Habits that fuel your suc­cess

Lesotho Times - - Jobs & Tenders -

YOU may not think com­pet­i­tive ath­letes have any­thing in com­mon with en­trepreneurs, but it turns out the same strate­gies top ath­letes use to win are the same strate­gies used to win in busi­ness.

Dr. Ja­son Selk helped the St. Louis Car­di­nals win two World Se­ries while serv­ing as di­rec­tor of men­tal train­ing. His new book, Or­ga­nize To­mor­row To­day ap­plies those same win­ning strate­gies he used with ath­letes to the busi­ness world. Rit­u­al­ize your habits Selk says the key to suc­cess is to rit­u­al­ize win­ning habits. “Ri­tu­al­iz­ing is do­ing the same habit at the same time each day,” says Selk. Base­ball play­ers, he says, will of­ten do their strength train­ing and con­di­tion­ing pro­gram at the same time ev­ery day. “They know at 8:30 this is what they do. They don’t have to think about what time they have to wake up, what they will eat, they don’t think about it be­cause they’ve al­ready thought it through once and de­vel­oped the plan,” he says.

De­vel­op­ing a daily rou­tine can also help your busi­ness. If you know your rit­ual is to pick up the phone at 9am to make your first sales call, you know what time you will need to get to the of­fice in or­der to make that hap­pen. Ri­tu­al­iz­ing takes away the en­ergy re­quired to make those de­ci­sions ev­ery day, giv­ing you more en­ergy for other im­por­tant things. How to form your key habits Selk iden­ti­fies three steps of habit for­ma­tion: the hon­ey­moon phase, the fight-thru phase and the “in the groove” phase. Dur­ing the “hon­ey­moon phase”, which typ­i­cally fol­lows a mo­ti­va­tional event, the habit is easy to do. You’re so in­spired to make three sales calls a day, it’s ac­tu­ally fun to do.

The se­cond phase, how­ever, is not so much fun. The “fight-thru” phase hap­pens when do­ing the habit be­comes hard. Mak­ing those calls now feels like a chal­lenge you want to sweep un­der the rug and for­get about. In or­der to con­tinue the habit, though, Selk says you need to win th­ese “fight-thrus”. Some of the ways to win are to: Rit­u­al­ize: Do th­ese habits at the same time ev­ery day. Add emo­tion: Ask your­self how you will feel if you win the fight-thru and how you will feel if you lose it. “Emo­tion pro­motes ac­tion,” says Selk. Ask your­self how you will feel in the next year or five years if you win th­ese fight-thrus. What will your life look like if you con­tinue to make those three sales calls a day? What will your life or your busi­ness look like if you stop mak­ing those calls? Pri­or­i­tize habits: “One of the most un­der­rated skills among the highly suc­cess­ful is the abil­ity to pri­or­i­tize,” says Selk. The most suc­cess­ful in­di­vid­u­als and ath­letes, he says, don’t al­ways get ev­ery­thing on their to-do-list done, but they get the most im­por­tant thing done. Start the day early: In or­der to get the most im­por­tant pri­or­i­ties done first, Selk says, the most suc­cess­ful in­di­vid­u­als adopt the ap­proach of “win­ning the day early”.

If you iden­tify the most im­por­tant ac­tiv­ity on your to-do-list and you get that one thing done as early as pos­si­ble, you’ll be able to en­sure you don’t get caught up in other dis­trac­tions. “The later in the day, the more dis­trac­tions and the less en­ergy you have,” says Selk.

If you win th­ese fight-thrus, Selk says, you’ll be in the third phase of habit for­ma­tion which he calls “in the groove”. This is the best po­si­tion to be in – where the habit be­comes se­cond na­ture, some­thing you do ev­ery day with­out re­ally think­ing about it. Tak­ing habits off course Life is great when you’re “in the groove”, but Selk says there are a num­ber of things that can push you back to be­ing back in the fight. Dis­cour­age­ment oc­curs when you’re do­ing the habit but aren’t see­ing the re­sults.

Dis­rup­tions, such as va­ca­tions or ill­nesses that cause a break in the nor­mal rou­tine can also throw you back into the “fight-thru” phase. En­trepreneurs will of­ten fall off the wagon thanks to the “se­duc­tion of suc­cess.” This hap­pens when the habit has been work­ing so well, you con­vince your­self that you don’t need to do it any­more.

You’ve been mak­ing three sales calls a day for three months and busi­ness is boom­ing. You think you can stop the habit now, but three months later, your busi­ness slows down be­cause you didn’t re­al­ize the busi­ness you got last month was a re­sult of calls you made two months prior. Time to start those win­ning habits all over again and get back on track! — En­tre­pre­neur.

Us­ing the Win­ning Habits of Top Ath­letes to Fuel Your Suc­cess.

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