Answer: Identify the key success-generating habits you wish to establish, remind yourself of these habits at the start of each day, and review your progress at the end of each day.
Stephen Covey, in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People ( p 147), offers these two questions to help you identify your key success-generating habits:
Q1: What one thing could you do (you aren’t doing now) that, if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your personal life?
Q2: What one thing in your business or professional life would bring similar results?
Print off these two questions and your answers and place somewhere prominent such as on the wall in front of your desk. At the start of each day, read these questions and your answers to keep these habits in the your mind during the day.
Then, at the end of each day, review the things you did during the day to strengthen these habits.
Here’s a worked example:
Step 1: Answer these two questions:
Q 1: What one thing could I do that I’m not doing now that if I did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in my personal life?
A 1: Try hard to accurately understand and “feel” others.
Q2: What one thing in my work life would bring similar results?
A1: Create my website just the way I have envisioned it in my mind.
Step 2: Type up the questions and my answers and place on the wall in front of my work desk.
Step 3: Create two new goals on my daily goal-tracker program:
- Into the breakfast routine category: “Read Q & A habit printout.”
- Into the end-of-day routine category: “Review habit progress for the day.”
I use my goal-tracker program every day. Once I’ve included these habit goals onto my goal-tracker, I won’t have to worry about remembering to do them.
Step 4: At the start of each day, read the Q & A printout to keep these sought-after habits prominent in my mind during the day.
Step 5: At the end of each day, answer these two review questions:
Q 1: What specific things did I do today to “try hard to deeply understand and “feel” other people”?
A 1: I listened very attentively to Mary when she was telling me about her problem with her son. I successfully resisted jumping in offering my advice, but instead practised some awesome empathy (for me!). Afterwards I tried hard seeing things from her perspective, even though it was hard for me to understand why she reacted the way she did. I thought of a better way I could have said something during the conversation ( re-scripting).
Q 2: What specific things did I do today to “create my website just the way I have envisioned it in my mind”?
A 2: I wrote up two more articles, I wrote down a couple of clever ideas that perhaps I can ask the web designer to create for me, and I proof-read and edited three old articles.
Have a go!
To create a habit, we need focus, monitoring and lots of repetition. That’s what this strategy offers. Why not give it a go for 30 ticks on the goal tracker and see what happens?