Do you have any bad habits? I only ask to emphasize a point and that is that when you think about habits it always seems to be the bad ones that people focus upon. You know the sought of thing – Smoking; Drinking too much alcohol; Eating too much; Biting your nails – there are so many and it’s so easy to spend your time worrying about how to break them. If you are trying to break your bad habits then with the right approach you will.
But habits are important and one of the key factors that link successful people is that they use them as a part of their routine. However their focus is always upon positive habits that are related to achieving their goals. Developing good habits is essential to your happiness and success!
You should understand that getting the right balance in your life will greatly boost your chances of getting the life you want. A good way to focus on this aspect is to consider five key areas of your life – Job, Career, or Business; Finances; Fun and Leisure; Health and Fitness; Relationships – and have goals attached to each of them. And a great way of ensuring you make progress towards those goals each day is to create daily habits that are focused upon them.
For example taking regular exercise is vital to both your physical and mental health. So making it a daily habit will ensure that you benefit – I have a daily habit of taking 30 minutes exercise even though sometimes that simply means taking a brisk walk to the village shops and back.
Consider also that in both your business and social life managing your time effectively will make you far more efficient and so boost your prospects of achieving your goals. There are many habits that you can develop in this respect but one I use is to only check my emails three times a day – once as my first task when I start work in the morning; then early afternoon; and again as one of the last things I do before I finish work in the early evening.
So what good habits can you develop? Once you start to think about it I’m sure you will come up with a lot, probably too many. And therein lies a problem, because trying to focus on creating lots of good habits all at once is never going to work. Very soon you will become disheartened and drift back to your old ways.
So try using this approach instead:
– First of all think about and write down a list of all the habits you already have. As previously suggested it will probably be any bad ones that will come to mind initially but as you think about it more then you will be pleasantly surprised about how many positive things you already do each day. This should convince you of the real benefit of creating good habits.
– Then consider the goals you have set for the key areas of your life and identify the sorts of actions you will need to take to attain them.
– Next think hard to identify regular practices that will help you to perform those actions and consider how creating a daily habit to support them can be achieved. Try to think of two or three for each goal and list them. But don’t make them too complicated or demanding because you would soon tire of trying to establish them, keep them simple and enjoyable.
– Now focus on what you want to achieve as a priority and identify one or two of the habits on the list you just created that will most benefit you in doing so. These are the habits you must develop first.
– Spend the next twenty to thirty days doing what you have identified. Very soon you will find that it does become a habit and you will start to do it almost without thinking about it. A good way to ensure you succeed is to use a journal or diary to list it as a task each day and then to mark it off as completed once you have done it.
– Once you are sure that you have an established this habit, move on to the next one on the list you created and repeat the process.
This may take a bit of thought and persistence initially but very soon you will begin to see real benefits by creating good habits in your life. Then you can get back to eliminating the bad ones!
This article was written by Tony Hall who runs his own business dedicated to helping individuals develop their personal and business skills. You can learn more about how to develop your own life skills and get your complimentary copy of “The Process of Success” by signing up for his weekly newsletter at: http://www.selfimprovementskills.com/newsletter.html