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Good vs. Bad Habits

Habits, are they good or bad?
Too often people talk about “habit” like it is a dirty word.

I don’t know about you but I love habits! It allows me to do things without having to think. Let’s face it thinking is hard and most of us prefer not to have to.

Imagine if EVERY single TIME you had to think through how to:

  • Brush your teeth
  • Get to work
  • Go through security at the airport (ok so some people need to think about this at least once – before they get in line)
  • Tie your shoes
  • Leave a voicemail message

You get the idea!

Creating Habits

This is in no way an accurate scientific representation (somewhere a behavioral psychologist just shivered).

Once we figure out that an activity is going to be performed OVER and OVER and OVER again, we begin to do it the same way to make it easier for ourselves.

As time passes and we repeat the behavior, less and less thought is involved.
A few inside sales habits might be:

  • How to search inside your systems
  • What pieces of research you do before a call
  • Steps to put a quote together
  • Auto-attendant navigation
  • Leaving a voicemail message

You create routes that work inside your brain; arrows point you in the right direction.

Good Habits

Habits are good when you are getting the result you want. I think that bears repeating

habits are GOOD when you’re getting the results you want.

Good habits get you to where you want to go without expending brainpower. The marks on the road that help you stay on the pavement.

That (hopefully) leaves you with extra brainpower to spend on areas that need it:

  • Listening while in conversations
  • Creating deal strategy
  • Long term planning
  • Goal setting

Actively working on the things that are different every time we do them.

Bad Habits

Habits begin as good… from the perspective that we are getting what we want from the activity.

Then something happens:

#1 You no longer WANT the result you’re getting.

#2 The habit isn’t getting you the result anymore.

Either way – that good habit has become a bad one!

Yet it is still easier to NOT THINK and do what you’ve been doing.

Behavior Change

Which brings us to the whole reason to talk about habits at all AND the part that takes the most intention of all.

Wood Bridge

#1 Changing our habits once they become bad habits.

#2 Creating new habits when we set a new result we’re looking for.

At first it will be a bit bumpy, uncomfortable, and feel just plain weird.

The key is to figure out what: activity… behavior… thought process… will get you the result you’re looking for.

Then you need to engage your BRAIN (remember I said habits allow us to not THINK… behavior change is ALL ABOUT thinking).

The reason this is difficult is the old (and now bad) habit doesn’t require the same level of attention as the one you want to create.

Important Safety Tips:

  • Make sure the new behavior will get you the result you’re looking for.
  • Check yourself before and after to see if you need to modify your technique ‘next time’.
  • Pick an accountability partner who is working on the same result so you can share (and commiserate).

The only way to get different results – is to do something differently!

Give yourself a break if you don’t have instantaneous success, remember change is HARD but the result is worth it.

Always trying to make change easier,

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