It's rare to get that “A-Ha!” moment that changes your life. I just finished reading “The Power of Habit” and I swear, this is one of those moments.
First of all, this book is for anyone who wants to improve their life — you don't have to be an entrepreneur. I stumbled upon this book by borrowing it from my public library (go audio books!) and I then went ahead and purchased it myself.
This book is written in 3 parts: the first talks about the science of habit and how the power of habit can change your life as an individual; the second speaks to organizational habits (from individuals influencing organizational culture); and the third speaks to societal habits. One person can start a new trend that can influence everyone for the better. Crazy, right?
Your habits form in your brain — but they aren't stored in the same place as your memories. There was a story of a man who had an illness which effected his short-term memory. This man lost years of memories and could only remember the past 20 seconds. I won't give away the fascinating story, but the punch line is that he could not tell researchers where the bathroom was in his new house (the family moved to be near his doctors) — but he went to the right spot when he had to go. His wife had started a habit of taking a walk with him every day. She lost him one day — but then found him back at home. He had not remembered going out, but the evidence of his walk was there; he had collected pinecones.
One Habit Leads To Another
The cool thing is also that the small habits that you start to form start to automatically change other areas of your life without you knowing it. There have been studies that show that individuals who start working out on a regular basis automatically start to eat healthier without even knowing it. It seems like good habits cause a chain reaction!
The Power of Habit does a great job in helping you start a new habit or change one you already have. It has PDFs that you can download as a handy visual guide to help you. So not only can you understand what habits can do for you, you have a practical way to take action immediately!
Habits Can Change Your Life
There are so many other portions and great stories of the book, but I thought I'd focus instead on how this book has helped me improve my life and business so far.
I have an app for my iPhone (available for Android too) called Toodledo. For now, I am only using the free version, but I love it so much that I am definitely upgrading (for a ridiculously small fee, mind you!). It is a To-Do List on Steroids. I bring it up because they have a “habits” section. The free version lets you record up to 5 habits (and honestly — you don't want to focus on changing or creating too many of them at one time). Once you set your habits, every day you check of when you have completed it (the end of the day to check that you “haven't” done something — like not smoke). I started out with 2 habits and have increased it to 4 so far. I will remove a habit when I feel it is so automatic I don't even think about it — but I want to give myself more than the 90 days that is suggested it takes to really have a habit sink in (21 days to establish).
One of my challenges was my Daily Mode of Operation — the daily income producing activities that you must do to grow your business. And doing these things really IS a habit! Instead of creating a million tasks that I have to complete every day, I started with a few — and they are either in the habits or the to-do list section. Incidentally, you can set a task to repeat daily, weekly, or whatever schedule you want. Tip: I set my tasks to repeat on “completion” — so if I miss a day, or week (LOL), when I complete it, the tasks resets to the next time I need to do it in the future (the next day for a daily task, next week for weekly, etc).
Instead of overwhelming yourself with having to do too much at a time, start with a few tasks and get consistent — your “consistency” muscle will grow and then, as those tasks become ingrained in your daily routine, you can add others. Actively doing this on a regular basis will massively change your life.
By the way, you can do this with your personal life as well. How you handle your health, finances, and household will most definitely affect your business! Start making small changes in those areas as well. And watch your life change before your very eyes.
It should be no secret by now that I highly recommend the Power of Habit. Read it, but most importantly, implement it.
To Your Victory,
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