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Make It a Habit

Two mostly white books in a stack "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman and "Atomic Habits" by James Clear. The background is blurred out and mostly white with some brown.

Photo by Lala Azizli on Unsplash

I’ve read both of these books, and for the beginning of 2022 I’ve gone back to Atomic Habits by James Clear. In reading the introduction and first couple chapters, I’ve been reminded that creating meaningful habits requires us to think small and specific.

As I described in last week’s blog, my word for 2022 is nurture. At first I’m going to focus on nourishing myself emotionally, physically, and spiritually. But the thing about this last sentence is that it isn’t specific, measurable, timely, or actionable. I need to create specific and small habits that will help me do this bigger thing, and keep my focus on the small habit instead of being overwhelmed with the grand vision I have in my head.

So what small actions could I take to make this overall focus a reality? My first thoughts lead to exercising more. But that’s also not specific…in contrast, a measurable commitment would be strength training twice per week. This is a measurable and realistic goal that can be tracked and quantified. By doing this, I will be doubling the strength training I do without adding a significant time component. This sounds like a win to me.

If you’re thinking, “well that’s not going to make a big difference,” I’m with you. I have a tendency of going overboard with my actions and am trying to remember what my counselor said to me about keeping my expectations realistic. James Clear discusses this very thing in Atomic Habits. If we make small, almost imperceptible, positive changes every day, we’ll make a big difference over a year. He talks about making a change of one percent (1%) every day, and then does the math to prove how it makes a substantial, long-term impact.

With all that we’ve been through as leaders over the past twenty-two months, it’s a relief to me that I can make small changes and not have to overhaul my entire life tomorrow.

Question to ponder:

  • What small/specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely (SMART) goal(s) can I make for January to help me accomplish my bigger goal for 2022?

Stay curious friends!

Do you need help staying true to your goals for 2022? If you do, coaching can help! Send us an email to schedule your free thirty-minute coaching session to make 2022 your most fulfilling year yet.

Make sure you’re listening to season one of the Dream Big Authentic Leadership podcast, found on Apple, Google, Spotify, and Stitcher.

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