9+ Reasons Why HABIT is the KEY to Achieving Your Goals plus, How to Break Bad Habits and Build Good Habits, Part II

Happy New Year! Got Goals?

Lose Weight
Read More
Double Your Income
Get a New Job…

By: Martin Grunburg
It’s everywhere. The “New Year— New You” season is in full-swing for what appears to be about the first 14 days in January. Then, it seems about 90+% of people get sucked back into their old unsupportive* habits and rituals. Sadly, the rush and initial excitement of becoming someone or something new, better or different, all but vanishes.

As I’ve mentioned before, I know this all too well. In fact, that is why I created The Habit Factor® app and wrote the book— (after what seemed like 15+ yrs of personal and professional struggle and frustration).

Just remember, it doesn’t matter if it’s New Years day, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving day or any day in between. The Habit Factor® works everytime, ALL THE TIME and below you’ll find out why!

A Little Background first…

Those of you who read this blog are familiar with some of this info. However, having said that, I do believe you ought to read this entire post (hence, I’ve taken the time to write it). And, please know, many new visitors are starting from scratch— they have no background knowledge of The Habit Factor® (book or app).

The first thing to understand about The Habit Factor® is it’s a bit of a paradox unto itself. it’s very powerful (because it works on many complex levels) yet it is ridiculously easy to follow and therefore, people experience terrific results. In fact, it’s almost unfair to those who’ve struggled for years or maybe even decades trying to achieve their goals.

One of the most recent book reviews underscores this point, “Wanted something like this book and app for a long time… I’ve tried every goal-setting thing there is the simple idea of breaking down a goal into 3-5 habits and tracking is pure genius.”

Compliments aside, what is most important here is to investigate and understand the “WHY” behind the results and I’m so glad this reviewer shared his experience.

[Side note]  The Habit Factor® has undoubtedly inspired dozens of new habit trackers (apps and websites over the last couple years). It was The Habit Factor® (app) which first hit the marketplace (iTunes) back in 06/09 and later became the first ever Productivity, app & book combo.

Unfortunately, what these other habit trackers miss, and my concern is, I’m not sure they necessarily care, are the many important reasons behind WHY the development and alignment of HABIT as a goal achievement practice and philosophy is so important in the first place (see education).

Not to belabor the point, but this is precisely why I wrote The Habit Factor® (book) and now, continue to reiterate these points in posts like this. The ideas behind the methodology are what sustain and underlie its powerful results.

In fact, the “WHY” behind the significance of developing and aligning HABITS to your goals, when understood, makes the process of goal achievement much more enjoyable, practical and efficient. Some “aimless” tracking app or website unfortunately, will not be able to do that for you.

One of the recent Android app reviews (the free version) gave me a good chuckle. The reviewer wrote something like, “I’m not sold on the Habit Factor philosophy, though it is interesting.” 8)

I think I like this guy— if for no other reason then he is thinking and questioning things. I’m nearly certain he hasn’t read the book. So, for Android-app-guy and perhaps you, I’ll share some additional compelling evidence that makes the “buying in” either much easier or, not an option. You get to choose.

A bit of a cliff-notes version of part of The Habit Factor® (book)

1) GOALS & HABITS: First, believe it or not, a powerful leap forward in productivity is made when one simply understands the difference and incredible correlation between goals and habits. Habit development can and should be used to serve goal achievement. Goals are not habits—habits not goals. A simple example of this; Once in a workshop, a lady explained to me that she had the goal of “writing for 30 minutes every day”. I gently shared that probably wasn’t her goal— that her goal was likely “To write a book” or “become a blogger”, I suggested that she probably wanted to develop the habit of “writing 30 minutes a day”. Subtle and important distinction and when it’s understood you start purposefully crafting habits that support your goals.

2) BURN YOUR TO-DO LIST:  Originally, The Habit Factor® represented the DEATH/separation of the To-Do List. And, again, you can trace it’s success at spreading this meme by the flourishing number of habit tracking apps. “Burning your To-Do List” is simply a metaphor to underscore the importance of moving away from a To-do list to FOCUS on the daily tracking of core, related behaviors (habits) that will drive your goal’s achievement. This process immediately creates focus vs. the scattered thoughts which are gathered on one’s daily To-Do List. For instance: Feed Fish, Call Grandma, Pickup Drycleaning, etc. Scattered energy produces scattered results—narrowing your focus to core, related behaviors (habits) which are repeated daily and/or weekly is far more important than one-off tasks on a to-do list. For more info on this visit: <<FAQ>>

3) PRINCIPLE BASED: Habit is principle based. Meaning it is a force of nature (it is timeless)— Darwin once said, “It is notorious how powerful is the force of habit.” By focusing on HABIT vs. tactics and/or strategies (which change over time) the end-user’s energies are rooted upon a timeless, principle-based force of HABIT and therefore, always produce results.

4) ENERGY, RHYTHM & PATTERN: Everything in nature and the universe is based upon ENERGY. Energy is predisposed to rhythm and pattern. Therefore, to achieve your goals (which will require energy) in the most efficient (quickest and easiest manner possible) develop and align your daily energies (habits) to be supportive of your goals. It’s really that simple. This creates remarkable efficiency— that is, getting the same or better results with less energy!

5) THE SUBCONSCIOUS: “Experts” in a achievement theory and top coaches will tell you the subconscious is anywhere from 10 to 100x more powerful/influential then your conscious mind when it comes to goal achievement. So, my friend, guess where your habits reside?
Correct! In your subconscious! In fact, that is a definitions of habit? An unconscious behavior or thought. For this reason alone it makes sense to focus your energies on HABIT development.

