I recently started reading Darren Hardy's "The Compound Effect". This book is all about taking small actions, making positive changes, and creating good habits consistently that will compound into big things over time. On the flip side, there's the case where you're making small actions (or inactions) that are taking you in the opposite direction. So many of us get stuck there... and end up stagnant in our work, at home, in relationships, you name it. If you're feeling stuck, its time to make some changes, and my new 5-week online Bootcamp may be just the thing you need to get started. The fact of the matter is, most of us are not EXACTLY where we want to be, although maybe we're on our way. A big part of the equation is crowding out the bad habits with good ones.
Darren provides the following 6 Techniques for Creating Good Habits:
1. Set Yourself Up to Succeed
This is probably the easiest place to get stuck - not setting yourself up to succeed.
"Any good habit has to work inside your life and lifestyle."
What is it that you're trying to accomplish and what in your life is holding you back? If you're trying to eat healthy, but that 3 pm sugar craving has you running for the vending machine, stock up with some healthy snacks, instead. If you want to work out more often, but find yourself exhausted at the end of the day, get up a half hour earlier and get a quick workout in (trust me, this WORKS!).
2. Think Addition, Not Subtraction
Instead of focusing on the negative, the things you're giving up, the things you can't have, turn your focus toward the things you can have. I have a friend who, within the last year, completely changed her diet due to a medical condition. Instead of wallowing in the fact that she couldn't enjoy some of her favorite foods, she opted to focus her energy on creating healthier versions of those meals and savoring every delicious morsel.
3. Go for a PDA: Public Display of Accountability
I think we can all acknowledge that staying accountable just to ourselves is pretty darn tough. We're too easy on ourselves. Find a bigger, broader way to be accountable - whether it's sharing on social media, telling your friends and family, or hanging up a big ol' sign in your cubicle at work (this is one of Darren's best examples).
4. Find a Success Buddy
Take accountability to the next level by pairing up with someone who has similar goals and can keep you on point. Agree to meet regularly (phone, email, skype, whatever works) to hold each other accountable, share successes, failures, and aha's, and keep each other pushing further and further forward.
5. Competition & Camaraderie
Let's be honest, we all love a little friendly competition. I mean, who doesn't love winning? So, if you're working towards creating a new habit, loop in some other people with the same objectives and make a game of it. You'd be surprised how much faster and harder you'll push just to beat out Kelly from HR.
It can be easy to get wrapped up in work, or in unconscious, unproductive zoning to combat hard work (case in point, a few months ago I posted about my embarrassing addiction to TV. It's an action I have been working to consciously change and with Darren's tips, I'm making serious strides), but the healthier way to deal is to celebrate each success.
"You've got to find little rewards to give yourself every month, every week, every day - even something small to acknowledge that you've held yourself to a new behavior."
Change is hard and celebration is absolutely deserved, so let your hair down and enjoy it once in awhile!
I strongly encourage you to pick up this book. It's affordable, short, relatable, AND actionable, and I can almost guarantee that you'll be inspired to make positive changes in your life.
For me, I'm focusing more on my time management. I actually consider myself to be pretty darn good at managing my time, with everything I've got going on, but I know I can be doing even better. Now, I want to hear from YOU, what positive habit do you want to create in your life?