HABITS #197 – How to form a new habit

HABITS #197 – How to form a new habit

A conversation with Gloria earlier this week gave me a new perspective on The Habit of Consistency and the role it has played in shaping all of our lives.

Gloria tells me she is an avid reader of my blogs and thought her interpretation of The Habit of Consistency would be of sufficient interest that I would want to use it in a future posting.

She was absolutely right and that future is now.

Gloria told me her entire life had been what she called a “start – stop” journey and that she had been enormously consistent in her inability to bring and sustain change of any kind into her life.

Over the course of “many decades” she had initiated attempt after attempt to bring about lasting changes in her efforts to improve both her physical and emotional health.

She acknowledged that smoking had, for many years, been the bane of her life and yet repeated attempts at quitting accomplished nothing other than provide her with brief respites from the addiction.

The same was true for her many attempts at weight loss, her ongoing efforts at getting into shape by joining a gym and then abandoning it after a few brief visits, and the numerous Toastmasters clubs she had joined, only to disappear after attending a few meetings.

With a sad attempt at humour Gloria explained she has mastered The Habit of Consistency in that she consistently abandoned all her attempts at self-improvement shortly after she began to see and feel some result.

To her consistency meant the determination to “stick with it until…” and her history was filled with examples of her failure to do so.

She was not calling to elicit sympathy but rather to tell me that she finally was able to use The Habit of Consistency to bring great and permanent improvement of life.

The catalyst for this change occurred some time ago when her friend introduced her to what she calls “The Power of 100.”

Her friend encouraged her to stick with anything she attempted until she completed 100 cycles of the change process.

This meant that if she attempted, yet again, to quit smoking, under no circumstances would she allow herself the wicked pleasure of even one puff of a cigarette until she had completed 100 days of being smoke-free.

It also meant that if she rejoined a Toastmasters club she would absolutely commit herself to remain in that club as a participating member, with no option of quitting, until she attended 100 meetings.

Gloria’s friend had made significant progress in her own life by becoming a teetotaler after spending years flailing against the ravages of alcoholism and her success inspired Gloria to adopt The Habit of Consistency by pledging commitment to The Power of 100.

Gloria believes The Power of 100 is a powerful gateway to The Habit of Consistency. She is convinced that completing 100 cycles of an event is more than enough to create a habit and that success in her life is driven by the habits she acquires.

As I listened to her, I began to see the extraordinary value available to us all through The Power of 100 and if The Habit of Consistency was in need of an ally in order to guide us to where we want to be, then we now know how to deploy this ally to our great advantage.

Most results in our lives – the good and the not so good – come from those things we do over and over again and The Habit of Consistency is a powerful tool to guide us to where we want to be.

Consistency unquestionably produces results. The Habit of Consistency combined with The Power of 100 offers us unlimited opportunity to create life we want.

Like Nike implores us to, just do it.

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

Mea Culpa

“Who is Mike?”

This is a question that was put to me many times last week. Those of you who read my blogs will recall that last week I was talking about my friend Tony when all of a sudden he became Mike and many of you, quite rightly, took me to task for not noticing.

I offer no excuse but please allow me to put forth an explanation.

I allowed myself to succumb to a powerful force known as priming.

Let me explain.

As I was nearing the completion of the blog my phone rang and Mike was the person calling.

We talked for more than 30 minutes during which time I called him by name repeatedly.

As soon as we ended the call I went back to complete the blog without realizing that by repeating his name as often as I had, I had primed myself to insert Mike into my blog.

Priming is a powerful tool, and one we often use to set the tone for our immediate future.

For example, if we begin each day by dedicating time to setting ourselves up for the day ahead through positive affirmation and powerful expectation, we will set ourselves on a course for a powerful, productive and successful day.

Conversely, if we begin the day by allowing thoughts of frustration, anger and despair into our being, we will have primed ourselves to expect that to be our experience.

Mike is a reader of my blogs and he too called to point out my error. And when I explained to him how this came about he made me promise never to call him Tony.

I will do better from now on.

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