Successful people have successful habits. And loser in life? Well, they have losers habits.
Harsh? Perhaps. But true nonetheless. You life is the cumulative result of your daily actions. If those actions are generally positive, the result will be generally positive. And vice versa.
If you are not living your dream life, if you're not where you want to be, how do you get there?
The one true path of success and happiness in life is to replace your bad habits with positive habits that move you in the direction that you want to go.
Over a number of years I spend countless frustrating hours — wait for it — looking for my lost keys. It made me late for meetings, forced me to reschedule appointments, I missed opportunities and wasted resources, and it always put me in a sour mood.
We tried all sorts of solutions, including a keychain that would start beeping loudly when a particular note was called or sung. Being a singer, it wasn't too hard to reproduce the correct note to find my keys at home. But I soon found the fatal flaw in the design. Invariably during a college lecture either the teacher, a student, or a round of laughter would also find the trigger pitch and set my key alarm blaring in the middle of class.
The mid-class alarm prompted me to take out the batteries and, as you can imagine, I was never able to carefully plan to replace them just before losing the keys again.
A few weeks after moving to our first home in 1992, I purchased an inexpensive, wall-mount key rack. We attached it to the wall right by the door to the garage. The rule was, whenever we came in, the key was hung on the rack. Then it would always available when we needed to go somewhere.
In the next three homes — including the present one — we always have a key rack attached to the wall near the garage door. The habit is engrained and we follow it with little variation.
We never lose our keys.
While the organization of the car keys may not seem like a big deal —and in the overall scheme of life, it's not — solving this recurring aggravation has saved us countless hours of searching and kept us out of numerous bad situations. All for about $10.
Most of us have many problems of a similar nature, problems that could be solved once and for all by simply developing a system. Consider these questions:
- Do you have a system to make sure we have clean clothes ready to go?
- Do you have a system to make sure bills are paid on time?
- Do you have a system to keep events and commitments organized?
- Do you have a system to keep appliances and cars maintained properly?
- What other systems would help keep your life running smoothly?
Creating these systemic habits that keep problems at bay, can make all the difference in creating a positive life. Research suggests that it takes 21 days to create a new, positive habit. Here is a simple process to help you make that transition from negative habits to positive habits.
Analyze the Habits that Do Not Support the Future You Want
- List all the negative habits you have in your life
- Ask people about the limiting habits they have noticed in your life
- Find the underlying motivation behind those bad habits
- Choose one bad habit to change
Design a New Habit to Support the Future You Want
- Write your new success habit at the top of the list
- Write a list of key benefits that will result in your life by adopting this success habit. (sell the new habit to your emotional mind motivation
- Create a detailed action plan for how you are going to implement the new habit.
Now that you have a plan of action to create your new habit, spend 21 days solidifying that habit and making it part of your usual mode of operation. Once it is engrained in your behavior, it becomes a non-issue. You no longer have to work and think and expend great effort to get it done, it simply happens as part of your everyday activity.
At that point, you can choose a new habit and repeat the process. Every new positive habit will move you closer to the life you dream of!
Will you share a negative habit that you'd like to change? What positive habits could replace it?
Join me in the 100 Day Challenge!