Life is all about habit formation, which makes you what you are.
I do this; I do that. It’s time to develop those habits that will change the way you live and the way you work. These habits are important. They help you build your self-confidence, and put you on track to achieve your goals.
1. Focus on today and don’t give energy to yesterday
Habits are habits because they are rooted in deep-seated human experiences.
Humans are creatures of habit. Most people have certain things they do over and over again, and they forget the value of growing in those experiences.
Consequently, we are often caught in the “here and now.” We care less about yesterday, and what happened in the past.
In the book The Power of Habit, the authors talked about the importance of habit formation.
“As you seek to form new habits, as you pay more and more attention to the present moment, it becomes easier and easier to let go of things you do now that no longer serve you.”
On the other hand, the book emphasizes the importance of knowing what habits work and what don’t.
You need to learn to recognize the difference between habits that work for you and habits that don’t.
A few weeks ago, I read a book that reinforced this theme. The book is called 30 Days to a Better Memory. You may want to read it if you’re looking to change habits.
Everyday, from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, we are making decisions.
These decisions will form habits.
You need to make a habit out of breaking habits.
I like to define the following rule of thumb:
Decide today that you are going to take three action steps towards achieving the goal.
Once you take these steps, you are in the habit.
If you go back on your decision, then the third action step will also be forgotten.
If you made a mistake and keep on making it, you will be left in the state of a person who forgets what they’re doing.
The good news is, you don’t need to write your goals in stone.
You need to make the first decision, but after that you can keep on modifying them to match your needs.
Remember: there is no time for you to settle for “I don’t know.” This is where your habit formation comes in.
2. Set important goals with the right context
I’m a huge fan of goal setting.
Setting goals are extremely important, but often we miss a few things.
Often, when we start setting goals, we forget that we should define the context.
For example, you can set a goal to learn how to play the piano. This is a great goal, but it’s not always going to work out because you might have the opportunity to learn to play a different instrument first.
You might not have the opportunity to start with the piano, but if you learn how to play drums, you will be able to practice more effectively and more often.
The context is extremely important when you are setting goals.
So, if you know your context, and you know why you’re setting goals, then you will more likely be successful.
For example, if you are an entrepreneur, it’s unlikely you are going to make it as a concert pianist.
But, in the context of setting a goal to grow your business, there are two benefits.
First, if you are learning how to manage your business, you’ll be learning the habit of taking actions.
Second, in order to improve your skills, you need to be more consistent.
So, in the context of setting goals, there are multiple benefits.
Third, even though you can learn anything, it is also good to have a specific goal.
Here are some examples:
If you want to learn to speak French, it makes sense to have a goal to learn French French words, French sentences, French grammar, French writing, etc.
Set goals in order to make a change.
But, if you don’t know where to start, then you might not have the ability to achieve a goal.
It’s good to have an idea in your mind of what you want to achieve.
I recommend starting with a small goal.
If you want to learn how to sing, then consider learning how to sing one song from a list.
The purpose of setting small goals is to take action.
In the context of learning how to learn something, you want to make sure you take action.
Many students never reach their goals. This is because they set goals too big.
It’s very likely that the number of daily actions they need to take is too high.
Some people go with the “routine” method, and the number of steps they need to take is too small.
The problem with this is they won’t be consistent, and they won’t take action, even though they can do it.
It’s also a trap that if you get caught in, you’ll never learn how to do it.
The “routine” method is also very likely to lead you to a different course of action.
And when you get a few things wrong, you’ll be unable to move forward.
Instead, set small goals that help you take action.
You will also want to set yourself up for success.
For example, if you are taking a year of language, you’ll want to develop a routine that will help you do better, such as listening to language podcasts, practicing by reading, and studying vocabulary.
With the small goal, you will be able to take action on a regular basis.
Set goals in order to improve your skills.
Finally, keep an eye on your long-term goals, especially your dreams and your ideas.
Many students focus on learning to speak French.
If you want to know how to speak French, and the context is not a necessity, then learning to speak another language might be a better goal.
Learning to play the piano is a great goal, and this will help you in the long term, but if you set that goal before you know the context, it will be very difficult to reach.
Step #4: Share
When you reach your goal, then you want to share it with someone else.
You want to let people know that you’ve achieved your goal.
It can help you stick to your goal, it can provide support, and it can provide ideas.
So, share it with others.
Have a plan.
I recommend to have a plan.
I recommend you write down your goal, and draw a picture of it.
Then, read it every single day.
It will help you form habits, set goals, and keep you accountable.
It will also help you when you are trying to achieve your goal.
“We think through things better when we have a plan.”
Step #5: Improve
As you become more successful at your goal, you want to get better.
You want to become better at achieving your goal.
The secret to getting better is by doing more.
When you set a goal, you should create a habit.
And, the habit will get stronger, and get easier.
It’s like practicing with your piano:
Most people never practice their piano.
Most people wait for a magical moment where their “Practice makes perfect” attitude kicks in.
It’s a waste of time.
Practice is practice.
It’s not a “natural talent.”
But, the more you practice the more you improve.
And you need to do more practice, because more practice will make you better.
For example, if you practice writing 10 words every day, you will become better at writing 10 words.
You might still struggle, but in time, you will become better at it.
Of course, there is a limit to this, but it is your choice how much you want to practice.
Try and do your best.
In most cases, you can just practice something daily.
You don’t have to make it your New Year’s resolution.
Do you know the secret to being an expert at something?
It’s the one key to being an expert.
This means that you need to practice constantly.
And it’s the only way that you can do this.
You can read everything on the internet, but if you don’t do it, you won’t improve.
So, keep practicing.
Step #6: Speak
And the final step is to speak.
“The aim of life is to be happy.”
The secret to becoming more successful and happy is to learn to speak.
The most powerful weapon against stress and anxiety is speaking, and listening.
If you speak, you connect with others.
If you listen, you get new ideas.
The way to overcome a problem is to ask a friend.
The way to solve a problem is to consult with experts.
When you are stressed, then you don’t know what to do.
So, you become more and more stressed.
But, if you speak, you can get better.
Your ideas become clearer.
You are able to speak, because you are speaking to others.
And you do this by finding people to speak to.
No matter how much you speak, you will get better.
The more you speak, the more you will get better at speaking.
This is what happened with me.
I was very shy, and I never spoke.
But, I learned to speak, and the more I spoke, the better I became.
In fact, I made the decision to speak up in my first job.
I spoke up when I disagreed with my boss.
I spoke up when I was asked to do something I did not feel comfortable doing.
I spoke up when someone came to me with a question.
I spoke up, and I improved.
The more you speak, the better you become.
By speaking, you share your opinion, ideas, and ideas.
By speaking, you become better.
I was timid.
I was extremely shy.
I could not speak.
And when I spoke, no one understood me.
But, when I learned to speak, the world became a better place.
And I am happy.
This means that if you are shy, and if you don’t speak, you will not become more successful.
The more you speak, the more you will get better.
There is a truth.
And that truth is that you can always become more successful.
You can always learn, and you can always improve.
You just need to speak.
And speaking is the secret to happiness.