And BAM it’s December…or at least, that’s kind of how it feels around my house. I am fully aware I have had 12 months to gear up for the arrival of December each year, yet still it takes me by complete surprise. For whatever reason, I am fully prepared for the end of the year at work, but at home, it’s an entirely different story.
Why, do you suppose, that is?
Well, if I were to be completely honest with you, and I do strive to be thus, I would tell you that it’s just my habit to be surprised by December. It’s my habit to feel “rushed” once December first rolls around, to feel like “suddenly” I have “No Time At All For ANYTHING.”
It’s not true, of course. I still have 24 hours each day…there are still 7 days in the week…and the month of December has 30 full days in it. And yet…and yet, this pattern persists.
Patterns and habits and our brains – oh my! I am certain I could write at least 10 volumes on this topic alone, but let’s cut to the heart of the matter: our patterns and our habits and our brains are affecting us every moment of every day in our lives, and in our businesses.And every clever, truth-seeking, results-driven CEO will tell you the same thing: it’s KNOWING what these patterns and habits ARE that is the key to shifting, or otherwise dispelling them, once and for all. You cannot change what you are not aware of.
Yup. Awareness is the key.
Remember in the last entry in my Chronicles, I spoke about all the “things” that could impact us and our growth in business? Everything from mindset to outside influences to our physical bodies to our dogs? (If you need a reminder, take a peek back:
Well, some other “things” that can affect us are our patterns and our habits. Our brains are very powerful!
Here are some examples:
1. It’s the first of the month! You run all your billings and your habit is to look at all the money you spent in the previous month. It is your habit to ignore the money you made. This habit causes you stress that you many not even be aware of because you are not focusing on the “positive” of the income!
2. It’s Wednesday. It’s your day to write your copy for your next company newsletter. It’s your habit to do it on Wednesday. Come hell or high water, you write on Wednesday. But today you are sick. And it’s Wednesday. And now your stress is through the roof because it’s writing day, damn it, and you’re sick and now what?!?! Your habit – and inability to change it, to keep it fluid – is causing you distress.
3. It’s April 28. (For Canadians, you know where this is going…) You have two days to file your taxes. Your pattern is to wait until The Very Last Minute. So now it’s 3 am and you’re exhausted and the numbers are a blur and you can’t even remember your name much less why you bought that item at Staples…your pattern is causing you crazy-amounts of stress and impacting your ability to function, and therefore to succeed!
I’ve used some simple examples here, but you get the idea. These examples may not be the same as the ones affecting your business, but I can guarantee you that there are some standing between you and your further success. And if you don’t take the time to identify them, you cannot shift them. And if you do not shift them, you cannot succeed with ease.
It’s time for an audit – this time, a “Habit Audit.” Take a few moments and reflect. Ask yourself, “What patterns do I succumb to, what habits are keeping me from further growth?” And write them down. I will even add one more step for those of you who are really game to shift this once and for all: Ask your assistant or someone close to you to answer this question for you, too. I will tell you that some of my most impactful-habits are ones that I didn’t see but Donna, my assistant, did. And I am grateful that she has pointed them out to me because AWARENESS IS KEY.
And in case you are wondering if there are any other habits or patterns that are impacting your business, ones that you may not even be aware of on a conscious level, then maybe you’d like to make it a priority to attend my next virtual meeting. You may discover through our time together that a habit is the number one “thing” impacting your future success. And since awareness is key, wouldn’t it be great to find that out?
Buckets of love,