Habits and how they can contribute to success or failure.
I came across a book by Charles Duhigg called The Power of habit a couple of months ago.
Your habits mold and shape your life. Your life is a sum of your habits. What you do and how you do it at a detail level. This got me thinking. As a small business owner, my habits will directly contribute to my business. Contribute to it's success or a failure because it is only me who can make or break my business.
As I read, I started to see how simple habits can contribute to success or failure.
As an example, if one of your habits is to get up after lunch and then sit around, you will not achieve much. On the flip side, if one of your habits is to rise early and set out goals for the day, you will achieve a lot. Two distinct habits that can contribute to the success or failure of your business.
Duhigg talks about the habit loop, a simple process that is at the heart of every habit.
1. Reminder (Cue) - This is the cue or trigger that starts a habit.
Triggers come in 5 distinct forms.
- Preceding Event
- Emotional State
- Other People
These effectively instigate the habit routine.
2. Routine - This is the habit or routine that is triggered by the cue.
3. Reward - This is the benefit you receive from the habit.
Changing old habits or creating new ones, start with the the trigger. I have read some articles that talk about motivation as a good trigger. For some this works, for others it needs to be ingrained into another routine so that emotion and motivation is taken out of the mix. I am one of those people. Emotion is a human factor and human emotion can change from day to day, hour to hour.
i.e. When hungry, I tend to reach for the nearest chocolate snack. The trigger is feeling hungry. I can't fully control this but I can change the associated routine. I could remove all the chocolate and have a bowl of fruit within reach. There is no emotion or decision making to be made. There is only fruit. 🙂 Chocolate Habit changed.
List your habits and ask yourself, does this contribute to success or failure.
If it is the latter, look for ways to change this. If it is the first, see if you can enhance it.
B J Fogg goes into more detail at http://tinyhabits.com/ if you want more information.