“Every habit and capability is confirmed and grows in its corresponding actions, walking by walking, and running by running . . . Therefore, if you want to do something, make a habit of it.” —Epictetus
The fire can weaken if we don’t perform the actions associated with the habit. Eventually, the fire will extinguish itself if left long enough without fuel.
This is bad news for good habits. But it’s great news for bad habits.
Regardless, good and bad habits are all a part of a chain of events, developing slowing over time, feeding the fire. We don’t become addicted to alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs overnight. We become addicted because we kept the chain going.
So let’s start a new chain. A chain of events that lead to good habits!
Starting today, I want you to start an Excel Spreadsheet listing good habits that you will perform. The good habits you’ll perform (or bad habits you’ll break) will be listed across the top of the spreadsheet. On the far-left side, vertically, list the dates of each day in the month, starting with today’s date. Every day that you successfully perform a task, put in an X in that corresponding cell. Every day that you miss, put a 0 in the corresponding cell.
The same holds true with habits you are trying to break. When you successfully avoid the bad habit put an X in that cell and put a 0 when you have a bad day and perform the habit you’re trying to break.
You see, performing tasks until they become a habit requires you to accomplish those tasks until it becomes a habit. And keeping track of your successes and failures is key to your ultimate success!
The hardest part of this process are the days when you fall short. I have found this is especially true in the early days of developing new habits. I’ve also found it to be challenging on the days after I’ve developed a new habit.
Why? As I’ve warned you many times, entropy stands ready to fill that void in your life. If you don’t perform the actions of good habits long enough, they will be replaced with the actions of bad habits.
Research shows that it takes 66 days to develop a new habit, so be patient with yourself. It won’t be easy, but it will happen!
The most critical thing for you to do is to not break your chain of X’s. The second most critical thing you can do is to forgive yourself when you do and start the chain all over again.
Be patient with yourself. Remember, you are trying to change the rest of your life! So, give yourself time and remember to forgive yourself when you fall short.
If you feel like beating yourself up, give us a call. We’re here for you and we’ll get you through it!
NEW HABIT: Keep an Excel spreadsheet to list out all your new habits and track them with Xs and 0s.
NEW TASK: Call Ben Quinney to begin the process of having your A-Z Business Plan put together, or if you’ve already started the process, call him and discuss your progress and what you need to do next.
DOWNLOAD: Habit tracking template