The Power of Habits
When you look at life and you study success, there’s this quote that says, “Success leaves clues.” When you want to create anything new in your life, you want to up-level it, create something brand new, create greater health, wealth, relationships, connectivity, happiness – it’s all found in your habits.
There is research out of Duke University that says forty percent of our daily actions are habitual. At least forty percent of daily actions, we’re not even consciously thinking about. Those are not conscious decisions. They are habits. Think about this: the way you drive into the office, or you get ready, or you brush your teeth, or you make a meal, or whatever it may be, there’s lots of times once we’ve learned how to do something and it becomes habitual, our brain goes into this subconscious auto-pilot. So the majority of our influence is going to be found in what habits we’re possessing, what we’re currently creating, and what we’re doing on a regular basis. It was Aristotle who said, “Excellence is not an act, but a habit.”
So when you think about that for yourself is – when you’re creating any new result, any new outcome, is to ask yourself – what habits do I need to have in place to create that outcome? I love the simple model “habits equal results.”
HABITS = RESULTS
It’s simple. It’s easy, right? But that’s where we have to engage a little bit more with our conscious brain, to become aware. We have to say what results do I want? And then to begin with the end in mind – what outcome do I want, what result do I want, then asking ourselves – what actions, what habits do I need to be employing and creating consistently on a regular basis?
There’s this simple process I teach in my seminars and workshops called the “5% more” exercise and it is simply that. Consider, if you were to take 5% more action or more responsibility for any area of your life, what would those things be?
I’m inviting you to make changes in your life. What you’re after is sustainable change. If you’re after sustainable change, then we need to look at your habits. What I love about the “5% more” is it’s the move-the-needle mindset, it’s after sustainability. Sometimes when we’re trying to make change, we go for pie-in-the-sky, big, huge goals. What’s going to sustain over time and create consistency and therefore the outcome is what you’re doing regularly, consistently, into your life, your business, your sales, your health, your relationships. We all know that what we do every once in a while can feel great, but it’s what we do regularly that creates the outcome that we want.
So consider this for me. I want you to write down in your notes or your notebook this concept of “5% more”. And I want you to go through multiple topics. On a blank sheet of paper at the very top say, if I were to take five percent more action on my health I would … – maybe you’d say I’d go to bed by 11:00 every night. I would drink more water. Be clear and specific how much water that would look like. You might say I would meditate on a regular basis, or I might go to yoga twice a week. If you were to take five percent more action for your health, what would those simple little changes be?
And then I want you to move next to sales or business. If you own your own business or if you’re in sales in some capacity or in any area of your life or your career, if I were to take five percent more action in my careeer/job or sales, I would… –maybe you say I would follow up with five more people every single week, I would go to lunch with a member of my network, I would create that newsletter and send it out on a regular basis, I would take that management training class or read that leadership book. But just small, simple things that can help you move the needle of progress.
Same thing I want you to do in your finances, in your relationships. Relationships, I love that one. Say if I were to take five percent more responsibility or more action for the connectivity or the quality of my relationships, I would ________ (fill in the blank for yourself).
What I love about this mindset is it puts you in the driver’s seat. You’re saying I am the creator of the quality of my life. I own that my results are on me. So how do I start to move the needle? What are the small simple things that, when done regularly and repetitively, create a powerful habit that then produces the outcome that you want?
One of my favorite success quotes of all time is the Zen proverb that says, “Before enlightenment: chopping wood, carrying water. After enlightenment: chopping wood, carrying water.” So much of life’s success is found one hundred percent in those habits, or in essence chopping that wood, carrying that water. That’s true for your health, right? Your health, where you’re at today in energy level, in vitality, in weight, has everything to do with your habits. Not what we do or eat every once in a while, it’s what we’re doing regularly that’s creating that current outcome. Same thing in our business. Same thing in our marriage or close personal relationships. Ask yourself that: what one habit do I need to implement? Consider this for yourself, for this week, this month, this year, – ask of yourself “What one habit would have the most impact in my life?”
And look at each category. What habit in your health, in your business, in your home, in your relationships, would have the most influence or the most impact? I love this thought process. Some people think, “Gosh, isn’t that thinking too small?” When you’re in the business of change, and you’re saying I want to help myself or help others change anything, small consistent change that we do regularly, it now becomes a habit. Now you’re into the sweet spot of creating what you want.
Cheering you on!