It has been said that it takes 21 days to create a habit – even a small one. However, according to Dr Caroline Leaf it actually takes 63 days!
The biggest challenge for all of us is to have patience, as it takes time to change an automated habit. The best way I have found to make changes is to make small, stackable changes towards the habits or outcomes I want to have or identify with.
A habit is something you do without needing to talk yourself into it. A habit is a pattern of behaviour that has become normalized to the point it takes very little effort to complete. While some habits aren’t the best to have – smoking or procrastination come to mind – those created intentionally can be very, very good. The reasons our minds love habits is because our minds & bodies are so smart, creating a habit conserves energy. WOW can you believe that??
Here, I am going to focus on your business, however, you can use the same methodology for any other habits you may want to change or adopt.
Your business benefits from developing small habits that lead to big rewards. Some tasks feel very big which can be intimidating. Breaking them down and creating small habits can help tackle big tasks and make them much easier.
Here are some simple steps to develop small habits:
Step #1: Map out what tasks you need to do. Start by spending some time mapping out what tasks you need to do on a regular basis. These might be basic tasks for bookkeeping or list building, or they could be bigger tasks that require more effort. Identifying what tasks need to be completed helps you organize your time and where your effort is going.
Step #2: Create a plan for executing the habits. Knowing what tasks need to be done and creating how they will be done are two different things. After you identify what tasks you need to do, it’s time to determine what you need to get them done. This can include doing them yourself, delegating or hiring someone to complete them, or automating them. Determine the plan for executing the tasks so you can start taking action.
Talking about automation – one of my favourite pieces of software for automation and integration between two apps is Zapier – check it out!
Step #3: Take action. Once you identify and make a plan to create a new habit, it’s time to put the pedal to the metal. Take the actions you’ve identified and experience them first-hand. You may decide to send an email each morning at 10:00 am. By taking the action, you can experience what the habit feels like and evaluate over time if it is a habit worth keeping or modifying.
Step #4: Evaluate and make changes. Not all habits work. It’s important to evaluate your tasks and the habits that you create to determine if they make sense. Some habits need to be modified and some need to be discarded. The more you practice your habits, the easier it is to see if they are best practice for your business. You may discover that a tweak here and there is all you need to optimize your habits for your business’ success.
Developing small habits leads to big rewards. Breaking tasks down and creating habits that support the tasks is a great way to streamline your work and create the success you deserve.
Above all, I love to keep it simple. Simple gets done and gets implemented. Start with one or two tasks you’d like to incorporate. I love to have my clients start with 20 minutes on a Friday of reviewing their week, thinking of their goals and putting together a to do list for the following week. That mean’s that when Monday arrives, you already know what your focus is and what you are going to work on and accomplish. Achieving what you want in life is done by intentionally thinking, creating, actioning what it is you want. It is no accident.
If you’d like my help in setting up your habits for success, let’s chat.
If you would like to read a great book on this, I highly recommend Atomic Habits by James Clear.