Determination, will power, discipline; whatever you want to call it, it is a key factor in determining your success or failure when attempting to change habits or shift behavioral patterns in life and business. Certainly the best laid plans begin with a clear goal and a detailed list but ultimately involve some form of “shift”. Problems arise when the time comes to actually do something different which takes will power. Study after study suggest that humans possess a limited amount of will power and it’s up to you to decide how you’ll use yours on a day-to-day basis.
Let’s assume you have a goal of increasing sales and have decided that referral networking (excellent decision) is your best course of action but, even the thought of asking for a referral makes you break out in a cold sweat. Regardless, you are determined to put your plan into action starting today. Congratulations, you’ve taken the first step! Now most of us would assume that the biggest obstacle to successfully taking action would be the aversion to the activity, I contend that the biggest obstacle is how the rest of your day played out. If you finally dragged yourself out of bed after the third snooze alarm feeling like you’d been asleep for 5 minutes total, you’re late getting the kids ready for school and the dog walked (in the rain), only to arrive at the office to a stack of “urgent” messages and a box of donuts in the break room (which you’ve vowed to avoid because of those pesky 10 lbs.) — you’re screwed. Just sitting at your desk has cost you an enormous amount of will power and odds are good you won’t muster enough reserve to do the thing you dread the most.
So, what’s the point? Am I suggesting that if your morning sucks, you pack it in for the day? [that would make me the least successful but most beloved consultant on the planet] No, on the contrary, I am suggesting that you understand the dynamics of change and the importance of setting yourself up to win, not fail. Studies suggest that it’s possible to improve habits across a broad range of activities by merely focusing one one key habit so if you exert discipline in the planning phase, you have a much greater chance of success. Take a moment, look at some of what you’d consider key changes in your life or business. What would it take to achieve results and (be honest) how much will power will it take to get there? Where have you tried but failed in the past? How can you use that data to succeed today?
Get out of your box and start making real measurable progress today!