Changing Habits That Sabotage Your Success
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 habits which will sabotage your success as a practitioner.
Whilst you may promise a new start and set out with good intentions. Before you know it, you’re back in the old destructive cycle again and the old familiar habits have crept back in and taken over.
The habit loop
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 practicing 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 writing your newsletter?
Focus on changing one small habit at a time
Rather than trying to implement change across lots of different areas of your business and life, focus on one small habit. This 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.
Think about the rewards you will gain from your new habit. Imagine what it will mean to the success of your business. Spend time visualising it, create a vision board, do affirmations or journaling – whatever your preferred approach is to set you up for success and start to create new beliefs around it.
Become aware of your cues to 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?
By keeping your new habit simple and limiting the decisions you need to make around it, use your willpower to help keep you on track with it until you are automatically running the habit. It’s important for your reserves of willpower to limit the number of habits you work on and you are far more likely to succeed by changing one thing at a time.
Remember to celebrate each step of the way to remind yourself how much progress you are making with your new habit.
Believe you can do it
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 help you create new habits and get them working.
A couple of great books 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 need support creating new habits which will take your business forward, contact me for a chat to find out how I can help you.