Our success or failure is driven by our habits. In fact, habits have everything to do with our success or failure. A person with good work habits, for example, will be much more likely to succeed than a person without good work habits. Most organizations and people work on developing skills and knowledge. However, problems and failures occur due to habits and behabiors.
Habits can be good but they can also be harmful. A bad habit can cause us to continue to do things that are non-productive or destructive. For example, you might have a habit of laying back and taking it easy. The end result could be panic when you are up against a deadline. The end result could be failure to meet the deadline or failure to achieve good results. All of this is the result of living in a comfort zone. That comfort zone exists for us because we are deriving satisfaction for our current habits. As an example, many people have trouble sticking to a diet because it is more comfortable to eat that extra “comfort food”. It would be more effective, of course, to consider the effect of that habit on health and weight loss and simply stop over eating and eating the wrong food. It would be more effective but it certainly is not easy.
Here is the good news. You can change your bad habits but it will take effort. It takes effort because you must reaffirm your commitment to change and take action although it may be uncomfortable. It is uncomfortable because the pleasure you derive from your old habit will get in the way. The mind is interesting that way. You won’t be able to pull out the old habit without replacing it with a new and perhaps better alternative. You can’t just pull the old habit out and leave a “VOID” there. So it takes effort to recognize and come up with a suitable and better alternative. When you move out of your old comfort zone you will need to create a new comfort zone. Failure to do that will result in continual stress and that will pull you back into you old habit.
Here is the reason why goal setting does not result in goal achievement. People may set goals and they may even write them down. But sometimes nothing happens because they fail to break old habits and take action. The old habit had its reward but was there sufficient reward to break the old harmful habit and credit a new one?
Let’s say you know you should be networking and prospecting but it is not comfortable. But you visualize the reward that more sales will bring—a better lifestyle, a vacation, and more peace of mind. With that in mind you can replace the comfort of inaction with the comfort of sales and prosperity.
Finally, divide your goals into bite size action steps. You can’t eat an elephant in one sitting. Action steps are relatively simple tasks—a telephone call, an appointment set, a letter written. These relatively simple tasks add up to the accomplishment of something more significant—the achievement of your goal.