I am forever fascinated with the subject of habits and habit formation.
I just love that idea of putting the “other me” to work on my goals and objectives. That other me that’s so much more performant, more focused, more precise, more dependable and more “in flow” than … me.
I spend a lot of time with my coaching clients working with habits. Here are the Top 5 that we have seen produce the deepest transformations.
#1 The DECISION Habit
There are, broadly speaking, 5 categories of conscious thought: Understanding, Memorising, Recalling, Deciding and Inhibiting. That last one (“inhibiting”) is a particularly interesting topic. But when I consider thinking habits that most contribute to achieving our goals, Deciding is at the top of my list.
Decisions precede every powerful action we ever take. Think now: hasn’t every powerful action you’ve ever taken towards your goals been the result of a powerful decision?
And to be clear: we’re talking about a decision, not a preference. It’s not “I’d like to …” or “I should really …” Those are preferences and suggestions. A decision is a commitment. A determined statement of intent with a sense of inevitability.
Those who embody The Decision Habit know (and regularly practise!) the difference between a weak preference and a determined decision.
#2 The ACTION Habit
I’m always arguing the case for thinking being the most important thing – and I stand by that. But without action, we live our preferred future (the one where our dreams become reality) in our heads, whilst our default life (the one in which we don’t achieve our goals, don’t realise our vision, don’t escape our frustrations and compromises) lives on in the real world.
The Action Habit is characterised by 3 crucial ingredients: Power, Consistency and Timeliness.
- Power: Every action is a powerful step forward towards the goal. If the action is anything less than 8/10 on the power scale, it either needs upgrading – or discarding.
- Consistency: An action or two – even powerful ones – every now and again won’t cut it. Lasting, material change is an evolution over time. The sum of consistent action.
- Timeliness: Take action now. Make it your habit to take powerful action consistently, at the scene of your goal-setting and decision-making. Make your decisions; set your goals; and then take Action #1 in that moment.
#3 The CREATIVITY Habit
Whatever it is that you do; whatever area of your life it is you want to improve: there is always space for more creativity. To bring all your ingenuity, imagination, talent, resourcefulness and artistry to the task at hand.
Those who exercise The Creativity Habit are less stressed and more motivated as they open-up their thinking and find possibility and opportunity in everything they do. They turn problems into projects. They reframe obstacles as opportunities. They hear criticism as insightful feedback. And they thrive under pressure.
Make The Creativity Habit your next project by continually asking: what now shall I create? Whether setting your goals, choosing a path or fixing a problem, ask: given this, what would I love to create?
#4 The SERVICE Habit
There is a world of difference between people pleasing and people serving.
Pleasing is just that: pleasing. But service is a gift: being truthful and honest, and acting for the other person’s agenda. It is the difference between wants and needs. The difference between programmed autopilot and truly valuable contribution, full of integrity, significance and benefit.
Pleasing is easy: it’s the path of least resistance and what we’re all programmed to do and expect.
The Service Habit, then, is becoming aware of that trap and instead asking: what would truly serve this person, right now? Wealth (and you decide what that word means for you) will flow from service: both for those you are serving and for you.
#5 The DEVELOPMENT Habit
Everything we want to create. Everything we want to achieve. Every difference we want to make. Everything we want to bring. It all starts with us. We are the catalyst. The engine. The vehicle.
With that thought in mind, look now at your week-in, week-out and notice how odd it is that there’s so little time in there to work specifically on you!
The Self-Development Habit is that ongoing commitment to constant improvement, taking joy not just in acquiring information and experience, but in the learning process itself. And with a laser-focus on those assets that will contribute most to your planned-for success.
The Power of Transformational Habits
If you were to make powerful, committed decisions … and get into action there and then … bringing all your creativity and service with you … and ever improving through your commitment to development … in what ways might your life be different?
Is it an overstatement to say it would be transformed?