We’re back from our little detour to celebrate my book launch with a giveaway, (open until 4/24) and it’s time to carry on with productivity from A-to-Z! It’s April 9th, and that means H, which was inspired by this lovely wallpaper, courtesy of my friend, Belinda Witzenhausen:
H is for Habit
When it comes to using your time wisely, the next best thing besides planning to work well is planning to work consistently.
James Clear has a terrific article on Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelias’ thoughts on the value of habit. If you click over to his site, you’ll also be asked if Clear can send you his “Transform Your Habits” ebook. #win
But how do you develop a habit?
Ask Yourself: What do I want to accomplish?
Identify your goal. Be specific. Your goal should have a deadline and a measurable finish line. Say you want to run two miles every morning before starting your day. It isn’t enough to just say that. In order to make this a habit, you have to dig deeper.
A more specific goal would be: I want to run two miles every day by Thanksgiving. Now you have a measurable distance goal and a deadline.
Ask yourself: Why do I want this?
One of the biggest parts of getting things done is identifying why you want to do this. It’s a question that requires you to go deep. Identify what motivates you to do this thing.
Your reasons for your goal could be about your health, self-esteem, finances, spirituality, could be about validation, seeing a dream to fruition, trying something new, experiencing something you’ve always wanted, putting yourself out there, or reeling yourself back in… Whatever your reasons, it’s worth taking time to identify and write down all the things that motivate you toward your goal. Then, when you get to the saggy parts and you want to quit, you can revisit your goal sheet and re-read your “why”.
Step One: Start Small
Once you know what you want and why you want it, you’re ready to get started. But don’t go gangbusters, man. As we addressed on B day, if you’re about to embark on building a new habit, take it slow! If you wake up tomorrow and bust out a two mile run, it’s likely going to be rather painful and potentially harmful to you. It might be wiser to start off with a one-mile speed walk, or a shorter run on day one.
Build up to it. Enjoy it. Remember why you’re there. And take it slow… baby steps, my friends. Baby steps.
Step Two: Plan Ahead
Anything worth achieving is worth doing to the best of your ability, and so proper planning is in order. Identify next steps for each goal. Write them down. Respect your goals. Respect yourself. Plan Ahead. If you plan to start walking tomorrow before you start your day, then your plan could be as simple as:
- Set out walking clothes and shoes the night before
- Set the alarm to wake up 15 minutes early
- Fill water bottle and chill in the fridge
Step Three: Implement
- Wake up, get dressed, and go!
- Repeat tomorrow.
Good work habits don’t happen because you will them to. Good work habits develop through intention, which is driven by motivation. So, figure out what you want to do, why you want to do it, and make it happen!
Have you sat with your goals yet and made a plan?