Changing Bad Habits That Stop You Finding Clients
Our lives are run by our habits – they affect us as individuals, across groups and cultures. The ability to run habits automatically reduces the number of decisions we need to make. Unfortunately, there are some bad habits that sabotage your ability to find clients.
Whilst you may promise yourself a new start and set out with good intentions. You’re going to follow up on old clients or the enquiries you’ve had. Before you know it, old familiar habits creep back in and take over. They are comfortable, and you don’t have to think about them, they just run.
The habit loop
As described in ‘The Power of Habit’ by Charles Duhigg, habits are formed in a loop. They start with a cue which informs the brain which habits to use. The routine is the behaviour, and the reward is what you get from the habit.
To create a new habit, you need to crave the outcome. By practising the habit enough, you start to anticipate the reward which creates the craving. The final stage of creating a new habit is the belief that change is possible. This belief is the key to getting the habit to stick when the going gets tough.
Identify your sabotaging habits
What habits do you have that are stopping you from achieving the success you want in your business? Do you find yourself procrastinating over certain tasks? Are you easily side-tracked by social media when you should be doing personal outreach?
Make a list of the habits you notice playing out throughout your day that is getting in your way of finding clients.
Focus on changing one small habit at a time
Don’t try and change everything at once or it will be like New Years Resolutions that are soon forgotten. Focus on changing one small habit at a time.
From your list of habits that you want to change, which one will make the biggest positive impact on your business? Start with that as it will in turn positively affect others that are connected – it’s the butterfly effect.
Set yourself up for success
Decide what habit you want to change and make a commitment to yourself. Write a simple plan of action for your new habit and how it will work. What is the routine you need to adopt in order to get the results you want?
Think about the rewards you will gain from your new habit. Imagine what it will mean to the success of your business. Spend time imagining it, create a vision or Pinterest board, do affirmations or journaling – whatever your preferred approach is to set you up for success and start to create the craving for it and setting up the new belief that you can do this.
Become aware of your cues for your sabotaging habit – this will help you change what happens next in the loop. What occurred just before the routine started? Is it a certain time of day? Is it starting a new activity? What initiates the habit you want to change?
By keeping your new habit simple and limiting the decisions you need to make around it, use your willpower to keep you on track until you’re automatically running the habit.
We don’t have an endless supply of willpower. It’s important for your reserves of willpower to limit the number of habits you work on. You are far more likely to succeed by changing one habit at a time.
Having a plan of action will take the decision making out of maintaining the new habit and avoid you depleting your willpower unnecessarily. A brilliant book on this topic is ‘Willpower’ by Roy F, Baumeister and John Tierney
Believe you can do it
Celebrate each step of the way to remind yourself how much progress you are making with your new habit. This will help to keep you motivated and reinforce your belief you can do this.
Surround yourself with people who believe in you and will support you to implement your new habit. This can be a peer group, a mastermind, a business buddy or a coach. Have people on your side who will support you to create new habits and get them working.
The books I recommend if you want to dig deeper into making your habits and willpower work for you are:
- ‘The Power of Habit’ by Charles Duhigg
- ‘Willpower’ by Roy F, Baumeister and John Tierney
If you’re struggling with habits that are stopping you from finding clients, book a discovery call with me and find out how I can help you.
Podcast 53 show notes:
- (02:22) The habit loop
- (03:50) Identify your sabotaging habits
- (04:48) Focus on changing one small habit at a time
- (05:48) Set yourself up for success
- (06:51) Awareness
- (07:42) Employ willpower
- (09:23) Believe you can do it