“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
You’ve probably seen this quote from Gandhi before… I love it because it’s so simple and yet so profoundly true.
The fact is, you are an accumulation of your habits.
From how you get out of bed, how you shower, how you dress, how you walk, sit, and talk, how you respond to the world, how you act in front of others, and how you think – your habits determine how you move through world.
And this isn’t a bad thing.
Habits are necessary.
They free up your mind so you can concentrate on how to survive day to day. You don’t have to think about how to drive your car so you can be on the lookout for danger while you are driving. You don’t have to think about how to walk so you can concentrate on where you’re going.
However, habits can also keep you locked in self-destructive patterns that will limit your success.
Whatever habits you have established up to this point are producing your current level of results. More than likely, if you want to create higher levels of success, you are going to need to drop some of your habits.
For example, if you’re always late and frequently forget to return phone calls or emails in a timely fashion, you inconvenience others and run the risk of lowering their opinion of you and missing out on valuable opportunities.
If you spend every Friday night out drinking with your friends, or sharing a bottle of wine with your partner at home, that’s going to affect how you feel on Saturday morning – and how much you’re going to be able to accomplish that day.
If you’re always buying things you don’t really need on credit and avoiding getting your finances in order, then you’re never going to be able to pull yourself out of debt and create the abundant life you desire.
So, if there’s something you want to accomplish in life that requires you to start performing at a higher level, I strongly encourage you to drop these bad habits that aren’t serving you – and develop new ones that are more in alignment with the life you want to live.
What habits are keeping you from achieving your goals?
I encourage you to be really honest with yourself here and ask yourself:
Are you always running late?
Do you forget to return phone calls within 24 hours?
Do you stay up late and never get enough sleep?
Do you often break promises to your friends and family?
Do you resist planning out your day?
Do you spend money you don’t have?
Do you avoid putting important tasks and events in your calendar?
Do you drink alcohol more than once a week – and do you have more than two drinks per day?
Imagine what your life would be like if all your habits were their productive counterparts!
What would your life be like if you ate healthy meals, exercised and got enough sleep?
What if you saved your money, stopped using credit cards, and paid cash for everything?
What if you stopped procrastinating, overcame your fears, and began networking with people in your field?
What if you created a detailed annual plan for success – then chunked it down into monthly, weekly, and daily plans to ensure you stayed on track to achieving your goals?
Would your life be different? I bet it would!
There are two steps for changing your habits:
The first step is to make a list of all the habits that keep you unproductive or might negatively impact your future. Ask others to help you. Also, review the list of some of the most common unsuccessful habits in Chapter 34 of The Success Principles.
The second step is to choose better, more productive success habits and develop a system that will help support them.
Here are a few of hits for making sure you follow through on your commitments on your new habits:
Put up signs to remind you to follow through on the new behavior. (I use this one a lot!)
Stay focused on your new habit with an Accountability Partner. Check in with your partner for 5 minutes daily, or at least once a week to make sure you’re on track. Consider creating consequences for not keeping to your new habit. Perhaps $50+ for each offence to a charity, or other cause you care about. Make the amount high enough so it’s painful to pony up the funds!
Perhaps the most powerful ways to stay on track is to follow the “no exceptions rule.”
Remember, your habits can catapult you forward – or hold you back. People don’t suddenly start living their perfect life overnight… their habits play a large part in making it possible for them to create the lives they truly want to live.
You can choose to develop habits that point you in the direction of creating your ideal life – or habits that keep you anchored to your current situation.
Make the decision. Make the commitment. Then watch your new life unfold.
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