This second article builds on the skills to gain and changes you’ll need to make to achieve Amazing. This post follow on from Part 1 in this series.
Generate Good Habits
Once you commit to implementing a strategy to overcome “role overload” by focussing on the One Thing – it is time to build your work day into consistently achieving this. The way to do this is by cultivating patterns of behaviour (habits) that help you achieve your One Thing – and avoid pit falls. There has been a lot written about forming habits – Charles Duhigg’s “The Power of Habit” makes a good read – and The One Thing builds on this to summarize the key points.
Some facts about habits:
- They are a repeating series of thoughts (and any driven actions of your brain / body) – that form after repetition makes them no longer conscious thought. What happens is a part of the “old brain” the Amygdala takes over from the “new brain” the Pre Frontal Cortex. If the terms are a bit daunting – then think of your brain as Human Brain wrapped around a Monkey Brain wrapped around a Lizard Brain. You carve a track in your lizard brain that only needs to be initiated by the Human brain to get started and it will keep going to it’s end point;
- Once you work through 66 days of repetition (with declining levels of Human Brain effort needed) – a Habit is formed and it will be effortless to repeat it. After your habits are established you can move towards mastery (at the 20,000 hour mark!);
- Your habits should be aligned with your basic (someday goal) One Thing – and this One Thing should align with your basic values and ethics, who you are! Achieving your One Thing at work needs to be aligned – otherwise you can’t maintain your energy – and you will fail to form the habits of One Thing success, and;
- Habits have a clear structure – a cue (to execute the habituated behaviour) a routine to be executed and a reward (sense of control over how well you are filling your expanded role at work).
Gary Keller also puts some other thoughts / language into the “habit” piece of One Thing success. My synopsis of quite a few pages of the text is that to generate Lasting Habits:
- Adopt the mindset that your are on Journey to Mastery – not aiming a fixed destination;
- You need to change from an Entrepreneurial to a Purposeful way of thinking:
- Entrepreneurs are always looking at “what’s interesting” and chasing Bright Shiny Objects.
- When you are purposeful though – your actions are:
- Focussed – there is a clear and single One Thing being aimed at;
- Aligned with models – building on the shoulders of giants to select an approach which has been shown to work or is based on sound science;
- Systematic – codified and tracked so you consistently do what needs to be done, and;
- Creating Breakthroughs – passing through ceilings of achievement to areas of performance not commonly seen;
- You will be upholding the Accountability Cycle. What this means is that:
- Holding yourself accountable. There is no blaming others for the circumstances you find yourself in – you are looking in the Mirror – not out the Window to identify who is responsible;
- You apply five mindsets to generating One Thing Success:
- Based on facts – what is really happening?;
- Acknowledge reality – that’s the way it is;
- Own the solution – it is up to me!;
- Finds the solution (Can we fix it?);
- Gets on with it (Yes we can! (with thanks to Bob the Builder for inspiration!)), and;
- You work with an accountability partner to keep track of and support progress on your One Thing.
Key Signs of Good Habits Supporting Your One Thing
Your habits will support your One Thing when you:
- Spend 66 days "cutting the track" to make them effortless;
- Design your habits to support your short and long term One Thing, and;
- Become purposeful rather than random (chasing bright, shiny objects) in executing your One Thing for right now.
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