If it’s true that our habits determine our future, knowing our habits and where they take us is one of the most important things we can do to shape that future.
Good habits will help us build success, while our bad habits will draw us off the path. It’s the simple law of cause and effect. If you keep up your bad habits, you’re making it more and more unlikely that you’re going to get what you want.
Here are some of the worst bad habits that leaders fall prey to. Ditch them today and watch your odds of success improve.
Failing to hold a vision. If you don’t know where you’re going, you will never arrive. Success means holding to a vision of what you want. Just saying “I have an idea” isn’t going to make anything happen. You have to be specific and intentional about what you want. Without a vision to pull you into the future, you’re likely to keep reverting to the past.
Unclear goals. A vision without a plan is just a wish. So many clients come to me with strong ideas and a clear vision, but the problem is they don’t have a clue about how to achieve them. You have to define your goals if you’re going to meet them. As the saying goes, a goal is a dream with an action plan.
Inaction. So you have a well-defined idea, a vision, and clear goals in place–but until you take action, you haven’t really started. You must take action to succeed. It is that simple. Ditch the habit of procrastinating, of waiting for the perfect moment, of trying to plan for every contingency. If there’s one thing successful people share, it’s the ability to take the leap into action. They know the importance of organizing and planning, but they also know that action is what makes things happen.
Feeding the monkey mind. When your mind is overactive, overstimulated and distracted, it’s hard to even put two thoughts together, let alone accomplish anything. When you feed distractions and overstimulation–the monkey mind–it will interfere with ever plan and goal. If you find yourself leaping from one thought to another with little control, slow down your breathing. Spend some time in meditation, prayer, or focused thought. Force yourself to do one thing at a time and learn to calm yourself with repetitive tasks that lead you toward your goal.
Satisfaction with the status quo. If you want to stay where you are and keep getting what you’re getting, by all means allow yourself to be content and comfortable. But to succeed, you have to let yourself become uncomfortable with the status quo by taking a risk and doing something daring.
Lack of motivation. The best motivation always comes from within; you cannot change what is going on around you until you start changing what is going on within you. If you lack motivation, find the fire within yourself. It will be your determination and commitment, your desire to do your best and work hard, that will enable you to attain the success you seek. The harder you work for something the greater you will feel when you achieve it.
Begin today to ditch the things that are pulling you down and build the positive habits that will lead you toward your success.
This article was originally written by Lolly Daskal and published on Inc.com [link].