The New Year is fast approaching when millions of us around the world will be looking to make our New Year’s resolutions. If you are not one of those who have given up all together on making yearly resolutions because they just haven’t been able to follow through on the previous ones, you’ve probably started thinking about the bad habits you need to break and the good ones to develop in the New Year.
If you are ready to influence your future for the better, here are the three action-steps to cultivating and sustaining your new success habits in the New Year and beyond:
Step 1: Make a List of all Your Negative Habits
Write down any bad habit that is currently keeping you unproductive or may be affecting your future negatively. One way to identify hidden negative habits is to ask people who are close to you to objectively point them out. Of course, ask them to be nice and constructive in their comments. Above all, you must take full responsibility and be sincere with yourself in identifying negative behavioral patterns that may be limiting your progress; from your health and relationships to your income and job.
Check your list against the following poor habits and see if you can add one or two to your own list:
- Arriving late for appointments and meetings
- Talking over others when you are supposed to be listening
- Choosing work over family time
- Eager to start a new task as a way of avoiding several other unfinished tasks
- Not returning phone calls
- Always making sarcastic comments
- Over-dependence on alcohol
- Eating junk food everyday
- Watching too much TV.
- Staying up too late to watching television
- Not doing enough exercise
- Not being thankful enough for what you currently have and for the favors others have done for you
Step 2: Make a List of All the Positive Habits You Intend to Develop in the New Year
After you have identified all your negative habits, the next step is to resolve to cultivate positive habits. Now, take a few moments to make a list of all the positive habits that you intend to adopt. They can even be a direct opposite of all your negative habits already listed. It is up to you to decide this.
Step 3: Create a System that Will Help Establish Your New Success Habits
The third step is to create a system that will help you turn your new success disciplines into habits. You see, we are creatures of habits, not discipline. Discipline is the gap between your intention and its physical reality. In other words, discipline is a bridge upon which mere intentions are transported into corresponding physical manifestations.
Positive discipline gives birth to positive habit, but not without perspiration and persistence. Positive discipline is the persistent positive actions until a positive habit is formed. This explains why many people don’t seem to do well in cultivating and sustaining success disciplines. They often come with pains and require endurance.
This is why you must create a system to help you maintain the required discipline until a positive habit is born. For example, if your new success habit is to get up every morning and exercise for 30 minutes, one system you may put in place is to ban yourself from watching late night movies and go to bed an hour or two earlier and ensure your alarm is set.
Likewise, if your new positive habit is to free up your weekend from working in order to spend quality time with your family, then what system can you put in place to make your goal possible and sustainable? What will you start doing more effectively during the week? What low-priority activities can you stop spending too much time on during your working week? What high-priority task can you start doing more of? What time-wasting indulgences can you start doing less of or stop doing completely? Simply sit down and create a system that will necessitate the accomplishment of your new set of positive goals. Then keep up with the discipline until your desired success habits are born.
How to Sustain Your New Success Habits
The key here is to make sure that you do not bite more than you can chew regarding your goal setting. I recommend that you prioritize developing not more than two new success habits a year. This will not only help you to sustain your disciplines but also enable you to transmute your intentions into physical reality. If you have too many goals, chances are you will be overwhelmed by them all.
However, If you use the above three steps to develop just two habits a year, this means that in 5 years you will have 10 success habits firmly rooted in your subconscious mind. Like poor habits, great habits pay and pay in abundance. It’s the compound effects of the rewards of great daily habits that eventually shape a great destiny. A successful life is built one great habit at a time.
Here a few tips to help you make your two new success habits a reality:
- Select two new success habits to work on in the New Year.
- Work on the first habit for the first 6 months and use the remaining six months to master the second habit. This will ensure that you do not get overwhelmed. Psychologists tell us that through diligence and consistency, we can build a new habit every 13 weeks. As you can see, you have more than enough time to fully cultivate each success habit. Therefore, there is no pressure at all.
- Put up signs on your refrigerator or mirror to remind you to follow through on your daily disciplines.
- Become accountable to someone. Tell someone what you are trying to achieve and ask them to keep you accountable. This is particularly very effective. Better still, if you can find someone who is also working on developing a new success habit, agree to hold each other accountable. Ensure you check on each other once a week to see if you are both staying on track.
Hope this has been useful to you. Please like it, share it and leave your thoughts or comments. Thanks!