Take Action to Develop Better Habits Now

To succeed today, you have to set priorities, decide what you stand for.
Lee Lacocca

There are two action steps for changing your habits: The first step is to make a list of all the habits that keep you unproductive or that might negatively impact your future. Ask others to help you objectively identify what they believe are your limiting habits. Look for patterns. Also review the list of the most common unsuccessful habits below:

• Procrastinating
• Paying bills at the last minute
• Not delivering on promised documents and services in a timely way
• Arriving late for meetings and appointments
• Forgetting someone’s name within seconds of being introduced
• Talking over others’ comments, instead of listening
• Answering the telephone during family time or spouse time
• Handling the mail more than once
• Working late
• Choosing work over time with your children
• Having fast-food meals more than 2 days a week
• Self-centered

Once you have identified your negative habits, the second step is to choose a better, more productive success habit and develop systems that will help support them.

For example, if your goal is to get to the gym every morning, one system you might put in place is to go to bed 1 hour earlier and set your alarm ahead. If you’re in sales, you might develop a checklist of activities so that all prospects receive the same series of communications.
Maybe you want to get in the habit of completing your work by close of business Friday, so you’re free to spend weekends with your spouse and children. That’s an excellent habit, but what specifically will you do to adopt that new habit? What activities will you engage in? How will you stay motivated? Will you develop a checklist of what must be accomplished by Friday  afternoon to keep you on track? Will you spend less time chatting with coworkers at the water cooler? E-mail people their promised documents as you are talking on the phone with them? Take shorter lunches?

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