Updated: Jul 12
Okay, so I might be on a tangent about personal habits recently. Honestly though, I’m not sorry.
Your habits define who you become, so how do they continue to be something so challenging for people to change?
Everyone knows they would feel better, and likely be happier, if they ate well and worked out every day.
So why are so many of us still struggling to wake up on time, make it to the gym, skip the junk food and eat our veggies… maybe even do our lead generation every morning?
James Clear wrote one of the most influential books on habits, and he himself has spent the past few decades studying and refining his approach to shifting his habits and sharing his experiences in his blog. All this led to the creation of his top selling book: Atomic Habits.
So what made his message so successful? He gave people a simple set of fundamentals to follow which could be applied to any aspect of your life.
Rule #1: Make it Obvious
One of the reasons we avoid the things we should do, is because they are harder than doing the things we shouldn’t. Junk food doesn’t take as much prep as salad, right?! In the book James shares examples of how he’s helped people change their lifestyle by making it natural for them to gravitate towards the habits which will serve their growth.
Awareness: Start by making a list of the things you do every day, this will help you get an idea of what serves you and what holds you back
Habit Stack: When I _______, then I _____. “When I get home, I won’t sit down until I exercise” or “When I get to the office, I don’t check my email until I have made 10 calls”
Environment design: Put the guitar out so you will practice. Put fog on the glass door so people don’t pop in.
Little things make a big difference. I removed my email link from my bookmarks and replaced it with my calendar so I don’t get distracted when I’m time blocked for lead generation. It worked!
Rule 2: Make it Attractive
Even if it's obvious, you still might not look forward to it. Making it attractive is the next step. Could you add a layer of fun to what you’re doing to incentivize it? How about your routines? Find ways to put icing on the cake so you WANT to keep up with it.
Temptation bundling: Love Netflix? Why not watch it while you run? Struggle with follow up calls? Create a reward system or make it a contest with a friend.
We imitate: You tend to gravitate towards the average of our group. If you don’t have friends who prioritize the things you want to focus on, surround yourself with new people. Join a lead generation group, meet with agents in your office for call night once a week or join a team which has a high level of accountability.
Motivational ritual: Your habits are supported by rituals which start before the activity itself. Putting some pleasurable aspects into the lead up will help motivate you to get into it: Make a nice coffee before you start your activities, take a minute to clear your desk and start when the clock hits the hour!
This business is simple, but that doesn't mean it’s easy.
Make the hard parts something you want to get into by creating an environment which fosters the habits which make you successful.
Rule #3: Make it Easy
Take the friction out of doing the hard stuff!
Putting systems in place and removing any challenges helps you get started every day.
Over time, these same things are what will keep you productive.
Repetition, not perfection. Don’t wait till you’re perfect. Get started and you’ll get better every time you do it. Don’t over-prepare. Time on task, over time is the most common formula for success.
Reduce friction: If you need to research before you start, do it in advance. Look at your process and remove any repetitive tasks you can. The easier it is to do the more you will get done.
The 2 minute rule: Don’t start out with some massive commitment. Get rolling with a small bite sized commitment and let it grow from there. 5 conversations every day is better than doing 100 conversations a few times a year when you work your guts up.
Time on task, over time is the recipe for success. To make this happen you have to make it convenient to do the right stuff. Cut the barriers and get a little done every day. Over time you can raise the bar and get deeper into the commitment. The goal is to start with a foundational commitment and grow the muscle over time.
Rule #4: Make it Satisfying
Keeping track and rewarding yourself when you do the right stuff serves to keep you coming back. I recently wrote about Jerry Seinfeld's don’t break the chain, image the satisfaction he had when he hit day 100, or 1000!
Building rewards into your plan will keep you wanting more, which will keep you coming back.
Immediate satisfaction: Find ways to reward yourself immediately. On our team we literally had a cowbell for our agents to ring when they booked an appointment. We celebrated weekly when agents hit their goals. These little things go a long way.
Personal Loyalty Program: Find a way to build momentum. Quit smoking? Put the daily budget for cigarettes into a jar and have fun with it. Making the calls? Find out what each call is worth based on your potential earnings and save towards a vacation!
Track it: Build a tracker and USE IT. Simple is better, focusing on a few key metrics. Don’t overcomplicate it, it needs to follow rule 1 and 3: Make it obvious and make it easy!
This business is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy
It bears repeating. This business really is pretty straightforward, but 80% of agents don’t make it past a few years. It takes discipline and frankly, the daily stuff we have to do is repetitive (read “boring”) and sometimes less than pleasant. If you get through this though, the rewards are amazing, where else can someone with a simple license make millions of dollars?
Discipline starts with your routine. Change doesn’t happen naturally, but if you approach it with a plan and use some tools to make it easy and fun, you can do it.
To bigger and better dreams,
PS. want support from our elite group of coaches? check out the Endgame Academy!