There seem to be three types of people when it comes to establishing desirable behaviours. There are
- Those who are entirely uninterested and will never participate,
- Those who feel they ought to be taking part but only ever do so in fits and starts
- And finally, those that succeed
Most of us sit in the second group, "must try harder" being the repeated mantra of my school reports.
The thing that is noticeable is that the "succeeders" do so at a level that is not only higher but is higher all the time over long periods of time. And it's not that they just try harder; these succeeders have made a particular behaviour into a habit.
Here at Passle, we have an analogy that our software enables people to develop their commercial profile in much the same way that a bike can help people to get fit. It's not a secret that writing content that is useful to your clients on a regular basis can deliver huge commercial benefits nor that cycling is good for the health. But whilst having a great bike is essential to winning a race, the bike is not the only issue.
I heard the phrase in the title the other day "Practice makes Permanent" and was taken by its simplicity and by how much more true it is that the more commonplace "Practice makes Perfect".
In my experience, becoming perfect at anything, irrespective of how much I practice, is depressingly elusive but doing anything repeatedly undoubtedly makes a behaviour becomes increasingly ingrained and permanent.
The article below addresses the three stages of habit formation;
- Second nature
The first and the last phases are comparatively easy, it's the middle bit that's the issue, making a fad into a habit needs a bit of a fight.
Fortunately, acknowledging this phase is exactly that, "just a phase" can be a huge help in making writing regularly a second-nature behaviour that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Phase 2: THE FIGHT THRU Inspiration fades and reality sets in. A person finds himself struggling with the positive habit completion and old habits seem to be right around the corner. To win the fight thru, use the following techniques: RECOGNIZE: Recognition is essential for winning the fight thru. When you have entered the fight through, simply say to yourself, “I have entered the fight thru, and I need to win a few to move past this.” ASK 2 QUESTIONS: “How will I feel if I do this?” and “How will I feel if I don’t do this?” Bring EMOTION into the equation. LIFE PROJECTION: If the above 2 techniques haven’t moved you to action, then imagine in great detail how your life will be in 5 years if you do not begin making changes.