“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation: we not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather have these because we have acted rightly; these virtues are formed in man by doing his actions; we are we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
– Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy (1926) in reference to Aristotle
Your habits are the most important factors that will define your success. If you adopt the right habits, you will move your life closer towards your goals and the vision you have for your life and business. If you adopt lazy and unfocused habits like watching excessive Youtube or Tik Tok videos you will squander your time and see little progress.
Most successful business owners subscribe to the thinking of Aristotle that the earlier quote referenced, that we are the product of our repeated thoughts and our repeated actions. With that in mind, most goal oriented business leaders focus on improving their habits in order to improve their results.
You can make this year, your best year, by adopting empowering habits that will move you consistently toward your goals. If you can make it a habit to consistently take action each day, you can produce outstanding results.
What can you do to ensure that you achieve success? You know that you will need to adopt certain success habits. The following rules will help you ensure successful habit formation.
Plan Your Success Habits
Success habits don’t just happen by accident. They are created by design. Creating a plan will increase the chances of your successfully creating a new habit. Think of the plan like a roadmap. Include your starting point, the final goal and all the steps along the way. Don’t forget to note down potential stumbling blocks and how you will overcome them.
Many people include a vision board in their planning. This is a great way to see what your goal looks like and when placed somewhere that you will see it regularly can reinforce the goal you want to achieve.
Focus and Commitment
You must be committed to your goal of creating a new habit. If you are not committed, then the chances of succeeding in attaining it reduce dramatically. It is important to believe that you will create your new habit and to be able to see yourself doing it.
Write down a positive statement that affirms you have created your new habit.
For example, if you want to create the success habit of waking early then you could write, ‘I wake at 5.00 am every day refreshed and ready to start my day. I use my extra time to run for 20 minutes and to eat a healthy breakfast. I spend 30 minutes reading a motivational book because I know that it helps me improve my knowledge and will inspire me. Before I start my work I make sure that I plan my day and make sure that I know which tasks are important for helping me to achieve my goal.’
Self-knowledge is crucial to creating new success habits, as well as eliminating old ones.
You need to understand your strengths and weaknesses. It is important to know where you are right now, where you want to be and what needs to change. Often, this self awareness is the first step I work with my coaching clients on.
By knowing yourself you can create a growth mind-set. This ensures that you understand that action is important as by taking action you create change which leads to success.
Practice Your Success Habits
Maxwell Maltz noted that it takes 21 days to create a successful habit. Other state that habits take 30 days (or more) to become routine. Regardless of the exact day count, plan on a routine that is at least 60 days long. This means that you need to ensure that you build time into every day to practice your new habit.
To ensure that you complete the full 60 days you need to plan and you need to identify any potential stumbling points that may cause you to want to skip a day. Knowing what might interfere in your daily habit practice ensures that you can put in place plans to overcome it.
The truth is, that it will become a habit when you no longer need to think about it any longer. Remember this is really just practicing. Practicing a habit until it becomes a part of your regular routine. That is what we are after.
Positive mind-set is as key as is commitment. If you are committed to creating the new success habit and understand why it is important to your overall plans and goals then you will be more able to overcome stumbling points and ensure that you practice your new habit every day until it becomes a routine part of your daily life.
When you set out to create a new success habit you have your plan for how you are going to achieve it and what your life will look like once that happens. Don’t forget to build in a reward. Make it something that you really want and value. It doesn’t have to be big but it does have to be important to you. By planning a reward when you have created your new habit you will be more emotionally invested in creating the habit.
Write down your reward or get a picture of it and put it somewhere where you will see it every day. This will reinforce the desire to succeed and strengthen your motivation to achieve your goal.
I know, the reward should be the positive new results you are achieving as a consequence of the new empowering habit and there will be that, but I am talking about reward as a way to condition your brain to stay the course. Much like giving a dog a treat when they behave in a way that we want to see more of, will quickly train (condition) the dog to behave that way to earn the reward, your brain is wired similarly and will respond well to small celebrations and rewards.
By using the five rules above you will be creating a positive mental attitude towards creating new success habits. Don’t try to create too many new habits at once. It is simpler and more realistic to create one new habit at a time.
If you need help with this or have questions I welcome your comments below or email me directly at [email protected].
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