Start Small and Build Momentum to Make a Habit Stick | Personal Productivity 101

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“Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.”
~ Shaquille ONeal

We’re talking habits this month.

If you missed the first post in the series, Change Your Habits: 30 Days to a more Productive and Successful Life, I recommend you start there and come back.

Changing a habit is difficult. Let’s face it; you have done certain things in a certain way for probably most of your life. Trying to change those patterns is not an easy task, but it can be done. The success rate is much higher if you don’t try to tackle too much at once, otherwise you are just setting yourself up for failure. This is one of the main reasons that New Year’s resolutions don’t have a good success rate. We attempt grand, life altering changes, often several at once.

Choose one habit – Focus on changing one thing at a time. You can add another change later once you have mastered this one.

Keep it simple – I will exercise 5X per week is good. I will train for a marathon time next month is a goal and an ambitious one, not a habit. I will make 5 sales calls every morning before I check email is good. I will increase sales by 30 % = goal.

Start small – The smaller the better. It’s better to start with a small change and build on that. Wake up 15 minutes earlier, not 2 hours. Exercise for 20 minutes, not run 5 miles. Try slowly cutting back on email checking – 5X per day, then 4X, then 3X…..

Cement it – Write down what habit you are going to change. Documenting helps to solidify and cement the intention in your brain. Put it on your calendar, either electronic or paper. Schedule time for it!

Have you chosen you habit yet?

Click here to read more on creating and sticking with new habits.

Photo credit: Legozilla