I once read a study that said the average person makes roughly 20,000 decisions during the course of a day. Clearly not all of these are life impacting: how much toothpaste you put on the brush, which foot hits the floor first when you get out of bed, ect. The really interesting statistic is that about 85% of these decisions we make unconsciously.
If you think about it, that makes sense. We don’t want to stress and struggle with decisions like the ones I just mentioned. Yet I wonder how many important, or life impacting decisions we might make without really thinking, because they have simply become our habits.
Think about all the times you’ve driven home from work and the minute you pull into your final parking spot you realize you have no idea how you got there? Or worse you wanted to stop off that the store or run an errand on your way home, only to end up in that exact same parking space without completing your task.
Think of everything now that you are doing or not doing as a result of these types of habits? What results and outcomes are they creating for you, are they the outcomes you are looking for?
I’ve heard it said that successful people have simply made a habit out of doing things that other people don’t like to do. I’m certain that healthy people have created these types of habits. Having a glass of water instead of a soft drink, or eating a piece of fruit instead of a candy bar. Going for a walk instead of lying around on the couch to watch a re-run of Big Bang Theory. You get the picture
If you really think about it, we are basically the sum total of all our habits and routines. The secret here is to create habits that take you places you wish to go. The question really is are your habits consciously or even unconsciously moving you closer to your goals and slowly moving your further away from them.
It all starts with awareness. Are you even aware of your habits and routines? Are you paying attention to the results they are getting for you? Or like so many, are you oblivious to how you show up in business and in life and then constantly complaining that you aren’t where you want to be?
The good news is that since you have learned all of your habits, you can unlearn them as well. One of my favorite quotes is from Alvin Toffler who simply states
“The illiterate of the future are not those who can’t read of write, but those who cannot learn a skill, unlearn it, and then relearn it again differently”
I’m sure you are aware that the hardest part of this equation is the “unlearning”
Because like so many of our habits, we been doing them now for so long that they’ve now become “the way we’ve always done it”
As a coach, some of the most valuable work I can do with my clients is help them uncover and identify their own habits and routines so they can reinforce and re-commit to all the good ones and most importantly label the unproductive ones so they can unlearn them and relearn a new one instead.
This week ask yourself
What are my personal habits and routines?
Are they taking me closer to my goals, or moving me further from them?
What are the best habits I have developed over the years? How have they impacted my business or my life?
What habits will I commit to unlearning? How have those habits contributed to my current results?
What new habits am I committed to learn? What impact will these new habits have on my business and my life?
Remember habits are extremely difficult to break so start small, and stay committed by focusing on the outcomes. Break you unproductive habits, One Quarter Turn at a Time.
Thoughts for the week:
All people are the same, only their habits differ. -Confucius
Healthy habits are learned the same way unhealthy habits are learned… Practice. -Wayne Dyer
Bad habits are are like chains that are too light to feel until they are too heavy to carry. -Warren Buffett
Your habits determine your future. -Jack Canfield
Looking forward to our next connection