So the answer to yesterday’s question: “Mike did things – you tell me, how did Mike do things?”
Mike did things … as an example to his kids.
I cannot believe how powerful this concept is.
I cannot believe it.
Doing something as an example to yourself and to others.
Now, I know what you might say, “Hey, Senia, how about internal motivation? How about being internally propelled to completing the activity rather than looking for external validation?” I say, “Yes, you’re right.” But I would also say, “How can you make your habit committed, or public, or accountable?”
How can you make your habit into a commitment? In yesterday’s story, Joe had to think about it each time he considered going to the gym: “Should I go? Should I not?” That entire thought-process takes ten minutes, not to mention that that’s ten minutes you’re not actually doing anything at the gym, or that you’re scratching away at your self-discipline, and making it harder for yourself to resist the next temptation.
How about not thinking about it? One way to not think about a habit is to just KNOW that you do it no matter what. And if you do a habit no matter what, you are in a sense making an example of yourself – if only to yourself!
When I started career coaching, and started realizing that people don’t DO everything they want to do, I got very involved with the research behind habits and creating great habits. That literature still motivates me, and almost always motivates my clients when they learn about it. I’ve suggested aspects of self-discipline and habit-creation to my clients to these successes:
* One mini-triathlete was created
* Three people became nearly-addicted to weight-training
* Several people have a morning plank-and-crunches routine
* One person has a back stretching nearly-daily routine
* Two people have a work-healthy-eating routine
* Three people now stand up for their beliefs more at work
* Two people created a morning efficient-working-at-the-office routine
* About twenty people now breathe more and stretch their neck, arms, backs more at work
But you can’t be a coach and describe this research and these results without doing it! The best thing I did in 2007 was my exercise regimen. I am bringing it back now, this year, and it’s a slower bring-back. At the same time, I know it is returning – just like the Return of King Kong! :)
I am the biggest advocate ever of doing certain simple things and doing them well:
* Drinking Water
* Eating Vegetables
* Focusing on a Work Goal
And all those in that order.
These habits work.