Step 2 - Improve your habits
Now how should you go about improving yourself? It’s not easy, but it’s not that hard either.
A big part of what we do every day, we don’t think about. Autopilot takes over after habits kick in. Imagine the benefit of training your own autopilot to constantly help you improve yourself and learn.
Some examples of habits that I myself have incorporated into my daily routine are the following:
- I listen to audiobooks whenever I’m driving, cooking or doing housework
- I watch TED talks instead of sitcoms
- I read at least half an hour every day
- I constantly seek ways to better myself
Easier said than done you might say, but please take the time to think about this. Either you continue watching sitcoms or you train yourself to do something better.
Stephen Covey has investigated the habits of highly effective people. His book profoundly changed the way I viewed myself and got me thinking. I’d highly recommend the read. (Timothy: same for me!)
In short, the book outlines:
- Three habits to be more effective as an individual
- Three habits to be more effective in working with other people
- The seventh habit, namely to stay effective
In terms of individual effectiveness, it all comes down to this. Don’t be lazy and don’t lay around on the couch all day, instead be proactive and take matters into your own hand. In taking action, always begin with the end in mind and put first things first.
To increase your effectiveness in working with other people, Covey’s finding are equally simple. Be a team player, always try to find win-win situations and strive for synergy. Not everything is a zero-sum game where one party has to lose for another to win. When you’re trying to get others to see your point of view, try first to understand theirs.
The seventh habit Covey identified is highly important and involves staying effective. It all boils down to this: Take care of yourself, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Exercise, rest, eat healthy, make meaningful connections with others, learn, write, read, teach and meditate.
All in all, this seems quite easy, even obvious, but think deeply about your life. Are there areas discussed above where you could improve? If so, I would recommend you to consider taking conscious action now in forming these habits so that you can benefit for the rest of your life as your autopilot takes over.