In the beginning of every New Year, most people set goals. By February – now – they are usually forgotten.
On the other hand, habits create results.
Even micro-habits (more on this later) can completely transform your business, and your life.
For years I have been using a life-changing software app on my phone called Loop Habit Tracker. (This is an Android app, and, sadly, I do not think that it is available in the iPhone Store).
How Does Habit Tracker Work?
It is super simple, yet do not let that fool you. Simple is better for habits. Complex means you will rarely do it, or inconsistently do it.
First, you create a habit in the app.
It can be a “yes” or “no” type habit, or it can be a measurable habit.
A “yes or no” type habit is simply did I do it, “yes,” or did I fail to do it, “no.”
An example is “did I exercise?” Yes, or, no?
A measurable habit is, for example, how many kilometers did I walk today? And you track your daily results from zero to the number you walked.
Does This Really Work? Come on!
I have some habits I am tracking that I have not missed a single day in years!
It took time to develop consistency and what motivates me is the visual disappointment in seeing unchecked habits.
Habits are activities that you do, and what you do consistently over time will create the desired results.
When a person creates big goals, they can have this short-term adrenal rush of imagining the massive results that will emerge from these BIG goals.
Perhaps your goal is to get super fit in six months, so you tell yourself you will do a 90-minute intense workout every day.
Then, as usually happens, life gets in the way. You cannot find ninety minutes every day, especially on busy days. Or sick days.
On the other hand, when you start small you create the habit first! Then you add a wee bit more. See how that goes. Then a wee bit more. Soon you are habitually doing what you wanted to in the beginning.
And here is another thing to think about. The habit is much greater than short-term bursts. For instance, I read the other day that moderate exercise is healthier than intense workouts.
Consistency trumps short-term blasts.
The Secret Ingredient Is…
The key to success with habits is this – start small.
Even tiny. So tiny it seems, well, even ridiculous.
It is like Kaizen, the Japanese technique in manufacturing of constant and never-ending improvement.
Small, daily movements towards excellence creates long term results in a more measured, stressless, consistent fashion.
I recently read about a woman who now does one hundred push-ups every single day.
In the beginning of her habit creation, how many do you think she did?
Five. Just five. From there she added more and now does one hundred each day.
How Many Habits Should You Track?
This is a great question. I am glad you asked…
I only track ten.
I chose them this way:
- Do I do the habit anyway? Is it already ingrained and does not need documenting? I do not need to be reminded to brush my teeth as an example!
- Is it important to me? Will this ingrained habit change my life? An example is daily workouts. I have not missed a day in years.
Should I Stop Tracking This Habit Once It Is Engrained?
I do not stop if the habit is that important to me. For example, I know that if I stop tracking my workout, I will not do it daily. I will make excuses on busy days.
How Does This Apply in Business?
Here are the key questions to ask yourself…
- Will this habit transform my results? In other words, will this habit, done daily, over time create remarkable results for my business?
- What do I procrastinate on that is profoundly important for business success?
- Is this activity “important, yet not urgent”? Think of activities that if you do not do, nothing bad will happen in the short-term. An example would be making outbound calls. You may not lose any of your current business, yet long-term your growth might be stagnant.
To start, only track 3-4 habits. Make sure to pick the most critically important activities in your business.
Here are some simple examples to help you get started:
- One call to one Team Member per day
- One call to one client each week
- Block 90 minutes of focused time for systems work three times a week.
- Write a blog weekly.
To dive deeper into the impact of micro-habits and how life changing they can be, please read this blog:
Thank you for reading…