Someone just mentioned in a forum that I’m in “Daily post builds a habit! I’ve found I get better over time – and faster.”
Habits can work for or against us.
We do things habitually and can even get to the stage of not noticing what we’re doing. If you’ve ever been around someone with an annoying habit you’ll know that they’re the last person in the world to know or admit they’ve got it but everyone who comes into contact with them spots it almost immediately.
But that’s not the kind of habit I’m going to talk about – there are plenty of inexpensive hypnosis tracks to help sort out bad habits (all sorts of them, from the reasonably regular habits of drinking more wine than you’d like to right the way through to chewing ice cubes).
Instead, there’s lots of helpful habits we can all get into…
Most habits take time to form.
You might be lucky and get into a good habit in a couple of weeks. Or it could take a month or even longer.
But a month is a good enough initial target for most people.
Pick ONE thing you’d like to do better or more of in your business.
Not a bucket list and not even “just two” things.
Pick one to-do habit off at a time.
In a year, you’ll have lots more things under your belt (best guess anywhere between 6 and 12) but if you tried to start them all at the same time there’s an excellent chance you’ll just mentally wave a white flag and not start any of them.
It doesn’t much matter whether the new habit is big or small but I’d suggest small-ish is probably a better way to start as you’re more likely to be able to improve fast and that builds up a virtuous circle in your mind and helps you think “I can do it!” more often.
Maybe start with something that you do intermittently but should do more of:
- Emailing your list
- Writing a post on your site
- Recording a video
- Anything else you want to do to help your internet marketing move forward in the right direction
In fact, if your habits just meant you did those on a regular basis, you’re probably set for life in internet marketing. The basics don’t go out of fashion and most people don’t do them anywhere near often enough.
Next, pick a time to do your new habit.
Allow yourself enough time – especially at first.
So 5 minutes before a school run or a dog walk or anything else that just won’t wait isn’t a good idea.
Earlier in the day is usually better – our schedules start running late almost automatically and if your new habit is due to start late at night there’s an excellent chance it will get pushed aside.
Setting aside enough time regularly (preferably daily) is one of the keys to making this work. Along with the hopefully obvious part of doing it rather than thinking about doing it.
15, 30 or 60 minutes are good time blocks. Or you could decide on a more precise number (that often works nicely) such as 17, 27 or 57 minutes. Next to no difference in the length of time – and there’s a good chance you’ll over-run anyway – but the precision triggers something in our minds that the regular blocks don’t.
Set a note in your phone to remind you at first – almost all calendars have an auto-repeat option even if they’re like the one on my Android that doesn’t much care about the year the item should end and needs the alarm deleting and a search on the web to find out how to set it to the date I first thought I’d told it.
Then take notice of the note and start working on your new habit.
The first few days it might seem as though a tortoise could overtake you.
But gradually you’ll speed up because things are becoming more familiar.
And eventually – usually after a handful of weeks – it will become automatic and part of your daily routine.
Or you’ll decide it really isn’t for you but at least this time you’ll know that from experience rather than something your mind conjured up to put you off.
If you’ve ever watched a plumber or an electrician do work, you’ll know that they seem to do things super-fast. Not because they’re more intelligent than you (no offence to them but they probably aren’t) but because they’ve been doing similar things for years.
The same goes for your internet marketing habits.
I type quite fast for a two finger, one thumb typist. About 35 – 40 words a minute. Because I’ve been doing it since my first IBM Selectric – I’m quicker now because I don’t have to change the golf ball to change font and the backspace key works faster than the correction ribbon. Plus I’ve been doing it for years.
You’ll find the same for whatever habit you’re aiming to develop.
You speed up because it’s just part of the routine you’ve gradually become used to.
So try it.
Pick a new habit you want to adopt to push your business forward.
Then do it. Preferably daily at the same time every day for the length of time you first thought of.
Then drop me a message in the comments box in a week, two weeks and four weeks time to let me know how it’s helping. Or just brag about your success in forming a new habit to anyone who’ll listen!