6) BE. DO. HAVE:  The late, great Zig Ziglar used to shout from the stage, “You must BE before you can DO and DO before you can HAVE.”

When it comes to BEing— NOTHING is more important then HABIT. Why? Well, a core definition of HABIT is “Condition” and/or “Character”.  Get it?
Your present condition and your present character (at this very moment), is the sum total of all your thoughts and all your behavior HABITS throughout your life. You may have heard this great Zig Ziglar quote,”What you get from achieving your goals is not as important as what what you BEcome by achieving your goals.” And, the only way you can BEcome “anything” is via habit.

7) REVERSE ENGINEER, Part I: Do a little homework, visit ANY personal development program or even “Get Rich Quick” scheme. Find the latest fad diet or workout routine. Read anyone’s SELF-HELP book and, regardless of what their book, service or product is, if they expect it to work for you, guess what they will ask of you? That’s right! “Commit to this for just 21 days” or “See the amazing results in just 60 days” or “Do this for 30 days” or “after only 5 minutes for one month”, etc.

You see, it’s fairly apparent, whether they realize it or not, what they are hoping you do is develop a habit of using their product or service. Since habit is the gateway to goal achievement. The “funny thing” is most of these products or services aren’t even aware of it themselves. If they were, they’d provide you a more supportive process to develop habits and perhaps even some coaching and education around habit development!

7a) REVERSE ENGINEER Part II) Find any exceptional professional; musician, doctor, athlete, artist, engineer and guess what they have developed that makes them successful at achieving their professional goals. Again, I will point out that if you read Outliers by Malcom Gladwell, you notice in this work he recites a series of seemingly random factors contributing to people’s “success” hence, the title of the book, Outliers.

However, what Mr. Gladwell couldn’t escape was a single overwhelming commonality (in fact, the only one) that ALL his success subjects shared. Care to guess what it was? He labeled it the 10,000 hour rule. I have a different name for it. Do you have any idea what you’ll develop if you do something for 10,000 hours? Here’s a clue; it starts with an “H”.

8 ) The Law of Cosmic Habit Force: The Law of Cosmic Habit Force is something the late, great personal development legend Napoleon Hill, author of Think & Grow Rich identified near the end of his life and career. In fact, he only “identified” it after repeated letters and comments were sent to him telling him that his book “didn’t work” that they were not in fact “rich”. I shared an entire post about this story previously.

In short, what was revealed to Napoleon “astounded” him and he labeled it, “The Law of Cosmic Habit Force“. He claimed that he meditated on the “missing link” for nearly 20 years and he finally came to the conclusion that although he outlined what he believed were the essential principles to becoming successful, he recognized that this disgruntled readership (those who never became rich) simply never crafted the supportive habits around the principles he’d outlined.  

9)  There are more… I could keep underscoring the importance of focusing on HABIT development and alignment vs. tasks or next steps in order to achieve your goals more quickly and easily. However, once again, this post is about 4x longer than it should be/was originally intended.

The good news is I’m fairly confident you are now better equipped and have a better understanding about HABIT and its compelling relationship to goal achievement . Don’t get me wrong reading the book will provide you a much deeper understanding so, unlike “Free-Android-app-reviewer-guy” you’ll be able to “buy in” to this philosophy without question.

Habit Development Part II & the importance of The Habit Factor’s “Tracking Periods”

When it comes to developing a new habit an essential ingredient is the implementation of a “Tracking Period“. No other “Habit” app or website offers this component. It is entirely unique (and proprietary) to The Habit Factor methodology. In short, the Tracking Period is essential to improve one’s HabitStrength™ for any particular, supportive habit. (I’ll go into detail about HabitStrength™ in a subsequent post).

If you look at the picture above what you see is a Tracking Period Start Date and End Date. Typically, the recommendation is to use 4 weeks as the initial Tracking period.  Note: Within the Tracking Period there is a “Target Frequency” (eg: 14 out of 28 days). In the instance above, the habit being setup is “Meditate” and you’ll notice the user has selected each day of the week as her “Target Days” to practice the habit of “Meditate”. Therefore, the “Frequency Target” within the 28 Day Tracking Period is also 28 Days.

If, however, the Habit was “Jog for 30 Minutes” and the user only identified the Target Days as Mon, Wed, Fri then during the course of the 28 Days tracking period the Frequency Target would only be twelve (3days /week, x 4 weeks). Got it?

How this applies to strengthening the habit; Once a user completes the first 28 Day Tracking Period, she then takes a moment to reflect and assess her results. Did she nail all of her 12 Target Days – thereby equaling a frequency of 100%? Or, did she only “Jog for 30 Minutes” just 7 of the 12 days, for a performance total of 58% during the initial Tracking Period?

If she was short of her Frequency Target and tracked say ≤70%, she should NOT elevate her Frequency Target for the next, new Tracking Period. Notice the idea is to continually setup new tracking periods— elevating the intensity of the habit by increasing the minimums (per habit) and the frequency per week.

If, however, she managed to excel and jogged for 14 out of the 28 days (remember her target was only 12) Her performance would then be 116% as she exceeded her Frequency Target. Therefore, she should either increase her Minimum running time (30 minutes to maybe 40 minutes) OR her frequency per week (3days per week to four). Or, you guessed it—she could do both!

One of the great benefits of the Tracking Period as my friend realized after admitting, “I didn’t get the Tracking Period at all at first— but it’s really powerful! It provides a sort of built-in ‘Graduation Day’ which allows the user to reflect and assess if it’s time to raise the bar.”

Get it?

Now it’s time for you to raise the bar!

Go! Let 2013 be YOUR year and once you crush your goals and everyone wonders what happened, just let them know The Habit Factor sent you!

Until next time.

the methodology makes the difference!




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