Great habits are difficult to create and easy to break if you don’t have the willpower to keep them as part of your everyday routine. In business, habits become one of your greatest assets because it will allow you to push through barriers and break the glass ceiling which may come about from stagnation.
Habits can be anything from remembering to floss each day to doing the “rounds” and calling business leads to spur a few sales. These items may not be on the top of our minds nor something we entirely enjoy doing but adding them to our routine, so they become a habit, has significant benefits to our personal well-being and reaching our business goals.
In the following sections, you’ll learn what it takes to build a great habit, making them stick, and how to apply them to business.
Act on this information – right now.
The Process of Habit Building
Habit building really comes down to just three steps:
1. Determine the habit you want to create based on its value
2. Begin implementing any part of it to your routine
3. Repeat it day after day until you don’t need a reminder
Perhaps the best way to explain this process is to lead with an example.
Consider you want to develop a habit out of writing at least one blog post a day.
The first part of the process would have you determining the inherent value of doing such a task – in this case it means that you can deliver content to your community and use it as a vehicle to sell products/services.
The second part would to simply begin taking action on any part of the goal. You don’t necessarily need to complete an entire blog post to turn it into a routine. You could start by writing a headline for a few days then move to writing the introduction. Eventually, through this process, you’ll feel inclined to complete larger parts of the work and this will lead you to writing the full post in due time.
You’re not overloading your routine with a big shock to the system – instead, you’re adjusting yourself to work on these items until they’re no longer forced.
Finally, it’s just a matter of repeating the process over and over again. You can reinforce your decision to build a habit by taking these actions after you’ve completed a regular routine such as right after reading a blog post by your competition or after a short chat with a business partner about blog ideas. Additionally, take the effort to reward yourself for good behavior which will reinforce your decisions.
In all, you’ll find yourself resistant to the actions in the first few weeks but eventually they’ll become just another part of your day. You will see the benefits of adding these actions to your routine in due time but just remember that it may not have significant effects in the beginning because you’ll only truly know its value once it’s done over and over again – so stick with it!
Making the Habit Stick
Building the habit is one thing – making it stick is an entirely different beast to deal with.
Here are a few bullet points to keep that habit as part of your routine:
- Use complimentary habits – Try developing habits that play off one another so by doing one you’re compelled to do the next. For example, if you wanted to floss daily than do it right after brushing your teeth. You’re already there so you might as well get it done since it only takes a few extra minutes.
- Just start – Don’t even consider making a plan to start your habit; just get started, right now. If you feel you’re in a creative, motivated mode to do one of your tasks and you have the time then just knock it down. Play off your motivation rather than scheduling it when it’s likely you may not have the same drive.
- Keep tracking it – Use some kind of visual tool that’s always in your view to track your progress with building the habit. Create some kind of reward/punishment system if you miss a day in your habit building process. Reflect on what you’ve accomplished and the value of keeping it a habit by using these visual reminders.
Other than that – have an accountability buddy which will kick your ass whenever you’re not getting it done. Use every bit of internal and external motivation to keep at it until you feel comfortable enough to drop these daily reminders – don’t slip!
Applying it to Business
What’s the point of building a great habit if it doesn’t directly influence your output (in terms of business, here)?
Building personal habits are well worth it considering it’ll allow you to become more productive and increase your happiness because you’re getting things done. Building habits that benefit your business will have a double effect because you’re not only accomplishing personal goals but these goals are adding to the business value.
Here are a few ideas for habits you could build for your business:
- Write regularly to generate organic search and social traffic
- Call businesses for 30 minutes and encourage B2B leads
- Connect with your community for an hour a day to build trust and credibility
- Send out a daily newsletter with valuable information for your readers
- Review a new product and become an affiliate to generate additional income
- Write a guest post to gain traffic and new subscribers
- Attend weekly business meet ups in your area and network with other business owners
- Take a client out to lunch once a week and use that time to gather feedback
- Wake up an hour earlier to knock down one extra item on your to-do list
- Read, take notes, and implement one new strategy from a valuable piece of information
- Use an hour of your time to work on outlier ideas to explore new opportunities in business
- Talk with a close friend or family member about your daily goals
Find out what value you could gain from examining your regular routine in business. Track your activities and seek new ways to streamline the process to free up time to work on new habits. Take your work to the next level by forcing yourself to go the extra mile in one category of your work. Reach out and keep regular contact with people to improve your ability to sell and flourish relationships.
Do it. Do it now.
What habit are you trying to create and what process do you use to make it stick?