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How to Build Good Habits in 2 Steps
Improve your leadership by implementing tiny specific changes.
Photo by Moe Magners
You must. You have to. You should.
So many things you should be doing. You know they are good for you, but you still fail to do them. Why? You may be lazy. You don’t have the will nor the time. There are many reasons.
Sometimes you need a push in the right direction. Let me give you a gentle one today.
Where are you now?
I have been struggling with my sleep for the past few months. I missed a specific time for going to bed and getting up. As a result, I could not wake up in the morning.
But I said: STOP. I can’t do this anymore. I read a book by James Clear - Atomic habits to help me navigate the process of creating a new habit.
One thing is obvious, if you are alone on your journey, you need to find a lot of self-control. It’s better to get some support: virtual or physical, from your family or colleagues.
Take a moment and think about what you have been up to. Like:
Struggling with your time management
Having too many unread emails
Being too shy to speak up
Having chaos at work
What was the first thing coming to your mind? That is a candidate for a change.
1. Decide to make a small change
The moment you realize you need a change is the beginning of conscious habit formation.
I know many leaders who are kind and lovely people. Yet, they are also chaotic and all over the place. If they take it step by step, they may be able to change.
Like my sleeping habit. I didn’t do a drastic change and started getting up at 5 am. But I set my alarm to 7:15 to start with.
Do the same with your habit. Take it easy and be realistic. You need time to build it up.
If you have a disorganized table, you won’t solve it by cleaning it one time. It is about keeping it clean in the long term. Taking away your dirty cup at the end of the day is a small change you can make.
In the next few weeks, you get used to it and you can move on to the next small change.
2. Be specific and time-oriented
Like business goals, building good habits requires specific and time-oriented behaviors.
James Clear simplifies it to this formula:
“I will (BEHAVIOR) at (TIME) in (LOCATION).”
It is a pledge you make to yourself. By articulating it in detail, you are more likely to succeed than when you keep it vague. These things won’t work:
I want to be a better listener.
I will start delegating more fairly.
I would like to talk to my team more.
I want to become more organized at work.
You are likely to fail if you make such statements. They are empty promises that are nice to have, but they won’t bring you a change.
My better sleeping habits have this pledge:
“I will get up at 7:15 every workday when I am at home.”
Let’s take another example of a ‘better listener’ pledge.
I will stop watching my phone when I have a weekly meeting on Thursday with my XX teammate in an online meeting room.
Do you feel the difference? Because it will work! So, don’t wait for the best moment and work it out now.
🖖 Let’s chat for 20 min about how you can improve your leadership. I help you verbalize your wishes and support you as you learn and establish new habits.