Over the course of my career I have found that being specific in defining my goals has helped me achieve success. However, the significant progress, the real and sustained step changes in performance, have come from making material improvements in the quality of my habits and routines. This has made the achievement of my goals consistently easier and more certain.
Similarly, whilst at the time I blamed some of my more notable failures on bad luck and circumstance, in hindsight my failure to adhere to my routines and habits was often the culprit.
The reason habits are so important is that they are practical and active whereas goals are more conceptual. For example, whilst getting fit is a noble goal, it remains very general unless you attach some specifics to it like completing 4 x 100m sprints each day and then have a routine that makes it happen.
It is worth reviewing your daily habits and evaluating their value to your overall performance. By identifying drawbacks you can remove them, change them or just adopt new ones to achieve this world of difference. Can you improve your habits in some way to achieve a world of difference?
A recent job change has forced me to review and change my habits as a direct result of the two hours additional commuting each day. Living twenty minutes walk from the train station means a vigorous walk to start and finish the day and the train ride enables me to both read a chapter a day of my book and, in the morning, visualise the day ahead.
Commuting has crystallised 3 new habits in one – walking, reading and visualisation – which make the world of difference to me getting important things done as well as improving my general sense of wellbeing that comes from a sense of achievement.
I have been lucky in that my new daily routine easily accommodates my necessary habits but if it didn’t I would have had to find another way.
Can you find a way?