Awakening Habits

   The intermittent nature of my blog posts is making pretty good fodder for the examination of what works and what doesn't here.

   Again, I've been remiss in posting something. However, over the past several months I have been very successful at introducing some other habits. In fact, I've been specifically focused on the creation of new habits, and with great results.

   6am clubIt all started when we took a trip to San Diego in August to attend a real estate conference. The opening night speaker was by far the best presentation we saw. Shawn Achor is the author of The Happiness Advantage, and his basic message is that 'happiness is a choice.'

   As a result of listening to his talk, I decided to change some of my habits, starting with something he suggests called 'The Doubler'. The idea of The Doubler is to take a few minutes each day, ideally each morning, and write down the most meaningful experience you've had in the past 24 hours.

   It's called The Doubler because you effectively double the experience as a result of reliving or retelling the story.

   Now according to my new habit tracking records (judge me if you must), as of today I've done The Doubler exercise 54 days in a row, 94 out of last 96 days, or 97% since I started. I'm now confident that writing down my most meaningful experience each morning is pretty much a habit and, cough, I'm happy about that!

   The Doubler is one of about 10 new habits I'm working on and, yes, I have stats for all of them. I write down what I'm grateful for each morning, I prioritize my day in the morning, and I even "feng shui" something. To me that usually means 'chuck something out'.

   The result is a completely transformed workspace environment. However, the habit I'm most proud of is the 6am Club. I read about the 6am Club on the flight to and from San Diego, in a book called "How I raised myself from failure to success in selling" by Frank Bettger. It's one of those old, old classic sales books. How old? Well, the introduction is written by Dale Carnegie, and Carnegie writes that he met Bettger in 1917 ! To paraphrase, the author wrote "few men are successful who are not early risers." And so I'm getting up earlier. It's the habit change I'm most proud of (aside from quitting smoking almost 20 years ago). 

   As of this morning, my feet have hit the floor before 6am 29 days in a row, 34 out of the last 38 days, or 98% of the time since I started.

   You'll note it was rocky at first, but now I seem to have hit my stride. Being up that early has had all kinds of positive spinoff effects and often, by 9am in the morning, I've accomplished so much already that it's like entering the day with a 7-0 lead in soccer. I've won the day before many people have really started theirs. But then it's not about other people. It's about changing my habits. About choosing to be happy and successful.

   When left to my own devices, and when I rely on willpower alone, my goal achievement is spotty at best. But when I work to deliberately bring new habits into being, eventually the habits take over completely and I don't even have to think about them. So, if I can do this with so many things, why not a blog? For this week, anyway, I'm 1 for 1, or 100%.

NOTE: The 6am Club is not an actual club....but I invite you to join the club.

Copyright © 2013 Rick Hoogendoorn