Make success a habit
By Sharon Worsley » I consistently hear people ask questions such as “how come I am not successful”, “why am I not seeing results” and “how come he/she is successful when I do the same thing as them.”
One of my coaching clients, let’s call her Julie, was not getting the results she wanted in her part time meeting planning business. Julie worked a full time job and then in the evening came home to start work on her business. She did not know why she was not being successful in this venture.
We took some time to examine what she was doing and how she was doing it. The first thing that came up was that she was surrounded by clutter. Julie used a spare bedroom in which to run her business but it was filled with paper clutter, clothing, and was generally a warehouse for anything the family did not need to use right away.
So Julie was trying to run a professional enterprise from a room that did not lend itself to such activities. Once I pointed this out to her, Julie was filled with excuses like “I need to store my extra clothing there because my husband takes up all the space in our tiny bedroom closet” and “we live in a very small house so we need somewhere to store the things we are not using.”
We can live in excuses or we can make a decision to act upon our highest priorities. Was storing extra clothes or unused items more important than running a business that she wanted to be successful at, to the point of being able to give up her full time job?
After taking time to consider what the cost of holding on to the clutter was doing to Julie and her enterprise, she had a conversation with her husband and son and started making plans to rid the room of anything that was not totally related to her business.
Surprisingly her husband was right on board and happily started going through his closet to remove any clothing that he was not using so as to make room for Julie’s clothes.
Isn’t it interesting how we sometimes make a habit of guessing what other people’s responses are going to be without even discussing it with them? What might be the cost of that to you?
Now that the clutter was under control we looked at how Julie was spending time in her business. What we found was that Julie had a non supporting habit of working full time during the day and then at night when she came home she would sit in front of the television for more than a couple of hours.
By the time she started working on her business – usually around 9.30 p.m. or 10 p.m. – she had already given away the best of herself and her energy for the day. No wonder she wasn’t seeing the results she wanted!
After working a long day Julie felt that she deserved to sit down and watch a few hours of television at night with her family. What she wasn’t clued into was the connection that this habit had a cost to it; as all non supportive habits usually do.
In fact, we took some time to put a dollar amount to each hour she was spending in front of the TV screen. When she realized how much it was costing her, Julie decided that the price was too high to pay, and so she elected to have some down time with her family each night in front of each other, rather than some television show.
She would then step into her decluttered office and start working on her dream of giving up full time work to instead doing what she loves.
What about you, what are some habits that are not supporting you in what you say you want?
Here are some action steps for you to consider:
- Analyze what types of habits you have. You may have some habits that you are not really aware of, things you do almost subconsciously. Chances are though you are aware of your habits but have been resistant to tackling them for some reason. What needs to happen for you to finally tackle these habits?
- Consider how each habit is serving you. Like Julie, take some time to examine how these habits are serving you. Is there a cost to perpetuating the habit? This might not necessarily mean a financial cost, maybe the cost is health or relationship related. Are you ready to move past this non supportive habit?
- What might be a better habit to practice? Some experts believe that you don’t actually break a habit but instead replace it with another one. So if that is true, what might a new habit be to replace the one you want to rid yourself of?
- What would be the result of replacing your habits? Would you be more successful at what you say you want, would you feel more at ease, more in control, or just feel better about yourself? Take a moment to look forward and imagine that this bad habit is no longer part of your life. Instead you have replaced it with a more powerful habit. What is your life like now?
I believe that the habits we have are a foundation to who we are and what we become. Without evaluating the habits we keep it is like trying to find a penny in a dark room. We know what we want, but trying to obtain it can be useless unless we turn on the light.
The light for you might just be looking at the habits you have and determining whether they are assisting you in moving closer to what you know you want.
• Sharon Worsley, CEO of Live With Intent, is a personal leadership coach and motivational speaker. Her signature keynote ‘Live By Choice, Not By Chance’ assists individuals and organizations to become clear on how they can ensure the quality of their life or organization. She can be reached at