5 Tips for Developing and Keeping Great Habits
about 4 days ago.
Updated about 4 days ago.
Your success relies, at least in part, on you spending your time wisely. As a successful businessperson, you no-doubt realize that time is the most precious commodity that you could possibly possess. You also know that moving to the next stage of success will only be possible if you continue to permeate your life with good habits that will help you to make the most of your time.
“Every person who has become successful has simply formed the habit of
doing things that failures dislike doing and will not do.”
Good habits are an asset that every successful person has to develop… but doing so is not always easy. Developing great habits can be challenging, especially when old habits threaten to rise up again during times of weakness. Therefore, we are exploring 5 tips for developing and keeping great habits. This list will help to remind you of what it takes to create those great habits, and it will also help you to keep from falling back into your old routines that aren't serving you.
1… Define Your Objective
Why do you want to develop a certain habit? What are you hoping to achieve by it? Before starting a new routine, it is always a good idea to figure out exactly what you hope will come of it. Are you looking to do away with a bad habit by implementing a new one? Are you looking to lose weight? Are you hoping to make more effective use of your time during the day? Figuring out exactly what you hope to accomplish will enable you to look past the difficulties that you might face.
2… Visualize Overcoming the Obstacles
Every new habit is going to be tempted with obstacles. It is important to visualize exactly what might happen that could keep you from sticking to your new habits, and to figure out beforehand how you are going to deal with them. If you are trying to effectively lose weight through better eating habits, then you are going to have to find a way to deal with how to avoid caving in when your mother sends you a box of fresh-baked cookies, or you not eating desert when your spouse regularly eats it after dinner. If you are trying to develop better workout habits, then you are going to have to plan on saying no when your friends want you to skip out on a night at the gym to watch a movie.
The truth is that good habits are not developed completely overnight. It is going to take some effort to implement them, so make sure that you can visualize a way to get through obstacles before they happen. Don't let these 'obstacles' be your excuse to not follow through on what you know you need to do in order to achieve the results you truly want.
"View each obstacle in life as a little gift. Open it and see what is inside."
- Mother Teresa
3… Stay Consistent
Most good habits take effort to implement. Researchers have not really found conclusive results on how long it actually takes to develop a particular good habit, but most of the figures point to somewhere around a month, or even a little bit longer. I believe you can change a habit in 1 second - the second you choose it is no longer acceptable for it to be the way it currently is now. While you are attempting to institute a new good habit, keep in mind that there are going to be times when it is going to get difficult. In fact, there are going to be times when you mess up. If you are trying to lose weight, you are going to break your zero carb habit at least once… but this does not mean that you have to give up.
A lot of people give up if they experience a slight weakness and break their new habits, even if it only happens once. It can be easy to lose heart. You can become disappointed and discouraged in yourself, and it is usually more difficult to continue on than it would be to fall back into your old ways. But it is EXTREMELY important that you remain consistent during this time. If you mess up, just move on and make it a point to do better tomorrow. You are not going to be perfect, because nobody is… so just do your best and make it a point to keep putting one foot in front of the other. THAT is how good habits are formed. An entire journey begins with a single step, and good habits are no different.
4… Be Accountable
One of the best ways to make sure that you stick to your new good habit is to hold yourself accountable. One way of doing this is to tell people around you about your new habit and what you want the end results to be. Tell family members, associates, colleagues… anyone who you spend a lot of time around. Good intentions don't actually produce results, so we all need a little accountability along the way. There are two great benefits to doing this…
1. By telling everyone about your new good habit, you will be more apt to stay consistent and see it through. Nobody likes to look bad, and by telling a lot of people about it, you will feel obligated to continue with it.
2. In sharing your new habits with those around you, you will be more apt to receive encouragement and praise for your good choices. This can go a long way towards helping you to feel more accomplished as you strive to implement your new routine.
5… Don’t Start Out TOO Big
When it comes to developing new habits, try to start small. Instead of cutting out ALL sweets from your diet, start with JUST cutting them out after 8pm. When this is successful, you can move on to cutting them out two days a week. Start small, or you will be more inclined to fall back into your old habits.
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."
- Benjamin Franklin
What Can I Do?
Start by sitting down and following these 5 steps to outline new and productive habits for yourself. Good habits can make you more successful by helping you to feel better about yourself, and by helping you to optimize your time… both of which are incredible advantages when it comes to moving further ahead in business and in life.
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