Think about some of the most successful people you know. Now ask yourself:
Why are they so successful?
Naturally, a variety of factors play into their success, such as having a positive mindset. However, if you look at these successful people carefully, you’ll quickly discover that virtually all of them have one thing in common.
Namely, they’ve all developed good habits. And if you want to become successful, then you too must learn to replace your bad habits with good habits.
You’ve probably tried this before, either in your personal life or business.
Sometimes the good habits stick for a while, but you’ve no doubt noticed how easy it is to slip back into old habits. Of course when you slip back into old habits, nothing changes. You stagnate. You can’t move forward.
So let’s break the pattern, starting right now!
Let’s start by having you learn now to F.O.R.M. successful habits. Here’s my success system that you can start using to F.O.R.M. your own good habits:
F – FOCUS on one thing at a time.
O – OVERCOME challenges.
R – RECOGNIZE that quantity counts.
M – MAINTAIN for 21 days.
What do these four steps mean and how can they help you achieve your goals? Let me explain…
- FOCUS on One Thing at a Time
Whenever you start to make big changes in your life, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Maybe in the first few days or weeks it works out, simply because you’re running on pure adrenaline. But after that, making too many changes at once overwhelms you, spreads your energies too thin or just plain burns you out.
So forget about trying to do everything at once. Instead, pick ONE good habit you’d like to adopt and focus on that one thing.
How to choose?
You might start with a habit you think will bring you the best results.
Example: If you are looking to start an online business, you might adopt the habit of getting up 90 minutes before everyone else in your household, just so that you have a quiet time to work.
- OVERCOME Challenges
No matter what you’re doing, there’s no question that there are going to be obstacles. So, your job is to anticipate these challenges and obstacles so that you can make a plan for overcoming them.
So, your next task is to spend 15 or 20 minutes brainstorming all the possible challenges you’re likely to face as you adopt new habits. Then make a plan and take steps to reduce if not entirely avoid the impact of these challenges.
Here are four additional tips to keep in mind:
- Remind yourself with a trigger. Let’s suppose that one of your personal obstacles is a tendency to get distracted and start doing other things.
You might use a positive trigger to remind yourself to stay focused, such as sending yourself an encouraging email the night before that you’ll see when you sit down to work in the morning. Or you might set a timer by your computer to remind yourself to stay on task.
- Replace things you are changing. If you simply stop one bad behavior, you’ll notice (and miss) its absence. That’s why, whenever possible, you should find positive activities or things to replace the bad habit.
Example: Former smokers often take up a good habit – like walking – whenever they’re tempted to have a cigarette.
So let’s suppose you tend to mess around on Facebook for an hour every day talking to friends and playing Farmville. You don’t want to do this any more. So, you replace it with a new habit, such as spending that hour doing a task you really enjoy (it might even be related to Facebook, such as working on a social media campaign). That way you don’t miss the absence of your old habit, because you’re replacing it with a better habit or routine.
- Remove temptations. Do you have a tendency to slip back into your old ways? Then remove the temptations.
Example: If playing video games is your weakness, then unplug your video console and remove it from sight when you’re working. That way, you won’t see the console and be tempted to “just play five minutes” instead of doing your work. (Because we all know that five minutes easily turns into two hours!)
- Rely on accountability partners. You don’t have to do this alone. You shouldn’t do it alone. Most people find that they’re more productive if they have an accountability partner.
Here’s how it works…
You tell your partner your goals for the day, and then at the end of the day you tell your partner whether you achieved your goals or not. It’s psychologically uncomfortable to admit to someone else that you fooled around and didn’t get through your daily to-do list. And of course it’s even more uncomfortable to lie to your partner. That’s why having an accountability partner works so well – it’s easier to just do the work!
- RECOGNIZE That Quantity Counts
Yes, of course quality matters. But sometimes you need to sacrifice initial quality just to produce quantity, to get some momentum going. That’s because you can always improve the form and substance later on.
Example: Take the example of the yearly novel-writing challenge located NaNoWriMo.org. That’s a site that encourages people to write 50,000 words of a novel in just one month. Are the participants creating perfect novels in one month? Of course not. But the challenge of producing quantity without worries about quality unlocks creativity and gives people the push they need to make something happen.
You can challenge yourself in the same way. Don’t look for perfection. Instead, focus on quantity. Build momentum. And watch how quickly you propel yourself towards your goals.
- MAINTAIN for 21 Days
Experts say it takes about 21 days for an average habit to “stick.” And that’s why you should give 100% of your focus for a full 21 days to the new habit you’re forming.
You may start out feeling like you have to force yourself to do the task, but at the end of 21 days it will be much easier. And that’s because it truly will be a habit for you!
And there you have it – you now know how to F.O.R.M. a new habit, by:
- FOCUSING on just one thing.
- OVERCOMING obstacles.
- RECOGNIZING that quantity counts.
- MAINTAINING the new habit for 21 days.
This system is so simple, but it really works. So give it a try.
Start with adopting ONE good habit today. Then focus on doing it every day for the next 21 days – I think you’ll be surprised by the results!