How To Install Habits For Success

One of my favorite tenets of personal development is the idea that you are the behaviors you consistently do. You become what you do over and over again day in and day out.

I have had to take a hard look at some of my behaviors this year. I have not gotten a lot of the results I wanted because of those behaviors.

Sure, I’ve done some positive things in the past year. I got a cool girlfriend who’s good to me. I’ve helped my family’s real estate company make some strides in the marketing department. I’ve started an eBay business mostly doing re-selling. And I’ve nearly completed a total overhaul of my SEO company and how it will serve customers going forward.

But deep down, I know I’m not doing enough. I know I could be doing more and the biggest factor to attribute to that feeling is that my good habits have slid too far into unproductive territory.

I truly believe that all it takes is just a few small tweaks to your life and as long as you are committed to a long term solution, you can make magic happen. So I have set out in the past month to go back to basics and find out how to start installing the habits I know will make me successful in the short and long term.

Here are some of the the conclusions I have come to:

  1. I got fat this year. AGAIN. I am no stranger to going up and down on the scale. But my weight got crazy up to about 265 pounds at my heaviest. Which is over the top for me. I’m about 5’9″. Optimally I would be at 170-180 at the most.
  2. I need to do more to drive revenue streams in my business. Sure the bills are getting paid but I am not doing enough to actively market and sell in my ventures. And that has to change.

And those are the main two things! If you know me you know that I am a big proponent of watching three areas of your life: Health, Wealth, and Relationships. Pretty standard self development stuff. While there is always work to be done in each area of your life for improvement, I feel very good about the relationship side of the house right now. So clearly my wealth and health areas are out of balance and need to be focused on.

Instead of waiting until 2017, I am getting a jump on my year NOW. I had a great Thanksgiving with my daughters and have attended the majority of the Christmas parties that I will be a part of already this month. If you ever take a look at your year as far as productivity spikes, you will know pretty easily that January through May is when the bulk of what you will do for your year happens. After that you start getting into summer time and the holidays for pretty much the remainder of the year, with small times to get things done in between.

I decided after a lot of self-reflection and study over the past month to install two simple behaviors that will help me get things moving in the right direction for my health and my business in advance of 2017. I hope in a year I can look back at this blog post and see it as the moment that things changed forever for me.

  1. I have committed to doing some form of exercise, even if it is just walking in place, for at least 30 minutes per day.
  2. I have committed to writing at least 500 words per day. Whether that be for a blog post, a book, or an info product.

I know on that on average it takes 66 days to form a new habit.

So it makes sense to:

a) Not take on too many habits at one time. 2 small habits is simple and achievable.

b) Find an easy way to track my daily consistency to encourage not missing any days by implementing the Seinfeld principle.

While I have friends that have used the big wall calendar to mark big red X’s, I wanted something a little more modern and mobile. There’s an app for everything, right?

So after a bit of digging I found the Commit app (non-affiliate).

Commit is a simple app created specifically for committing to installing new habits and tracking how consistent you are in performing them daily. It was put together by Nathan Barry, a developer and author who recognized how powerful installing habits is to productivity and ultimately success. It is $2.99 and it is a little bit dated, but it works perfectly for what it is designed for.

All you do is type in what habit you want to do every day. You then get daily reminders from the app in the form of a question i.e. “Did you go to the gym today?” And trust me if you didn’t, you will feel a slight bit of urgency to get it done because of that reminder. Each time you check yes, another day is added to your “X days in a row” tracker.

I know once I get to 66 days in a row it will be much easier to complete each task because I will expect to do it each day.

So how is my consistency thus far on my two habits? Let’s take a look:

install new habits    writing every day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I have worked out 14 days in a row at this point and as you can see in the middle of that time I felt comfortable enough to go ahead and throw in the writing task as well.

Which begs the next question: What results have my habits gotten me?

My weight is down 15 pounds overall from my heaviest so I am down to about 250. I did work out and eat more intelligently before that 14 days started but I knew that a daily routine would be my best bet to ensure that I continue staying active. I WANT to check that box every day.

Even more impressively is the writing. In 6 days, I have been off the charts. I have written a short Kindle book (my first one ever! Details coming soon) about re-selling. And this is my first blog post in probably more than a year. I “feel” productive. And these small victories make me want to keep it going.

As long as I keep checking that box every day, there should be a lot more blog posts, books, and info products coming from me in 2017.

What are your best tips for installing new habits in your life? Do you have any cool goals or plans you are working on for 2017? If so then share it with me in the comments below!