Creating Positive Habits

Whether you would like to admit or not, we all have habits.  Some of them are good, such as exercising or even reading everyday.  Some are bad, such as smoking a cigarette or eating fatty foods.  And others are indifferent, not necessarily good but not bad either.

What exactly does that mean you ask?  The dictionary defines a habit as “an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.”  Involuntarily doing something each and every day because you’ve mentally set your brain to repeat it on a regular basis. 

The trick is to get your own habits to work for you, instead of against you.  Let’s use an example.  If you can create a habit to call 25 new prospects each day, then you would have called 125 in a week.  If you kept that up for a month then you would’ve called 500 new prospects.  And what if you stuck with it for a full year?  Then you would’ve called 6,000 new prospects.

Now even if you’re not a “great” salesperson, you should be able to close 1% of that or 60 of them.  That’s 60 new prospects doing business with you!  But my guess is, you’re better than just 1%.  You can probably get 5%-10% of them to start using whatever product or service you’re offering.  That’s 300-600 new prospects in just one years time.  But why can’t we get ourselves to do that on a consistent basis?

That’s because old habits are hard to break and new habits are hard to form.  Our behavioral patterns we repeat most often are literally etched into our neural pathways.  But, there’s hope.  It’s possible to create new and positive habits.  Think of it as exercising your brain.

In a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher at University College London, and her team figured out just how long it takes to form a new habit.

The study examined the habits of 96 people over a 12-week period. Each person chose one new habit for the 12 weeks and reported each day on whether or not they did the behavior and how automatic the behavior felt.

Some people chose simple habits like “drinking a bottle of water with lunch.” Others chose more difficult tasks like “running for 15 minutes before dinner.” At the end of the 12 weeks, the researchers analyzed the data to determine how long it took each person to go from starting a new behavior to automatically doing it.

On average it took 66 days to form a new behavior that became automatic.  And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances. In Lally’s study, it took anywhere from 18 days to 254 days for people to form a new habit.  But again, on average, if you want to create a new behavior then you can expect it will take at least 66 days.

One of the most interesting findings from this study, in my opinion, was that to create the habit you didn’t have to be perfect.  In other words, you could miss a day or two throughout the week and still form a new behavior.  It’s about effort toward creating the habit more so than perfecting it.  So back to my original question.  Why can’t we get ourselves to do what we know will greatly benefit us on a consistent basis?

I think it’s because somewhere in our life, someone or something told us it should be perfect.  Well.  It’s not about perfect.  It’s about effort, and when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens.  That’s how change occurs.

If you would like to submit your own story or guest post please email us.  We’ll review it and potentially get it on the site.

Why Do You Need To Motivate Your Employees

Leadership has a big role to play in order to increase benefits for the employees and ensure a friendly workplace environment. The leaders manages all the resources, coordinates between different departments and helps analyze the different issues to find tangible solutions for them. As the world has turned into a global village the competition in the corporate world has increased manifold, so the outdated management skills like the hub and spoke method have become quite defunct. Thus, there is need of new management skills that help keep pace with the changing times. Nowadays, most managers mostly interact and engage with all the employees in person to help build better relations. However, only interaction is not enough and one has to motivate employees as well. If you have any doubts about the importance of motivation for employees, then here are some reasons that will definitely convince you:

  1. Motivation Increases Productivity

Motivating your employees is very helpful in making them hardworking and more efficient. If the employees are driven by a certain motivation they never lose interest in their job and become more competent. They find an urge to learn more about their job and want to do it in the best way possible. This means that the motivated employees are more productive employees because the motivation is a big incentive for them. In today’s competitive world having productive employees is very critical to the success of your business and you cannot succeed without it.

  1. Motivation Helps Build A Successful Team

Teamwork is the secret ingredient for the success of your business. If the different members of a team are not able to coordinate and cooperate with each other, the team fails as a whole. The team needs to work as a single unit for getting the task accomplished without any complications and any sort of miscommunication is hazardous for the progress of not only a single employee, not only a single team but the whole business. The role of the manager is critical in forming a successful team and this can only be done by motivation. The members need to be motivated to work together. They need to know the importance of teamwork and celebrate the success of the team and not individual success. Such motivations can undoubtedly help build a successful and strong team that is essential for the prosperity of your business.

  1. Motivation Helps Look Beyond Failures

When an employee fails to produce the desired results despite his competence his confidence level deteriorates. The need of the hour for that employee or a team of employees is motivation as it helps them realize that failure is not the end but a new beginning.

  1. Motivation Helps in Achievement of Goals

If the employees are properly motivated by the management then there is no way that they will face difficulty in the achievement of their set targets. Motivation helps drive the employees towards the accomplishment of goals making them emerge as successful employees and as assets for your firm.

Top 7 Things that Help Motivate Employees

Are you a businessman suffering from losses due to the increased competition in the world? The business world is becoming more and more competitive with every passing day. All the techniques that help you shine out among rivals are also costly like advertisement, product differentiation and promotion of your product. However, you can reap profits in a competitive environment by lowering the costs and the best way to lower your costs is to have productive and efficient employees on the team. In order to increase the efficiency and competence of your employees, you need to motivate them in the right direction. Motivation is not a difficult job but it is not easy either and if you want to motivate your employees in the easiest way then here are seven useful tips that will help increase their competence and efficiency as well:

  1. Trustworthy Leadership

Gone are the days when leadership did not interact and engage with the employees much as now it is a demand of the changing times that managers need to build a strong relationship with employees. The leadership needs to take steps that increase an employee’s trust so one feels that one is working for the right people. Trust is a very potent tool that helps in motivating employees and the most transparent leaders will have more efficient and motivated workers.

  1. Relevance of the Employee

One way to boost the morale of an employee is by telling him his importance and worth for the company. The best part about it is that by knowing the employee is relevant he will try to improve his performance and stay loyal to the firm as he would feel the necessary motivation to stay and work harder.

  1. Progression

When there is an incentive for a reward as big as promotion and progression that is, without any doubt, going to help motivate the employees. The progression is an actual driving force which makes the office environment and competitive as everyone wants to do better than others to be ahead of them.

  1. Sharing the Burden of Their Failure

If the employees have the entire burden of the failure of a specific project on their shoulders then they are going to get discouraged. It will have a negative impact on their performance and they will never feel the urge to do better. In order to motivate them to look beyond their failure you need to share the burden of their failure with them.

  1. Personal Motives

Try knowing your employees better so that you can easily determine their motivational factors which are based on their personal motives. If you are able to target the personal motives of an employee, then you will undoubtedly be able to get the best out of him.

  1. Influencing the Outcomes

If the employees know that they have a significant influence on the outcome of a project, then they will feel the drive to work harder so that the project is a successful venture.

  1. Personal Happiness

You also need to ensure that the employee is happy with the work environment even if he had a bad day at home you must provide him opportunities to stay calm and enjoy his work.