Albert Einstein gets credited for the quote, “Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This makes sense if you are stuck and can’t figure out how to fix a problem. But what if you wanted to get yourself stuck, why would you keep doing different things? If you are looking for consistency, you need the repetition. You need to do the same things over and over again. Is there something you are wanting in life? Identify and create the habits needed to accomplish your goals.
Andy Frisella’s Win the Day podcast (MFCEO #107) introduces the topic of having a Power List. He suggests writing down 5 objectives you need to accomplish every day. Accomplish the task, check it off. Accomplish all of them, and you win the day. The question then becomes: How many days can you win? Keep the item on your list until you can get 21 days in a row and then it should be an automatic habit. Once you hit the 21 day mark, you can remove it from your list and add another item.
Simple, right? My first impression is that this would be a cake walk. The reality is different. There are some desired habits I would like to create, but I am not ready for them. Attempting them resulted in losing days. What I really needed to do was reexamine the desired habit and break it down. Taking writing for example. I have some lofty writing goals that I am not ready for. Originally I put on my list that I would blog every day and write fiction for a set amount of time. Doable for a professional writer? Absolutely! For me? Maybe in time, but right now I have too many irons in the fire. And I don’t already have a daily writing habit. So what I really need is a daily writing habit, not a lofty writing goal. What is an easy writing habit? I first started with gratitude and writing down every morning the three things I am grateful for. That was the start, and now it is no longer on my list because it is a new habit. I have moved on to the next stage. It is a little more difficult. Write something else every day. This consists of either journaling or blogging. It doesn’t really matter what it is. I just have to write. If I can incrementally improve on my writing habit, maybe I can build up to some of those loftier goals.
Can I consistently win the day? Can you? We have it within ourselves to achieve greatness. Greatness, however, doesn’t magically appear overnight. You have to refine the process that will get you there. And once you have the process, you do it over and over again.
Winning is a habit. Unfortunately so is losing. –Vince Lombardi