Sticking to Your New Habits
"Consistency is more important than perfection"
We're a week into the new year and some of you are still going strong on those New Year's resolutions, while some of you have already waved the white flag.
Wherever you are is okay. Today's a new opportunity to begin again.
If you want to have a better chance of reaching your goals in 2020, I suggest the following:
1) Think of reaching a goal as the bi-product of a successful system
a) Losing 10 pounds is the bi product of eating healthy and exercising daily.
b) Growing your business is the bi product of having more sales calls and reviewing your ads.
c) Learning a new language is the bi product of practicing for 15 minutes a day
2) Follow the 4 Laws of Behavior Change
(as put forth by NYT bestselling author, James Clear, in his book Atomic Habits)
1) Make the action obvious
2) Make the action attractive
3) Make the action easy
4) Make the action satisfying
The Four Laws of Behavior Change
1) Make it Obvious
How can you make starting the desired behavior obvious?
If you want to eat more fruit, put the fruit in a bowl on the table where you'll see it every day.
If you want to learn the guitar, put the guitar in your living room where you'll see it every day.
If you want to reach out to more potential clients, choose a specific number that you want to reach out to every day and then create a system where you can visibly see yourself working towards that number every day.
The point here is you want your desired habit to have a trigger that is so easy to spot that it basically slaps you in the face every day.
2) Make it Attractive
How can you make the desired behavior an attractive proposition?
A) Temptation Bundling
If you don't want to make cold calls, but you love coffee, don't allow yourself to have coffee until you've made your cold calls.
If you don't want to do pushups, but you like being clean, don't allow yourself to take a shower each morning until you do your pushups.
B) Join community of people who value that behavior
If you can't seem to go run on your own, join a local running club and join others who value running to use their enthusiasm as the wind in your sail.
C) Motivation ritual
Do something you love right before your new habit.
If you don't want to make cold calls, eat a small portion of your favorite snack just before.
There's an endless amount of ways to make something more attractive. If you don't think your new habit looks exciting or enticing, find a way to spruce it up or you'll never follow through with it.
3) Make it Easy
How can you reduce the mental burden of starting the desired behavior?
If you want to do 100 pushups each day, start with 1 and add 1 more to each successive day.
If you want to reach out to potential clients, start with reaching out to 1 person a day.
If you want to write a book, commit to writing for just 10 minutes a day.
The point here is to find a way to be successful with as little barrier to entry as possible, because building the habit muscle and creating momentum is what we're really after.
4) Make it Satisfying
How can you make the desired behavior a positive experience?
If you want to run more often, listen to audio books while you run (if you like audio books, or your favorite music if you prefer music, or eat your favorite healthy meal after every run, etc.)
If you want to engage more meaningfully with your team, take them out for coffee (if you love coffee) or on a walk (if you love walking outside), etc.
The point here is to make the habit you're likely to avoid doing appear more satisfying and thus increase the likelihood that you actually do it.
Whether or not you reach your goals this year is ultimately a bi product of whether or not your habits support them.
If you don't have a habit of networking with new people each week, don't be surprised when you don't have as many new clients as you'd like at the end of the year.
If you don't have a habit of healthy eating or moving your body, don't be surprised when you're not in the shape you'd prefer at the end of the year.
"Don't be surprised by the results you don't get from the action you didn't take."
You can do this!
You are the creator of your destiny!
What habits can you put in place that will support your actualization this year?
Ps: if you want the template I use to effectively plan out my year each year, reply to this email with "2020 Plan"
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit"
Here's to you Actualizing Your Potential!
Founder and CEO @ STRIVENT
"Actualize your Potential!"