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How Habits Contribute to Your Business Success

As a business owner, there are a million little daily habits that could help further your success, such as reading industry news, going to networking meetings, or even just getting enough sleep. In this article, I’ll dive into how developing new habits contribute to your success.

No matter how good new habits might be, if they’re not already a part of your routine, it can be difficult to add them in. Why?

Because your brain is already hardwired to behave in a different manner – and trying something new requires a lot of thought and energy on your brain’s part. Your brain, frankly, would rather just keep on doing what it’s been doing.

How Do Habits Work?

A habit is something that you do automatically, without even thinking about it – like turning on the coffee pot as soon as you get out of bed. They form through a psychological process called “the habit loop:

  1. A cue or trigger tells your brain to go into autopilot and let the behavior unfold

  2. You perform a routine, which is the habit itself

  3. Lastly is a reward, which your brain likes and will help it remember the habit loop in the future

Why is it So Difficult to Change a Habit?

According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, approximately 54% of people who resolve to change a habit fail to make that change stick for more than six months. It’s not that they don’t know what to do, it’s that they can’t fully commit.

The problem, for most of them, is that the goal they’ve set for themselves is just TOO BIG. When you ask your brain to do too much at once, it can’t handle it.

If you want to create new habits, you have to rewire your brain to do something different – a little bit at a time.

How to Create a New Habit

Baby Steps – Or what I like to call: Micro Habits

The key to building lasting habits that will contribute to your success is to take one micro step in the right direction.

Stanford professor Dr. BJ Fogg says that to make a habit stick, you have to start small and slowly increase your commitment until you’re where you want to be.

This is why when I work with clients, we use micro-habits to help change daily routines; the change is so small, that it often happens without them realizing it.

The idea is to create a habit so simple that it takes zero effort, so your brain won’t fight you on it – like flossing just one tooth a day or doing only two pushups. The tiny habit should also piggyback off a current habit, so your brain will relate it to an already established reward.

Commit to one New Habit a Month

To develop habits that will contribute to your success, here are 12 tiny habits you can implement throughout the year to help create larger, more complex routines as you go:

  1. January: Write for one minute a day. As you progress, you can work up to writing throughout the day. Many leaders find that writing down all of their ideas helps trigger creativity and innovation.

  2. February: Drink one glass of water each morning. Even mild dehydration can lead to fatigue and brain fog. As you work your way up to at least eight glasses a day, you will find that you have more energy and greater clarity.

  3. March: Spend five minutes doing something for you: meditating, yoga, a cup of tea. Many business owners fall into the all-work-and-no-play trap and eventually burn out. Building a self-care habit, no matter how small, can help ensure your continued success.

  4. April: Don’t check social media for two minutes after waking. Social media can be a huge time suck. If you can eventually build yourself up to not checking until the work day has ended, you will greatly increase productivity.

  5. May: Practice mindfulness for just five minutes every morning. Learning to be mindful can help you see a process for what it is rather than being tied to specific results. Eventually, you will practice mindfulness in all aspects of your business and life. Be mindful of how habits contribute to your success.

  6. June: Take a micro-nap one afternoon a week. Studies show that a short nap can lead to increased productivity – just don’t make it too long. Once you get beyond 30 minutes, it can start to interfere with your nighttime sleep.

  7. July: Delete one email you don’t need out of your inbox. Gradually delete a little more every day until your email is totally cleaned out and you’re in the habit of keeping a clean inbox.

  8. August: Each evening, write down one good thing that happened that day. Work your way up to writing down five things every night. Gratitude helps you appreciate the things you have in your life instead of dwelling on the negatives.

  9. September: Take five minutes each day to read a few pages in a book, listen to a podcast, or look up an online article. Even if you only read one page a day, that will be new information that you didn’t have before. Many of the world’s greatest leaders attribute their success to constantly learning new things!

  10. October: Take a quick walk. Fitness can help improve focus and energy and just a 5-minute walk can help create a lasting habit.

  11. November: Try getting up five minutes earlier than usual. Gradually work your way up to waking by 6 am every day: many business owners say that starting work before everyone else wakes up helps them focus.

  12. December: Take a few minutes each day to teach something to someone else. Not only is it good for those around you but you learn your subject matter more deeply.

This is just some of the value you can get when partnering with™. If you’d like more tips, advice or suggestions on how to be more productive and organized, book a 15-minute productivity assessment.

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