Everyone wants momentum in their life. Momentum is the free flow of actions and ideas that make us feel like we are ‘in the zone’ – we are making progress and life is almost effortless.
But there’s an important formula for gaining momentum: Good habits and routines + consistency = momentum.
The smartest and easiest way to become a success is to do the things successful people do. All successful people will tell you that they have developed good habits (repetitious positive actions), that have become automatic over time. These positive actions become habitual, and require minimal thinking or effort, but can set you up for massive success. That sounds like smart but lazy to me! On the other hand if you have to keep talking yourself into doing the habits that should be second nature, you rob yourself of energy that could be better used on creative thinking and activities.
We all have triggers that cause us to do certain things. For example, the time of day, or feelings such as boredom, anxiety or loneliness – even places, events or people can trigger off a response that is virtually automatic. The behaviour or habit that is performed as a result of that trigger, then gives us a reward or a result that we, consciously or unconsciously, think serves us well. Some of these habits do work for us, but some are not so great and are working against us.
Many people sabotage their success with bad habits that control their lives. While developing bad habits is easy and usually feels good to start with, the negative long term effects can be huge. Once the bad habit has hooked someone, it can cost them big time! Multiple areas in that person’s life can suffer – health, finances and relationships. On the other hand, smart but lazy people understand that while it takes time and effort to establish a good habit, these habits put them in the driver’s seat of their lives.
Start with the end in mind – how do you want to live? I suggest you do an analysis of your habits and determine which ones are holding you back and robbing you from the future you deserve. Then decide which good habits you will need to establish, to get the life you want. Do you need to modify or break a bad habit? I encourage you to be honest with yourself – the choice is up to you.
How I broke the bad habit of smoking
I had to change my belief that smoking was glamorous and cool– so to do this I wrote out a negative description of myself as a smoker and also a positive description of myself as a non-smoker. Before I lit up, I read each description. That felt so stupid to start with but I had made myself a promise to read them and so I did. This exercise was very powerful. The horrible description of me smelling like smoke, potentially becoming sick and being unattractive to guys, compared to the positive image of being clean, healthy and attractive, gradually changed my belief. I started to dislike the picture I had of myself as a smoker and after only a few weeks, the appeal to smoke for the most part was gone. To further help me stop smoking, I also stayed away from certain situations that triggered me to smoke. It took me a few years to be completely free of the urge to smoke, but I haven’t touched a cigarette for well over three decades.
At the same time as I stopped smoking, I set up a new habit of read ing more books and listening to more positive material to increase my understanding of people skills and leadership. I replaced a bad habit with a good one. Actually, I should say ‘smart habit’ because over the past 40 years, learning about people and leadership and applying that knowledge has made me millions of dollars. How would you feel if you could break one bad habit that is causing you to live short of your potential? Imagine if you took the time and energy you are using on a bad habit and diverted it into creating a new good habit in it’s place? These two actions could literally change your life.
Who Am I?
I am your constant companion,
I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half the things you do might just as well be turned over to me
and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed – you must merely be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done and
after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great people;
and alas, of all failures as well.
Those who are great,
I have made great.
Those who are failures,
I have made failures.
Yvonne Godfrey, is the founder of MIOMO (making it on my own), youth independence programme. She is also the author of ‘Parenting Yadults’ – How to Set Up Your Young Adult for Independence and Success in Life! and ‘Making it on my Own’ – 52 Smart Ways to Smash it in the Real World. Yvonne and her husband Simon have 2 adult daughters, and 2 grandchildren. For more information MIOMO.com