The individual who wants to reach the top in business must appreciate the might and force of habit. He must be quick to break those habits that can break him – and hasten to adopt those practices that will become the habits that will help him the success he desires – J.Paul Getty(One of the richest man in the world during 1950s)
All successful leaders understood habits deliver results!
Today psychology & neuro science research clearly points out that 90% of our behaviours are habitual. Nearly 90%, right from the time we get up from bed in the morning until the time we retire back to bed, there are hundreds of things we do the same way every day.
Good news is that habits help free up the mind while your body is automatic. So you don’t have to spend that extra energy in paying complete attention. Bad news is that you become locked into an unconscious behavioural pattern which can inhibit your growth and success.
But we as human beings have the power of choice & will to exercise any habit.
One thing I have learned in my life is that creating new habits is like the power of compound habit interest. It is like the power of investing in SIP Mutual fund for 10-20 years, which accumulates continuously and gives you a huge return on investment.
It sounds really obvious when you say it, but if you do something small repeatedly, the benefits accrue greatly over time. It’s obvious, but not everyone puts it into practice.
All of us know this and you may also know the importance of getting up early, doing yoga/meditation, stretching/walking, healthy eating, decluttering the desk/house, writing, saving money etc etc.
Knowing is not Doing, Doing is Knowing.
Let me share with you a simple step by step plan to create a successful habit.
Come up with a plan – Take 1 week to analyze your behaviors, pick a trigger, plan out how youll overcome your obstacles, pick the time of day you’ll implement habit, plan who your support network will be, and decide what your motivations are.
Pick only ONE small, positive habit , just 5 minutes to start with. You will expand it later, but start as small as possible. This is extremely important. If you can do the first week without missing a day, you can increase it to 10 minutes, then 15 minutes the third week, etc.
Mentally Rehearse your positive habit – Mind cannot be controlled. It has to be tricked. You have to mentally rehearse the new habit once you get up in the morning. If possible, more the mental rehearsal, more is the success.
Do the habit immediately after the next 4-6 weeks– Build in reminders. Try never to skip it. The more consistent you are, the stronger the habit.
Build in positive feedback – Focus on enjoyment, make it a game, create competition, do it with a partner or group if possible.
Report daily to a social group (blog, Twitter, Facebook, email, or friends at work), use them for support when things get difficult. When you feel like not doing the habit, have one or more people you can call on for help.
Test, Adjust, Iterate Immediately – When you start a habit change, you are testing an approach, and it is very possible it will fail & this is good information, and you should use it to adjust your approach, and retry as soon as possible.
A few warnings:
Don’t worry about doing a lot of it. As you repeat this new habit, don’t worry about growing it. Thats a good way to fail. Most people fail because they try to do too much too quickly.
Don’t worry about missing a day or two. This is another reason people fail, they miss a day or two, then just give up. If you miss a day or two or three, just start again. It doesn’t have to be a big deal.
Don’t do a bunch at a time. Do one per week at the most. One per month is even better.
Habits deliver Success, Happiness, Health & Wealth! Good luck on your new empowering habits in your life!