First, we Make our Habits……then our habits make us – Aristotle. 

I was co-facilitating a program with Doug Stewart when we got onto the topic of motivation. Doug was sharing how being self-motivated is not a success factor, having self-discipline is. The example we spoke through was getting up to exercise. When we wake-up, we are not motivated at all. In fact, we only really feel good about ourselves 10-15 minutes into the run, or after the run we are like “I feel so good about myself after that, really glad I went out this morning.” It is the discipline of getting up to exercise that leads to motivation and not the other way around.

In the many training sessions and coaching conversations that I’ve had the privilege of being part of, I can honest state that most people have very similar goals: getting out of debt or being debt free, getting into better shape, eating healthier, having more meaningful relationships, a stronger marriage, being impactful at work etcetera. The ones that make great strides toward their goals are those who consistently do what the others only do occasionally. They are disciplined with their tasks and stay on track to achieving their overarching outcomes. As the title suggests, we make our habits, then our habits make us. This implies then that we do not rise to the levels of the goals we set ourselves, we rise to the level of the habits that we have in place.

As summer comes into full effect here in the USA, many are getting beach ready, preparing themselves for a meaningful summer experience. The stats tell us that only 10% of people will follow-through and achieve their goal. I guess we need to ask ourselves, what are the habits the 90% have that need to be changed. For me, as an example, I had to form the habit of waking earlier to exercise. I found it challenging to rise at 5:00am to get onto the bike and ride. The habit to break was not waking up late, the true habit to break was going to bed late. I was getting to bed too late and this made it more difficult to rise in the early morning. I had to discipline myself to turn in earlier the night before. I have now set my sleep mode on my iPhone to remind me of this.  The improvement is remarkable.

Another habit we have had to focus on as a family is being more organized around the home. Since we work from home, my wife Caryn has the girls survey their rooms before they leave for school and bring down any cups and trash from the day before. After dinner we clear-up, clean-up and turn on the vacuum cleaner before we get into our nightly routine.  This ensures that we wake up to a clean home that is organized and allows us to concentrate and not be distracted with overdue chores. Instead, we feel motivated to work because we had the discipline to do the tasks needed in the evening. 

What are the habits that you have, that perhaps are causing you to NOT be successful in a specific area of your life? Once you identify the habit you need to break, replace it with a good habit.  When doing this, consider some advice from Dale Carnegie’s Book: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.

  1. Do the very best you can – This implies be excellent with the tasks you take on.  If you are going to wash the car, do your best. If you are clearing the garage, do your best. If you are compiling a proposal for a client, do your best.  If you remove a shirt from the drawer, do it in the best way so that the drawer stays neat. Being organized and doing your very best will have you feel more empowered.
  2. Put enthusiasm into your workthe dictionary defines enthusiasm as intense and eager enjoyment, interest, or approval. Can you imagine what influence we would have on those around us if we engaged in every activity with intense and eager enjoyment.

As we get into summer, lets also get into being intentional with all the little things.  If we look after the little things, the big things take care of themselves.

Make today a masterpiece.

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As a people’s person, you will find that Neville is fit for purpose in this industry.  His focus on others allows them to grow into the person that they want to be.  Neville and his wife Caryn moved to Cary North Carolina in January 2021 with their three daughters and are excited to build a successful business in the USA.  To work with Neville or to just have a conversation reach out and connect with him here.

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