Imagine you could do one thing which would bring you more success into your life straight away. Without worrying if you are in right mood or if you have enough energy or time to do it.
That would be awesome!
The way to do simple thing without even thinking about it, is to make this thing become a HABIT.
Doing things habitually is much easier. The more time you repeat the same thing again and again, the less effort you need to put in. You just simply do it without thinking.
Do you brush your teeth every morning?
I bet, yes.
It’s a habit. You don’t need to prepare for it or motivate yourself to do it. You just do it.
That’s how habits work.
How can one habit create a success?
After I finished my University I stopped with folklore dancing which I’ve been dancing since my seven years of age. I got married and started working in IT. Soon my life became boring.
I came from work and I just sat down turned the TV or PC on and was spending my time with my wife and friends.
I was satisfied with myself. I had a stable job with satisfying salary, great family and no debt.
But I didn’t have exercise in my life anymore which I was used to have 3x per week before. So you can imagine my belly started to grow.
After one summer when I saw pictures of myself I was shocked. For some people it is maybe natural to lose a good condition with more age, but for me it was alarming.
I realized that it’s time to act. I started to go to the gym soon. I found a personal trainer for me and I started to exercise.
Soon it showed up, that it is a huge change in my life.
The trainer advised me how to eat healthy. After few weeks I saw real results and I started to believe that finally it is possible to have the six-pack which I’ve dreamed about.
My overall condition improved a lot. I started to feel great and I had much more energy during the day.
The other change which I started with was learning. Firstly I started to learn about healthy nutrition. That was a comeback to my school years as after the University studies I didn’t develop myself at all. Now, I started to read many interesting blogs and books instead of watching commercial TV episodes and movies.
And that was followed by lots of other changes. These changes and habits were helping me to live better, happier, healthier life in which I gain more success in the end.
Life-changing keystone habit
There are many people who followed similar path. You can read about them in the book called “The power of good habit” by Charles Duhigg or read about it on ZenHabits.net blog by Leo Babauta.
One positive change in person’s life can be easily followed by more of them. That’s how life is more successful for them in the end.
Charles Duhigg calls this as “KEYSTONE HABIT”.
For many people the keystone habit is exercise.
People start doing a workout regularly. They eat healthy, quit smoking and start learning. They become more productive so they have more success at work or in business.
I’m sure you can look around at your friends and see that some of them are in great shape, less stressed and more successful than others.
Is it an accident?
No, it’s because they are doing things differently than others who are not so successful.
If you are not so successful as you wish, I’m sure you can change it. I believe that everybody can gain more success if the right work is put in the place.
And you can start building the success NOW!
There is the way:
- One habit at a time – choose one positive habit which you want to do. It could be an exercise, healthier food as e.g. more vegetables, it can be reading, thinking positively, etc.
- Start with small portions – when starting, always set to you a realistic goal. Such as doing one push-up. Lace your shoes for running, go out and run one block. Read 1 page of the book. You can actually do more in the end, but the required minimum has to be really small. It should follow the SMART principle – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely. So you follow a specific goal (1 page of a book) which is measurable (1 page = concrete target), is achievable (you can easily reach the target), is realistic (you don’t put target 200 pages/day) and is timely (you have to put time-frame – until when you want to be on target? Until when you want to read the 1 page? – next evening?)
- Reward yourself – the reward is important! It keeps you feeling excited about the task because after reaching the target, the sweet reward comes. It can be a piece of chocolate, a 10 minutes break for browsing the web. Something which you enjoy every time after the “hard” work.
- Predict potential problems – for example you want to to go running each morning. The potential problem is a rain, or you forget to do it because you are not used to it when you start. Write down as many potential problems and obstacles as you can.
- Find solutions for obstacles – you can buy waterproof clothes, you can set up reminder. Or put your clothes next to the bed, so you don’t forget about it.
- Accountability partner – make a public commitment. Say about the target you want to achieve to as many friends and family members as possible. Ask them for support. And have at least one person to ask you every day if you finished the task. Just to be sure you don’t forget. You’ll be proud of yourself when you reply on her/his question “YES, I’ve done it”.
- Daily review – you can track every day if you’ve done it (e.g. in a notepad or Evernote). Keep a progress logged and increase your targets with the time.
The most important thing is to enjoy the process. Enjoy it everyday and feel good about it. It has to be something you want to do.
The other important thing is not to feel bad when you miss a day. Just try to recognize the cause why you missed it, learn from it and avoid it next time. Do something which will eliminate the obstacle next time. And if possible do not miss more than one day in a row.
What’s the habit you are currently working on?
Let me know in the comments below how is it going. Share with others your success.