7 Steps to New Habits

by Blair Evan Ball on September 7, 2017

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Have you ever developed good habits? Bad habits?

Were they easy to create or break?

“Nothing succeeds like success.”

Whether we like it or not, a big part of what we do in life is governed by habits. Even more importantly, habits can lead us to think and feel in certain patterns.

Since habits are so powerful, it’s worth paying attention to the ones that are most effective.

You must develop the success habit by doing something every single day to move forward toward your goals and objectives. Always be mindful for something you can do to have an impact on their achievement.

Success can seem like a great mystery — some people are destined for it while others aren’t.

But that’s probably not the case. While luck and genetics may play a role, there are certain learnable behaviors which make success more likely.

1. ALL HABITS ARE LEARNED

Almost everything you are or will be will be determined by your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Fully 95% of everything you think, feel and do will be determined by your habits. The key to becoming a great person, and living a great life, is for you to develop the habits of success that lead inevitably to your achieving everything that is possible for you.

Fortunately, all habits are learned, and are therefore learnable. If you have bad habits, or if you have not yet developed the habits that you need to become everything that you are capable of becoming, you can develop these habits by a systematic process of practice and repetition, just as you learn any other subject.

Good Habits or Bad Habits

Good habits are hard to learn, but easy to live with. Bad habits, on the other hand, are easy to learn but hard to live with. In either case, once you have developed a habit, it becomes automatic and easy. Like breathing in and breathing out, you find it easier and easier to engage in thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are consistent with the person you want to be, and the goals you want to achieve.

2. ONE THOUGHT AT A TIME

Your conscious mind can only hold one thought at a time, either positive or negative. You may be capable of thinking hundreds of thoughts in a row, but you can only think of one thought at a time. And you are always free to choose that thought. An essential success habit is the habit of keeping your mind focused clearly on the person you want to be, the goals you want to achieve, and the steps that you will have to take to achieve those goals.

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When you make a habit of thinking and talking most of the time about where you are going and how to get there, you take complete control of the development of your self-concept and your personality. You step on the accelerator of your own potential. You move yourself onto the fast track in your life. You begin to move ahead at a speed that will amaze you, and everyone around you.

3. BECOMING A PERSON OF VALUE

Fortunately, all habits are learned, and are therefore learnable. If you have bad habits, or if you have not yet developed the habits that you need to become everything that you are capable of becoming, you can develop these habits by a systematic process of practice and repetition, just as you learn any other subject.

Successful leaders develop good habits.

  • Good habits are hard to learn, but easy to live with.
  • Bad habits, on the other hand, are easy to learn but hard to live with.

In either case, once you have developed a habit, it becomes automatic and easy. Like breathing in and breathing out, you find it easier and easier to engage in thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are consistent with the person you want to be, and the goals you want to achieve.

4. DEVELOP A NEW PATTERN HABIT

How long does it take to develop a new habit? The time period can be any length from a single second to several years. The speed of new habit pattern development is largely determined by the intensity of the emotion that accompanies the decision to begin acting in a particular way.

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Many people think, talk about and resolve to lose weight and become physically fit. This may go on for years. Then one day, the doctor says that, “If you don’t get your weight down and improve your physical condition, you are in danger of dying at an early age.”

Suddenly, the thought of dying can be so intense or frightening that the individual immediately changes his diet, begins exercising, stops smoking and becomes a healthy and fit person. Psychologists refer to this as a “significant emotional experience,” or a “SEE.” Any experience of intense joy or pain, combined with a behavior, can create a habitual behavior pattern that may endure for the rest of a
person’s life.

I have a saying “When the pain becomes great enough, action will occur.” Some of us have high pain thresholds! Or maybe some of us are too stubborn.

The key is to be proactive, and develop new habits before your in critical condition personally or professionally.

According to the experts, it takes about 21 days to form a habit pattern of medium complexity. By this, we mean simple habits such as getting up earlier at a specific hour, exercising each morning before you start out, listening to audio programs in your car, going to bed at a certain hour, being punctual for appointments, planning every day in advance, starting with your most important tasks each day, or completing your tasks before you start something else. These are habits of medium
complexity that can be quite easily developed in 14-21 days through practice and repetition.

How do you develop a new habit? Over the years, a simple, powerful, proven methodology has been determined for new habit development. It is very much like a recipe for preparing a dish in the kitchen. You can use it to develop any habit that you desire. Over time, you will find it easier and easier to develop the habits that you want to incorporate into your personality.

5. GET UP EARLY

Up and at ‘em!

Morning people are successful people. Just ask any CEO, politician, professional athlete or inventor out there – they all start their day at the crack of dawn, gaining a leg up on the competition.

Create a routine and stick with it. Studies prove that willpower is the strongest in the morning before exhaustion and other priorities get in your way. Adopt a morning ritual and you will start to see BIG results.

So hold off hitting that snooze button and read up on some tips to guarantee a more productive future!

6. HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR GOALS

Sometimes in life we need to reassess. A good habit to get into, is identifying your goals. Being specific vs. a wandering generality.

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Here are some thought provoking questions pertaining to your goals and goal setting.

  1. What are the top five values in your life?
  2. What have you always wanted to do with your life, but have been afraid to try?
  3. What do you enjoy most doing? What gives you the greatest satisfaction and feeling?
  4. What would you do if you won the lottery worth millions?
  5. What would you do if you found out you only had six months to live?
  6. What are the top three most important goals in your life and business, right now?
  7. What one great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail?

7. OVERCOMING PROCRASTINATION

Everyone has put off a task at some point in their life.

One of the biggest reasons people procrastinate is because they catastrophize, or make a huge deal out of something. It may be related to how tough, how boring, or how painful it will be to complete the task; the underlying theme is that doing the task will be “unbearable.”

In reality, challenges, boredom, and hard work will not kill you — or even make you sick. Procrastination, on the other hand, is associated with stress — think of the stress you feel when you avoid making a phone call you know you need to make. So keep things in perspective: “Sure, this is not my favorite task, but I can get through it.”

  • First, make a decision to start in immediately on your most important task each day.
  • Second, never allow an exception until the habit is firmly entrenched.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Where do you start in new habit pattern development?

When people first learn about the importance of new habit pattern development, and how positive patterns of thought and behavior can have a wonderful effect on their lives, they often make the mistake of resolving to develop several new habits at once.

They decide to improve in every area of their lives simultaneously.

They very excitedly draw up a list of new habits that they desire for their work, their financial lives, their business activities, their relationships, their family, their health and their personal organization skills. As a result, they very quickly hit a mental wall, and no improvement takes place at all.

Here is the rule in developing new habits:

  • Be patient with yourself.

It has taken you an entire lifetime to become the person you are. It is not possible for you to change everything overnight.

You should therefore select a single habit that you feel can be more helpful to you at the moment than any other particular habit. Write it down and create a positive affirmation, combined with a visual image, of yourself acting exactly as if you already had that new habit.

You then launch immediately, and never allow an exception.

About Blair

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social Media

Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.

Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.

Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.

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