Think about all the things you know you should be doing but you’re not. More than thinking about the things you’re not doing, list all the things you should be doing on a big piece of paper and tape it to your refrigerator door. Then, after you’ve looked at that list 200 times while opening that door, ask yourself, “What’s the deal?”

The deal about actually doing those things…the solution is building new habits.

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits: An Easy, Proven Way To Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones, has FOUR ways to help you build new habits…habits that will help you do what you should be doing.

  1. Make it obvious –
    1. Specificity is your friend; vagueness is your enemy.
    2. Instead of saying, I’m going to start exercising, SAY, I’m going to lift weights for an hour at the gym around the corner everyday at 8 AM.
    3. Here’s the formula: I will (behavior) at (time) at (location).
    4. Another formula: Use “habit stacking.” After (current habit), I will (new habit). After I wake up (current habit), I will do 20 push-ups (new habit).
  2. Make it fun –
    1. Fun gets done. When we combine fun stuff with not-so-fun stuff, the not-so-fun stuff is more likely to get done. This is called “temptation building.”
    2. Combine something you love with a habit you want to build.
    3. To build new habits, leverage our natural sheep-like tendencies.
      1. People around us influence us more than we know.
      2. Spend more time with people who have habits you want…you’re likely to follow them.
  • Clear said, “We soak up qualities and practices of those around us.”
  1. Make it easy – make it simple –
    1. Start doing your “new” habit for as little time as possible.
      1. Floss just one tooth a day if you want to have the habit of flossing your teeth.
      2. Anyone can read one page, meditate for one minute, floss one tooth…what you want is a “gateway habit” that naturally leads you to develop a habit.
      3. 4.Make it satisfying – make it rewarding
        1. “The Cardinal Rule of Behavioral Change”
          1. What is immediately rewarded is repeated. What is immediately punished is avoided.
          2. Rewards keep you excited and are essential because how you end an experience, how you end building a new habit, is remembered.
  • Learn how to pat yourself on the back and do it every time you floss your tooth once or you make one prospecting call.

To maintain your good habits, own them. Make your good habits part of your identity. One thing to say is, “I’m the type of person who personally connects with my client after each and every house tour with a prospective buyer.”