Do you buy a vanilla latte with a shot of espresso from the same café every morning? Or maybe you always take the same seat in the conference room during a meeting. The point is we are all creatures of habit. As creatures of habit, we have both good and bad habits, that influence our personal and professional lives. The key to creating positive change in ourselves and around us relies on our ability to recognize our habits, identify the ones that are no longer working for us and make a concerted effort to alter these behaviors. However, as science points out, this is easier said than done.
According to recent research conducted at Duke University, habits account for about 40 percent of our behavior on any given day. In addition, our minds tire as the day proceeds, and we fall back on our instinctual nature, which is in part the habits we’ve built over a lifetime.
Changing Our Behaviors
How do we form a new habit and commit it to our repertoire of intuitive behaviors? Perhaps not so surprisingly, the endeavor is more aligned with psychology than with business strategy. There are a number of theories that address changing habits, and among all of them are consistent themes. These themes include:
5.The Buddy System
We will go into these concepts in more depth shortly, but the point is that, by applying these themes to the business development process, business professionals can alter their default patterns to achieve more success.
The 5 Themes to Forming New Habits
Here is a breakdown of the five themes that are consistently cited as critical to forming new habits.
1.Consistency: Do something to develop business each workday. It can be as easy as sending an email to a referral source or making a quick call to a contact to catch up.
2.Simplicity: Simplicity keeps our initiatives straightforward and doesn’t require too much mental energy. Instead of developing a full-blown strategic plan to bring in business, break the process into daily tasks, and do something toward achieving your goals each day.
3.Repetition: Repetition is imperative in creating new habits. Repeating our processes each workday ensures consistency, creates habits and will, over time, ensure we reach our goals.
4.Accidents: Of course, life gets in the way. Hiccups and missteps will happen. The key is to get back on track as quickly as possible. Forget about guilt. It’s just a waste of time. Instead, spend your mental energy on getting back into that routine.
5.The Buddy System: Finally, remember that most things in life are easier when you have someone by your side, so create a Buddy System with a colleague. You can share ideas, motivate one another and hold each other accountable.