I love studying discipline and would consider myself a student of the topic. Not quite an expert, but I would say I’m on a journey.
What are habits and why do we always talk about new ones? It’s not just a New Year’s resolution. I hear on a weekly basis with family, friends, clients and team members those dreaded words; I should, we should, it would be a good idea, etc. I find myself cringe every time I hear these, because I know, for the vast majority of them, there will be little to no action towards the areas that the individuals desire growth.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the individuals saying these words, in fact these are the people I love the most. I would also put myself in this group from time to time as well. So why do we say these things? Why is it that nothing ever changes?
In my research I was surprised with the definition of the word “Habit.” Habit is a noun and it says nothing about starting something new that is positive. Instead, it says it’s usually something you have trouble stopping from doing. My exact observation with these individuals I was referring too. It’s not that they are incapable of the actual act of the new habit, but they have no time in the day to start these new activities.
4 tips to break old habits and start new ones for good.
- Decide What Habits You Will Stop
-There is not one person I know that could say they have too much time on their hands. There are plenty, however, that if they set a goal of what not to do in the areas of non-productivity, they would surprise themselves. If you’re in sales, how much time do you spend on revenue generating activities? If you’re in management, how much time to you spend working on and building your team? If you’re an entrepreneur, how much time do you spend creating and refining your vision and building relationships that support these?
- Make a List of New Habits
-Create a list of new habits that support these areas and write them out. Be specific. It needs to be something that you can track and measure. Don’t get bogged down on this, but make it fun and tie them to your “why” in life and business.
- Take an Inventory of Your Time and Schedule New Habits
-Take time and look back on the last 3 months on your calendar. Now replace that time you spend on those old habits with your new ones, and time block them where it’s appropriate. I’ve always scheduled the first things first and I like to have the bulk of my day in motion early so it spills to energy and creativity for the remaining. You may be a morning person or night owl so build this to your schedule and personality.
- Communicate to Accountability Partner With a deadline
-The last part may seem simple, but it’s the most important of them all. If you don’t communicate your new habits and verbally tell someone, then they will be just another “wish” or “I should” that you’ve said thousands of times before. Tell someone you respect, trust, and love that you want them to ask you how you’re doing from time to time about this new habit. Make this an accountability partner and even see if there are areas you can hold them accountable to anchor the relationship even more. Communicate “why” you are doing this and share your vision so they can know how important it is for you.