Develop Your Habits

When pilots prepare for takeoff, they don’t look at each other and say “Let’s see, what are we supposed to do now?”. They follow a checklist, and they use it every single time they takeoff, even if its 10 times a day. They make it their routine.
Franchised businesses are built on a similar idea of systems – defined, repeated processes and lists that produce consistent results.
We will have much more success if we do the same thing. Creating a repeatable routine of activities (a/k/a habits) to take action toward the goal every day insures behavior that improves our chances for success.
For example, making a practice out of having a simple list of a few essential things you will do every day, preferably in the same order or at the same time, helps insure that those critical things get done. Once you get a sequence that works for you, make it a part of your regular routine.

My Approach

I use what I call my Daily Agenda. If you’ll adopt this idea of following a routine (a habit) of performing a few key activities each day to reach your goal, you’ll be far ahead of the crowd.
By the way, I struggle just as much as anyone. Still, if I can just follow my plan 75% of the time I’m still way ahead of where I would have been without it. The following simple daily process has been very useful for me.

The Daily Process

  1. Good Start: Up at ? am
  2. Review The Day: Spend 10 minutes reviewing the day’s “must do” activities before I leave in the morning
  3. Planned Reminders: I send myself text message reminder (morning, afternoon) just to help me stick to the plan for that day (I’m easily distracted!)
  4. Record Activity: Stop whatever I’m doing at 9:30 every evening to record which of the key planned activities I accomplished that day (see “Record Your Progress”). Takes about 5 minutes.
  5. Plan Tomorrow: Plan tomorrow’s key activity(s). Takes another 5-10 minutes.
  6. Journal: Make notes about anything significant that happened today (not essential, just something I like to do).
  7. Regular Rest: Lights out at ? pm

The details really don’t matter. What matters is if you can find some process to make sure you follow a few key activities each day, you will get consistent results. The biggies for me are (1) plan the key activities I must get done tomorrow in advance, and (2) recording whether I did the things I planned or not.

If you can give yourself just one or two things that you follow on a daily basis as your “system”, I think you’ll find your far more productive than if you just wing it.

Summary of key points:

  1. Creating a system or checklist of activities you do each day is a good way to insure consistent, predictable results
  2. Following the daily system can help insure you do the things you need to do on a regular basis
  3. A good goal system includes planning key activities each day, and recording whether you performed those activies, each day