Habits, like money, have the potential to play a compounding effect on your goal achievement, and the opposite applies of course. When you repeatedly undertake habits or actions, that when viewed in isolation don’t seem that important, and continue to do so for several weeks of daily repetition, they can transform your chances of success, achievement and winning many times over! That’s because the power of ‘compounding habits’ kicks in.
Being Consistent With Your Habits
For example, in a simple situation, if you walked a mile today at lunchtime, it is obviously a better option (fresh air, some mild exercise etc) than just sat at your desk or wherever you work. In isolation, although it’s a positive, a lunchtime walk today is not going to do that much for your health in a single day. However, if you take this walk every day, rain, sun or snow, after several weeks, the impact on your health and general wellbeing will be considerable. That’s a compounding habit.
Conversely, if you complete a negative ‘task’ one day in isolation, it’s not going to be too detrimental to you, but repeated daily for a number of weeks, it most certainly will have a negative impact on your chances of success, goal attainment and winning.
The Big Secrets to Habits & Success
The big ‘secret’ here though is that habits need a core fuel to keep them happening. It’s called discipline. Discipline is the bridge between intention and action. Between thinking and doing. Between overcoming the countless reasons ‘not to’ and actually doing so.
If you work in sales, you might have a plan to call ten prospects each day to build pipeline. If you call just 6 today, then “that’s better than nothing and I’ll catch up tomorrow” is what you typically tell yourself.
You are down 4 calls on the day to the intended target. Unfortunately, we tend to then say the same thing every day and the gap to the plan builds up over a week, then a month and often years. The 4 calls we didn’t do, soon turns into 40 behind plan, then 400 and then 4,000 and the impact of this on your success (or not) is huge. You cannot then complain when success isn’t happening for you.
The opposite of course applies. If you need to run 2km today as part of your health goal, and you run 3km, you are up 1km. The buzz of this over-achievement almost always means you will run more than 3km again the next day, or the next run. The impact of this over several weeks is perhaps 10, 20 or even 50km more running in your legs then planned and the considerable health and wellbeing benefits of this ‘extra’ running is obvious.
Goal setting and goal achievement. Success in work, business or life. Achieving your targets personally or professionally. All of these challenges will be based on your approach to your habits and the discipline you have to ‘fuel’ them and to give them the best chance of playing the compound game!
Take action. Take ownership. Be disciplined and seek to win the battle of your mind when you ‘think’ you should stop even when you are still a few short, or even worse, when you have not even started! Overcome this limiting thought and go again. Find the discipline to do your task today. In isolation, it might not seem critical. Over a period, it will make a huge difference.
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