GETTING WHAT YOU WANT - WHETHER SMALL THINGS LIKE SPENDING MORE TIME READING TO BIG THINGS LIKE ACHIEVING CAREER GOALS - OFTEN STARTS WITH GOOD HABITS
"I got this." My New Year's wish to you #bossladies is that you repeat this to yourselves each time you think about the things you want to achieve this year, and frankly, every year. For the past half year I have made it a point to wake up an hour earlier and entirely cut out distractions, like Netflix, with one goal in mind: to read more. I want to share with you an edit of all the most powerful pieces of advice about getting what you want that I have taken away from all this reading and research. One piece of advice that really stuck with me is the underrated power of installing "good habits" into our routine. Sometimes it feels like "success" - whatever that means for you - is a result of an unclear mix of having the right natural talent, luck, and resources. But, good habits are actually often the basis for being disciplined enough to persevere and actually make things happen (v.s just talking about it) to get what you want. So, with that in mind, below are 3 of the most interesting points on good habits I have read so far. I hope you find as much inspiration in these as I have.
1. Habits make hard things easier
The main insight into habit building is that when something becomes a habit, it requires less energy and willpower to do. So by turning many positive actions into habits, you can over time accomplish difficult goals more easily.
2. Start with the entry point
One piece of advice that worked well for me is to focus on the most difficult entry point to a habit. For example, take daily exercise. The idea would be to focus habit building at first on getting out of bed when the alarm rings. The rest will come after that.
3. 66 days
Having realistic expectations that new habits take time and will be messy is important in keeping up morale. Apparently, it takes at least 66 days and even up to 18 months for new habits to form.
Further Reading: The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal The Right Way to Form New Habits, HBR Ideacast episode 716 with James Clear (who also has a book on my reading list) Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth