So, what comes to mind when you think of the word “habit”? Does it have a negative connotation in your mind? Well, I think habits should be looked at in a more positive light, as a path towards reaching your goal.
How To Develop a Habit
So, how can you develop habits that will lead you to your goals? Well, I believe it’s about constructing small steps and taking them one at a time, down the path to your goal.
Now, don’t get me wrong – it’s not usually a straight path! In fact, in my experience, the path to success is riddled with twists, turns and demotivating struggles. (You can read all about my personal biggest challenge here if you’re interested).
While it came out years ago, it’s every bit as relevant today. In case you haven’t read the book, let me recap the key points for you in this post.
7 Habits (Summarized in My Own Words)
1. Be Proactive
Well, I absolutely agree with this first habit. In fact, keeping organized and on top of your goals, understanding what needs to be done and planning ahead of time are key to living the life you want.
So if you’ve ever read a motivational post on my blog, you know that I love to visualize! It’s all about keeping the end in mind (I agree with Covey!). Without the finish line in site, it’s too easy to lose focus.
Stephen Covey puts this one as “First Things First”. It’s a simple reminder that we need to prioritize and can’t do everything all at once, no matter how ambitious we are. Actually, I’ll give you a personal example. As much as I would love to take French lessons and practice the piano as much as I was last year, with all the PhD obligations, teaching and developing this blog, I’ve had to table a few (not all!) of my hobbies.
Of course, compromise is tricky. How can you meet someone halfway and get the job done? Actually, I think it is really connected to habit #5 below.
So, Covet says we should “seek to understand” before we seek to be understood, which I view as empathy. Of course, this is a heck of a lot more difficult than it sounds! In fact, actively listening to someone is difficult and requires focus. Next time you’re in the middle of a conversation, check if you are listening, or thinking about your next comment without hearing the other person speak.
Working with others not only gives you additional perspectives, but lightens your workload.
7. Work on Self Improvement
So, how can you “better yourself”? Well, that’s a tough question, as it depends on your goals. Personally, I try to choose at least new skill to work on or develop during the year. What’s your strategy? Feel free to share in the comments at the end of this post!
3 Steps To Breaking A “Bad” Habit
So, let’s go back to the negative connotation of “habit”. Obviously, a negative repeated behaviour can turn into a habit, too. Well, to be honest I think that it’s about more than “breaking” bad habits. Success is about finding new, better habits.
1. Recognize the Reason
So, why is it that you have this “bad” habit? Think about where it stems from (a lack of discipline, motivation, uncertainty in your true goals).
2 Reinforce Your Goal Plan
Next, take a look at your goal setting plan. You have one, right? If not, head on over to my free printables library and pick up one of my very first free printables! Think about how leaving your habit behind will reinforce your goal and plan. Then, head to step 3 below.
3. Find A Replacement Habit
Finally, replace that negative repeated action with something positive! Well, what would that be? Again, go back to your goal plan and find an action that will lead you in the right direction. Of course, ask friends for advice – it’s always great to work your networks!
So, what goals are you working on? Which habits are you developing? I would absolutely love to hear from you below! (I read and respond to every comment, I promise!)
Have a lovely and productive Monday!
P.S. Photography fans, the photo for today’s post (and motivational poster!) is one I took in Montreal in the summer of 2011.
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