Monday, November 19, 2007

The Success Principles ~ Principle #34

This week we're looking at Jack Canfield's success principle #34: Develop Four New Success Habits a Year. In this chapter Canfield talks about the power of habits and how they create our current results. To increase our level of success, chances are we're going to have to replace some of our current habits with more productive ones. It takes time to change habits in your life. Canfield suggests changing one habit a quarter, so 4 in a year.
Canfield recommends two steps in this process. First identify habits with a negative impact. Ask others to help you come up with a list of your limiting habits. Step Two is to replace a bad habit with a more productive one and create a system to support that change. For example, if you identify chronic lateness as a habit that holds you back and you decide you're going to be on time, how are you actually going to do that? Buy a watch? Leave earlier? Book things later in the day?
When I imagine what 4 habits I would like to change in the next year, I notice my resistance to the first step. It's easy for me to come up with a million habits I think would be good for me (eating less sugar, quiet time every day, regularly attending Nia class). But I see if you start with what gets in your way, the change targets an area where it can have great impact and you don't avoid the areas of greatest resistance. Okay. Here I go.
Step 1 Limiting Habits
  1. Overbooking. Giving myself no recharge time.
  2. Neglecting things that are actually important to me: my relationships, my home, my self.
  3. Choosing unhealthy treats when I'm feeling discouraged, frustrated or bored.
  4. Thinking about something forever before acting.
Wow, I suddenly realized what my life might look like if I could change even those 4 things. Let's imagine the flip habit.
Step 2 Limiting Habit Replacements
  1. Leaving space in my calendar. Booking time for me. Focusing on one thing at a time.
  2. Treating my relationships, home and my self with the care and attention we deserve.
  3. Choosing healthful supportive acts to defeat discouragement, frustration and boredom.
  4. Taking risks and trusting myself and the process.

That is way yummier. Way. Okay, I'm going to think about this one some more--

Oh, there's Habit 4! I'm also noticing that I want to take them all on, not work on one at a time (Habit 1). For now I'm going to print this list of 4 and put it in my daybook. As I set my weekly priorities, I'll look to my habit replacements. And I'm going to journal on what would support my new habit replacements.

I've got to admit this was challenging.

What habits would you like to transform?


rebecca said...

Good luck with your habit transformations! Sounds like you have a great plan of attack.

Habits I'd like to transform: my tendency to choose laziness over productivity (I think I've worked out a system to fix that one... check out my blog to see it); staying in and watching tv with my boyfriend every single night instead of going out, trying new things, and trying to meet people (we've lived here for almost six months, and we still have zero friends); not giving out my business card to people, out of fear that they'll look at me like a freak

I'm going to work on my negative habits too! Thanks for the inspiration!

Marilyn said...

I've been thinking about this very thing a lot lately. You might want to check out this post I read earlier this morning re procrastination (which I suffer from!) :)

Sacred Suzie said...

It's so true, if we did just four new positive things in our lives we could really transform them! Asking for your bad habits from other people, eek! But it is brave. I do hope you manage to schedule time for yourself Jamie, just a smidge at the very least. I'm one to talk! I will try and do that too.

I need to start putting my dreams first. That's a really hard one for me, especially right now!

Jenn said...

Ahh, this is great. I love how you flipped the habits and were so much more connected with them from that place. You always have such great examples and insights. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

Thursday's Child said...

Overbooking one's self. Can I pretend that you didn't say that so that I can pretend that I don't do it? Please??