In last week’s Promo Ideas e-letter, I made a garden analogy when talking about bad habits that sneak into our business… I correlated those bad habits with weeds in our garden. Spring is wonderful in a lot of ways, but one of it’s shortcomings is the emergence of a fresh crop of weeds in the garden and flowerbeds. In order for our gardens to produce at peak, those weeds must go. And the same holds true in business.
I challenged my readers to identify those weeds in their own business, and here I’d like to walk through some of the ways that I’ve found work for me when I need to banish bad habits from my business life. You’ll have others I imagine, and I hope you’ll share them in the comments section.
1. Focus on cultivating healthy habits.
I’m a farmer’s daughter, so I’ve learned a few life lessons that way growing up. One is that bad weeds have a hard time flourishing in the midst of a lot of other healthy plants. Now, some will, and they will need to purposefully be eliminated. However, at the same time that you are removing weeds, you must replace them with healthy plants. Or the weeds just grow back.
The same is true in business. At the same time that you purpose to quit doing things wrong; you have to start doing things right. You need to determine what the correct and healthy habit is—then start doing that—and stop doing the bad one. Focus on how consistent you are with doing the right thing—and celebrate your wins—rather than focusing on not doing a bad thing and beating yourself up over missteps.
2. Write down your plan, goals or resolve.
Decide what needs to change – then write it down. Maybe you write it on a napkin or a post-it note. Maybe you e-mail it to yourself or set an alarm on your phone to remind you every day. It doesn’t matter how low-tech or high-tech… stats show that when you write something down, it has an exponentially greater chance of actually happening. That chance gets better and better as you refer to your plan daily and challenge yourself daily as you develop those new habits.
3. Attack the process in bite-sized pieces.
You didn’t develop those bad habits overnight, and they won’t quit happening overnight. When I gain a little weight, it takes time and a lot of bad eating habits to put on the pounds. And as such, I can’t lose that weight overnight, no matter how much I wish I could. Instead, divide up your goals into smaller, even daily, incremental steps. Then attack those bite-sized pieces one bite at a time.
4. Each day is a new day.
Without a doubt, none of us are perfect. As such, our path to better habits and achieving our goals will be riddled with backsliding or missteps or just not getting things done. Free yourself from the slavery of perfection and clean the slate everyday when you end your day. Wake up refreshed and re-energized to pick up on the right track wherever you left off. Every day is a new day, and there is no sense in beating yourself up over what you did or did not accomplish the day before. If you’re always looking backwards, you’ll never go forward. Purpose each day to start fresh no matter what successes or failures happened yesterday. The success of yesterday doesn’t guarantee success today, and just as much, the failures of yesterday don’t mean you’ll fail today. Chin up. Feel free to succeed. Review your written goals. Go do something good. Even revolutionary!
Photo Credit: kusine