When we talk about habits, we usually talk about the BAD ones. The nail biting, procrastinating, emotional eating, more procrastinating, being consistently late, procrastinating…
You know that procrastination is the worst habit anyone can have? It’s the one that can destroy your dreams before you even know what hit you.
But the great thing is, if you can automate some of your productive actions – in other words, make them as effortless and mindless as your bad habits – then you’ll streamline your road to success!
Pretty cool, isn’t it?
Most of us are not that great at sticking to things that we know are good for us – like exercising, journaling and so forth. We are easily distracted by the “shiny things” in life: new, exciting opportunities, anything new and interesting… we start off with the best of intentions and then somewhere down the road, we become bored with the new thing, or it becomes hard. That’s when we allow the siren song of tempting new-ness to distract us.
But… what if you developed a habit of NEVER procrastinating? What if you could just DO what you had to do, get it over and done with, and actually accomplish something productive?
Creating a good habit is just as easy as creating a bad habit. Now that we’re all setting New Year’s resolutions, why don’t you make the one resolution that will snowball into all areas of your life: the habit of TAKING ACTION NOW.
Bleh, that sounds hard, doesn’t it?
My challenge to you is this: commit to waking up a few minutes early every day – say 10 or 15 minutes (you’ll get used to it very quickly); and spend that first 10-15 minutes BEFORE you get dressed, have coffee or do anything else, and DO at least one thing you’ve been putting off, something that’s been on your to-do list and has been quietly sucking the energy out of you everytime you look at your list.
If your desk has a stack of bills you’ve been ignoring, pay one. Just one. Then the next day, pay another.
Or… if you have a stack of customer service emails that you need to get to but are dreading because the party on the other end is in a really foul mood and is probably demanding a refund… write one email. Just one. The next day, write another.
Or… if your bookkeeping is a dreadlocked mess and you need to make sense of it, commit to just 10-15 minutes of work on it, first thing in the morning. Slow progress is better than no progress, even when it comes to untangling messy finances!
(And if you get inspired and decide that maybe you can do more, then do it!)
Doing something very small is easy. Doing a very small thing consistently is easy. And that’s how habits are created. Pretty soon you’ll be so used to starting the day off with a productive action that you’ll feel weird when you don’t and perfectly happy and normal when you do.
Doesn’t it feel GOOD to be accomplishing what you so eagerly set out to do?
Inspired by a post by Roland at www.lifedev.net.