Time Management – Your Habits are Creating your Future
Your Habits are Creating your Future
The way your life will turn out, one year or even five years from now, is the result of an accumulation of all your current habits. Everything in our lives is governed by our habits. Starting with how you get out of bed in the morning, to how you dress, to how you speak, think and most importantly how you act or fail to act, are all governed by your habits. Your routines or habits determine how you respond to virtually every set of circumstances which crosses our path. They determine, whether you will take the daily action you need to take in order to achieve your goals, what you will think about all day, how you will respond to any challenges, which will cross your path and they drive you every day, to be disciplined or lazy.
Build Habits, Which Serve you
We all have habits, both good and bad, which you can choose to, leave the way they are. Completely beyond your conscious control or you can finally decide to start to fashion a new success habit set, which will serve you in the future. When you design a success habit set, which is aligned with what you need to help you achieve your goals and dreams, you get to carry out all the crucial goal specific activities every day, in an effortless fashion. Carrying out all the goal specific activities will feel as effortless as walking or driving your car. Neither of which requires any conscious thought at all.
Drop Bad Habits
This is where the challenge lies, when you introduce this new success habit building process into your life. You need to know where you want your life to go, identify the bad habits, which are not serving you and work to replace them with the success habits that will.
Action Idea: Get a crystal clear picture in your mind of exactly what you want to achieve in the future. Now by starting with the end in mind, identify the success habits, which will support you to achieve exactly that level of success. Secondly explore your current habits and identify the ones, which are limiting your progress. Habits like procrastination, always running late, never completing tasks, always feeling distracted, etc. are all habits, which will severely limit your success. It is worth asking the people closest to you for their input. Ask them to make a list of all the behaviours they think are limiting you?
Discovering your new Success Habits
As you know habits are not something you introduce into your life in a day. They take time to develop and require conscious effort applied daily over a period of around 66 – 90 days to become entrenched. As you are working daily to introduce any new habit into your experience, try to visualize what your life will be like when you perform that new behavior, without even having to think about it. Visualize what your life would be like, if you ate healthy meals, exercised regularly or took those goal specific actions every day. How would your world expand, if you stopped procrastinating, overcame those irrational fears, or you began to network with the right people and built real connection with them? All without any conscious thought at all.
Write Down most Productive Habits
Start by writing down the most productive habits you need to introduce into your life. Now choose only one new behaviour or habit, which you will invest the next 90 days into developing. It will obviously take daily discipline, consistent effort and dedication to perform the new behavior. After about 42 days, the new habit will start to become entrenched.
If you keep applying yourself and you ensure that you do not miss a day, without carrying out the new behaviour. After 90 days you will have a new success habit, which will serve you going forward. Yes, you will only develop one new success habit every quarter, but that equates into four new success habits a year. How will your life start to change when you have four new success habits the first year, eight the second and twelve the third etc.? Developing new success habits will not happen in a day, but over time you will be equipping yourself to achieve effortless success.
Making this work for you
The way to make this work for you, so that you can successfully introduce one new success habit into your life, every quarter, starts with you developing a unique method, which suites you and your unique set of circumstances.
These few questions as listed below, will help you with this process:
- What will you use to remind yourself to perform the new behavior each day?
- What will inspire you to carry out the new behavior each day?
Some of the ideas, which I have used with great success include.
- Writing the new behavior down on a card, which I carry with me all day
- I read the card a number of times throughout the day
- Wake up in the morning and visualize how your life will improve once you have entrenched this new success habit in your life.
- Ask someone to be your accountability partner. You can support each other to develop your new success habits.
The only way to ensure that this works is to have a clear plan of action and a method to remind you to carry out the new behaviour every day. It is also crucial that you are very clear about why you are developing the new success habit. Spell out the reason why you want to develop the new success habit, so that you will be equipped to recognise situations, which call for you to respond or perform the new behaviour.
The New Behaviour is Non Negotiable
When you are developing your new success habit, do not tempt yourself to act in any other way by making the new habit optional. For example: if your new habit is to go to bed at a specific time. Even if you are not tired, go to bed. Relax and try to switch off. Never ever compromise your new habit in any way. It will never become entrenched, unless you are consistent and disciplined.
Four New Habits a Year
The four new habits, which you are going to develop each year, may seem like nothing at first, but over time, you will begin to see remarkable improvements, in your results, as you develop more and more success habits. Developing new success habits is a long term commitment, but one that is worth every ounce of effort required to develop them.
Author: Andrew Horton Time Management South Africa