I recently wrote a bog entry called “Do It Now” which addressed the issue of procrastination. Some time ago I wrote another bog entry called “Habits – Tools for Success” which suggested that in the same way that we can have bad habits, which are hard to fix, we can create good habits which become our “norm”.
I want to build on those blog entries because I think they could actually be the basis for any success that people have, both in their personal and in the professional lives.
Let me give you some examples …
1. If you adopt the mindset that you will start work a half hour earlier and leave a half hour later then that becomes your norm and you don’t think about it again.
After reading that statement you might think … why would I do that? or I don’t get paid to work longer hours; or maybe you will think how could I use that extra hour for my own career goals?
If you can create a habit that meets your own goals then you are more likely to keep it up. In this case the reality is that the better you do your job the more personal satisfaction you will get AND you are building for the future. It is just a side benefit that your employer gets a more productive employee … and hopefully that leads to rewards for you too!
2. If you decide to devote some time to charitable work and build it into your schedule then it becomes your norm.
3. If you decide to add exercise to your life then you need to build it into your life until it becomes the norm.
You can decide to do anything you like … add further education, take dance lessons, wash your car weekly etc. … but in order to make them habits you need to build them into your routine.
It is always easy to find excuses NOT to do things, but if they become habits then you will find it easier to keep them going.
Here are a couple of tips:
Make them tangible. eg. Having a cleaner house is not a habit, but cleaning the house every Saturday morning from 10 till Noon is a habit (or getting a cleaning service to do it for you)!
Don’t think about it … just do it.
Make sure you REALLY WANT this new habit.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew … start slowly and build.
What good habit could you start NOW … not tomorrow, not Monday, not next month because procrastination is not a habit you want to build on!