A very Happy new year to you…..is it still acceptable to say this on 14th January 😊? Anyway, I was incredibly lucky to get away for New year and during that time I read, slept and admittedly drank a lot! The end of the year is always a time for reflection – professionally and personally. One thing that really frustrates me though, is all the grand ideas people have and public announcements of ridiculous New year resolutions.
The gym is full of people that are going to lose that stone they have been going to lose every January for the past 5 years. Business owners are claiming they are all joining the 5am club and getting a cold shower. I recently re-read Atomic Habits by James Clear, and it just reminded me of the importance of making small positive changes to ultimately lead to positive results.
He talks about improving by 1% – this may seem like an unnoticeable effort, but over time it can be astounding. What starts as a small win, or a minor setback accumulates into much more. The effects of your habits multiply as you repeat them. They may seem to make little difference over a short period of time, but over months and years the value of good habits and the cost of bad ones become strikingly apparent. I like the concept that you should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results. For example, if you are a millionaire, but spend more than you earn than that is not going to end well. On the flip side, if you are broke, but save a little each month, then you are making small positive steps in the right direction.
I can relate to this theory in both business and my wellbeing. I made small changes last January to my wellbeing – I improved my eating habits ever so slightly, increased my water intake, went to bed an hour earlier and trained an extra day. A year on and I have dropped a dress size, have tonnes more energy and my productivity levels in my business are off the Richter scale. I made small adjustments that I knew I could maintain. I set the goal the year earlier, but I didn’t change the system, so I didn’t see any significant changes. We can apply the same rationale to our profession or business. Are you not achieving your goals? Maybe it is not the goal that needs to change but the system? What small changes can you make in your business or profession that will make a positive difference?
Once you have established the changes the next hurdle is to build the new habit. Your current habits have been internalised over the course of hundreds to thousands of repetitions. Habit formation is the process by which a behaviour becomes more automatic through repetition. It takes the same amount of frequency to create the new habit. To build a habit, you need to practice it.
I hope you make positive changes this year.