Last week, I introduced the concept of working on habit generation rather than focussing on goals. This was built on the premis that achieving a new habit is an ongoing activity whereas attaining a goal is a fixed point. It is not as simple as that though. We understand that committing to action helps build a psychological contract to achieve that goal. Of course, achieving that goal can be done by establishing a habit.
Some habits you form may be significant, but others may be small or termed ‘micro-habits’. These micro-habits are minor changes to what you are doing that you feel should lead to success. But even these micro-habits can be over-powering if we try to do too much. So, think about the following.
- Focus on one micro-habit at a time. Because micro-habits are small, it’s easy to think you can create a whole slew of them to fix your life all at once. The problem is that even small changes can add up, especially when you have a long list of them. Resist trying to cure all the challenges in one go, and focus on one micro-habit. When this micro-habit is achieved, move to the next (engaging psychological contract with self).
- Link the new micro-habit to one that’s already in place. Thinking deeper about this – setting up a new system probably is not a micro-habit. So concentrate on the specific processes that you are doing right now. Think of email – you go into the system frequently and may have a full inbox. This is a common thing at the moment and can cause overwhelm. What if you decided to handle one type of email differently? For example, you could decide that any email that can get ‘processed’ in 60 seconds gets done, thereby eliminating it from the list. If you want to go further, perhaps look at Improving your email productivity – a suggested method.
- Consolidate your micro-habit. Turn your micro-habit into a schedule. I have found that when working from home, I do not drink enough water during the day. I have now got a water bottle, and after every couple of hours, I check in to make sure I have drunk the contents.
Now that we understand how goals, habits and micro habits can symbiotically co-exist, we can progress smoother through our daily achievements.
So todays’ challenge for you. Suppose you look at everything you do in business and home life. What one small change could you instigate that could make a significant and disproportionate change to your productivity, efficiency or profitability?
Other notices –
- A few people have booked in for a chat about the next Coaching Development and Supervision group that will start at the end of February. This is an annual cohort group that meets every 6 weeks (ish) to explore all stuff coaching. This could be exploring supervisory elements or could be business-related topics. If interested, do check out my diary here and arrange a quick chat.
- Coaching Central is running on 20th January at 19:30. I have to admit to having an interest here as we talk through some marketing ideas from Acema Marketing.