47 coffees to go – lessons in habits
Jacki and I recently embarked on a belated Spring clean (about 11 years late). Needless to say, this resulted in the recycling/upcycling/donation of hundreds of household items.
Not only did this feel liberating, it enabled us to give everything a rightful home. The only issue is that every morning when I make a coffee, I keep heading to the cupboard that now contains plates and bowls.
I moved the mugs to be nearer the kettle – nineteen days ago – yet I’m still opening the wrong cupboard time and time again. You see, strolling across the kitchen to that cupboard to reach for a mug has been my habit for eleven years; I did it so often and regularly, and with little thought.
They say that the average time it takes for a new habit to stick is 66 days, so I’ve got another 47 coffees to go.
The same goes for how you think, act and behave in your business.
There’s a common thread between those who Scale successfully and those who remain stagnant: replacing bad habits with positive ones.
Do any of these behaviours (bad habits) sound familiar to you:
- Focusing on the short-term and operational rather than the vision
- Avoiding important conversations or making decisions
- Not letting go
- Focusing too much on the urgent, rather than the important
- Getting distracted by shiny new things
- Managing when you should be leading
It’s likely that you’re aware of doing at least three of these, but you’ve still not broken the habit.
To successfully break a habit, you need to think of your strongest motivation to drive you along. This varies and could be anything from financial freedom or exiting for your big pay day, through to spending more time with your family or pursuing that hobby you’ve been talking about forever.
If you want to develop a new behaviour, it will take you at least two months, so don’t despair if a few weeks doesn’t do the trick – for most people that’s simply not enough. And be patient because the longer you’ve had a habit, the longer it will take to get rid of.
Think of a ‘replacement behaviour’ for your habit, but make sure it’s a positive one – how many people do you know who gave up smoking only to pile on the pounds through excessive snacking? Over the years, we’ve seen many owners take the positive step to recruit an expert within their business to relieve the workload and increase productivity, yet they still fail to get out of the way.
The good news is that you’re capable of doing something else when you’re aware of the habit and are sufficiently motivated to change.
So, what bad habits are you going to replace with positive ones this month?