August is all about Habits.
This week, we take a look at how habits are part of the process.
Last month was all about using process-driven systems to achieve a desired outcome.
But what is a process-driven system? How do you set up a system based on processes that drive a specific outcome? The answer is rather simple: habits. The small, tiny, mundane habits we create for ourselves ultimately build upon each other to create a successful process, resulting in those goals we’re always striving towards.
How is it that these small, seemingly insignificant actions create such grand results?
One to Many
It starts with one, small thing, each day. The path to improvements begins with consistent, persistent, incremental work. You build your system of success—your process—with the little things, by practicing them day after day. It can be many small things, or it can simply be one thing. As long as you are doing something every single day to propel yourself forward, your tiny successes will start to add up.
Stacking for Net Gains
We assemble our lives action by action. Focusing on the immediate task at-hand, as if it’s the only thing that matters, adds up to many successful actions. To form a new habit, tie it to an existing one. Pick out patterns in your everyday, habits you’ve already established; then, choose a new positive habit you’d like to add to an existing one. For example, your first morning’s coffee: this is an intrinsic habit for many. This is a great opportunity to add-on a new habit, like a 10 minute meditation practice or walk around the neighborhood. Adding this new habit to a pre-existing one results in net gains.
Routine Creates Certainty
We know that there is much in life beyond our control. But routine—and habit stacking—offers an element of certainty. Routine creates order, which can result in safe, secure outcomes. When habits are stacked and made routine, obstacles (which will always come) are less troublesome. It’s in times of chaos that routine habits are of utmost importance: they can provide you with a sense of clarity in the midst of madness. Create these habits for yourself to create order. Then, through this purposeful, deliberate order you’ll begin to see the beginnings of your successful process-driven system.
These individual habits may seem small in comparison to that far-reaching end-goal. But it’s the cumulative impacts of habits that eventually get you to your desired result.