you doing today to help you achieve those goals? Your success is directly related to your deeply rooted habits! What you do, consistently and naturally, translates into how well you will succeed. And sometimes it is just committing to One Thing.
So, it’s time to strengthen this key to success! Make sure you have good behaviors in place and then turn those behaviors into habits.
Habits are automatic behaviors. They become automatic because they have been performed routinely in the past. Habits occur regularly without thought. But it has to become a habit first. And that takes time…66 days to be precise!
Think about the steps you can start to take to reach your goals. Determine what good behaviors you have in place and then commit to make them a habit.
Try these steps to make good behaviors great habits:
- Start small! Sounds like a cop-out, right? Actually, setting easily attainable goals is proven to be more productive in creating habits than big actions. Want to eat healthy? Cut out dessert or add a salad to your dinner. Drastic changes can cause quick burnout.
- Add your behavior to an already set sequence in your day. You already check your email first thing when you get into the office. Now, add deleting junk and responding right away to that time period. Any time you have a chain of behaviors that are already habits, it’s easier to add a new one to the end of chain. Then your new habit becomes automatic!My friend Andrea really wanted to get in shape. But she hated the gym and did not know where to start. So, every day when she got her mail, she would walk around her block. After a month, she started walking further. A year later, she was running 2 miles a day. Now? She just ran her first marathon! She started small, adding her new habit to something she already did (getting her mail), at the same time every day, and it turned into her new passion!
- Change your environment. You might need to change your environment in order to give yourself new environmental cues. Want new techniques in your office? Try moving everything around or reorganizing your desk. This can become a new trigger for new habits. It also can remove the temptation of bad ones.
- Consistency. Try to keep the same routine, at the same time, every day. The environment, time of day and other routines will all help to establish a new habit in your life. Want to read more? Set a book by your phone charger. When you plug it in at night, pick up your book and read a page.
- Surround yourself with people who inspire you. Find people whose habits line up with the kind of habit you want to have and spend more time with them. You become like the people you spend time with. Choose wisely! When I was trying to get in shape for the 60-mile breast cancer walk, I quit going for coffee and happy hours and asked people join me on a walk. Ever had a walking meeting? Try it!
- Go easy on yourself! You might fail the first time around. And the second. If it is an important habit for you, try again! Also, be willing to re-evaluate. Maybe after a month of trying a daily habit you realize it isn’t ideal for you or for the stage of life where you find yourself. Time literally prevents you from meeting with five potential new clients each week or working out for an hour every day. Re-assess and set a new goal to achieve, but don’t let discouragement stop you from establishing your new habit.
Creating good habits is hard! But you can do it! Whatever is important to you, however you spend your time, what you think about, these all determine who you are. So, keep focused and let your new habits pave the road to your success!