Some of the most-referenced books in our personal business library address how habits form in people and organizations, and the importance of adapting habits to support success in work and in life. It’s easy to see the obvious habits that serve us well or the ones that are detrimental. However, determining whether the less obvious habits we develop over time are serving us well is not always as clear-cut.
Often, these overlooked habits start from considered thought, but fade into the background of our lives (e.g., Scott has much more interest and expertise in cooking than I have so he became the primary chef in our household over time). Sometimes, however, we’re jolted into awareness of our habits and regain the ability to make new choices.
For example, over the summer Scott’s father’s health took an unexpected turn for the worse and Scott stayed in Columbus, Ohio for a month until his father passed away. During that time I took on many more roles than usual both in business and at home; it was an eye opener to realize how many activities of daily life had evolved into unconscious habit as opposed to considered choices.
Upon reflection, I made a decision to focus on a healthy lifestyle. Surprisingly, it was easier than I thought it would be to adopt new habits such as eating vegetables as long as I associated it with the vision of feeling healthier. However, Scott and I decided that it still serves both of us well for Scott to be the primary chef. So he went back to creating wonderful meals and I went back to enjoying them. The only difference is he adapted his habits around cooking and we eat more vegetables each day.
Evaluating whether our habits are serving us well is especially vital in business as conditions keep changing.
As you look ahead to 2015, which of your own habits will take you toward the vision you hold for your own life and yourself as a leader? Which of your habits no longer are serving you as well as they once did to achieve your most important goals? How will you become aware of habits that may have slipped into the background?
And finally, how will you and your organization gain fresh insights, support, guidance, and mentoring to sustain momentum as your company faces new opportunities and responds to new challenges? These are areas where clients tell us we’ve been especially helpful.
In our case, we’ve been publishing The Harper Report for seven years. However, we know that many of you are more mobile than ever before. So with new technology in wider use we’ve made a decision to adapt our own habits of communication.
Look for our announcement in mid-February 2015 that will enable you to listen to our unique conversations with successful forward-looking CEOs as well as globally renowned and emerging thought leaders. These programs will provide new ways for you to gain quick insights, inspiration and ideas to ignite growth in your own company and in life.
Your ability to become aware of your habits and make new conscious decisions by addressing questions like these will provide you with the keys to your success next year and in years to come.