June 8th 2019, Power of Habits and Chains

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Joshes and Joshettes, today’s post is all about achieving your goals. Don’t worry this is not a post about goal setting (I have a bunch of those already). So without further adieu, let’s dive into today’s post.

Before we get started I have to define today’s topic, what are habits and chains? Habits are defined as a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. When I say chains, I’m not referring to jewelry, but rather in the sense of doing something every day. Let’s tackle habits first, now there are good habits and bad habits. A bad habit is defined as a negative behavior pattern. Example of bad habits are procrastination, alcoholism, addiction basically anything harmful. Good habits are defined as a positive behavior pattern. Examples of good habits are exercising, reading, finishing your todo list. If you do a YouTube search about habits, you will see over a hundred videos about essential habits that you need. Well, I don’t believe in essential habits because everyone is different and the habits that everyone needs varies from person to person. The only thing everyone needs to do is use their good habits in order to achieve their goals. Since everyone’s goals are different the habits you need to achieve them will be different. If you want to get in shape then some of the habits you need to develop are eating right, exercising a minimum of a couple of times a week and having a normal sleep schedule. But if you want to be financially fit, the habits you need to develop to achieve your goal are completely different. So the real question you now have for me is, Josh how do I develop good habits and lose my bad ones?

Before you can develop new good habits, you need to get rid of the bad ones. Before I get too deep into this, don’t quit your bad habits cold turkey. If one of your bad habits is that you are dependent on substances, you definitely don’t want to stop that at one time (seek professional assistance for this). These bad habits were formed over time so how can you expect to drop them in a few minutes. To drop a habit you must first find out the cause of it, that way you can nip it in the bud. But the best way to get rid of a bad habit is to replace it with a new good habit. Before you can create a new habit, you have to write down your goals and write down what you need to do in order to achieve it. You have to be specific with both your goals and your habits. Just like quitting bad habits, you have to start small and make sure that you don’t burn yourself out. If you want to have a habit of running two miles in the morning, then start by jogging half a mile. Many people give a hundred fifty percent on their first day and this is a bad thing to do because you are conditioning your body to associate exhaustion and pain to this new habit. The way our bodies react to habits affect us more than we realize. The feeling of drowning your worries away in a bottle is better than the feeling of running two miles when you are out of shape and cramping up. Creating a new habit takes time and work, so start with little steps. The best way (in my opinion) to make sure you stick to your habit is by having someone to hold you accountable. Now that you know how to drop bad habits and create new good habits, how does this relate to chains?

Let’s talk about the importance of chains, I believe they are the most important part in achieving goals and creating good habits. In order to create a good habit, you must perform it every day which means you are creating a chain. For some reason, once we invested time and effort in building a chain, we find it hard to break it. Think about the brick and mortar businesses that give you a stamp card, where you earn one stamp per purchase. You tend to shop more at this location because, after your tenth stamp, you get a free (insert product here). I know this is a form of marketing and advertising but it’s also a chain. When I worked in Westchester, I always passed Carvel and walked an extra six blocks to eat ice cream at Murray’s because I wanted my stamps. Do you want another personal example? Your answer didn’t really matter because I’m going to give you another example right now using a mobile game. There’s a Marvel game that I played for a little over a month. This game like many others gives you a daily login bonus but they did something a bit more. You also had weekly login bonuses and monthly login bonuses. The real kicker was a daily challenge that allows you to get Wolverine pieces by completing all the daily activities. Like many other players, I logged in every day no matter what just so I wouldn’t break my streak aka my chain. Zig Ziglar has a funny story about how he lost weight, he wrote it in his book and had only a couple of months to make it happen. He started eating better but he wanted to start exercising by running every day after dinner. The first day he could only make it from his door to his mailbox. The second day he could make it to his neighbor’s mailbox, then the next neighbor and so on. He made sure to run every day and pushed himself a bit harder each day thus creating a chain in order to create a habit of running daily. By the time his book tour started, he had exceeded his weight loss goal.

Since this is the second to last paragraph, you know this is where I apply today’s post to my life and my business. The habits I need to build are as follows; The habit of sticking to my to-do list, the habit of writing every day, the habit of producing content on a set schedule. If some of these sound familiar, it’s because these are the things I say all of the time because they are essential in order for me to achieve my goals. My chains are me turning on my laptop and putting words on paper every day, reading for an hour each day, and meditating every day. It’s simple tasks but these tasks are needed for me to achieve my goals.

This post was a bit long but well worth it for those of you who want to achieve their goals. Remember, you have to write not only your goals down but also what you need to do in order to achieve them. Every day you have work towards them and the best way to do that is by creating some good habits and a streak or chain of productivity.

Remember to be successful it's your right, duty, and responsibility.