As leaders, we know practicing effective habits is the secret sauce ingredients to success.
Habit guru James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, suggests that we should make habits easy, obvious, attractive, and satisfying. When these conditions exist, we are more likely to practice the habit and success is more probable. And with a few powerful habits, we can change our lives. That’s truth!
In 2019, I planned an extreme makeover for my life. I needed to amp up my freedom and self-expression. That meant more than a quarterly outing to paint with a twist; my inner artist and writer needed more time on the calendar. My speaking, facilitating, and training skills needed updating and new outlets. And I want all of this while being a supportive spouse and mother and while maintaining cool points with my grandkids. I committed to to identify and practice my atomic habits:
- Say “Yes!” Acknowledging and employing the Power of “Yes!” meant I agreed to be a co-creator of the world I want to live in. I had to own up to wanting more in life and saying “Yes” to opportunities that presented themselves and “Yes” to creating opportunities.
- Ask. Asking for help and clarity when needed meant using the power of “Yes” responsibly. When I’m stuck or don’t know what to do once I’ve said “Yes!” I reach out to a friend or contact a knowledgeable stranger. LinkedIn has allowed me to reach out across the nation to experts and get direction. This habit has been the most impactful for me as it challenges a core beliefs that sabotages me: “Asking makes me vulnerable.” I’m experiencing that asking is the gateway to experiencing the law of synergy and it’s biblical. “Asking makes me venerable.”
Applying Clear’s Atomic Habits Principles
I needed to create an environment where I had obvious/visual cues to practice my habit. On the nightstand by my bed is a 8.5 x 11 canvas board. I wrote in multicolored sharpies the specific things I want to accomplish each month in 2019. I see it every morning and that reminds me that I said “Yes!” to these experiences and these things. The canvas cues me to ask for help if I’m not making progress. I check off the completed items. I’ve completed 90% of what I set out to do so far. I will update the board this month.
Easy and Attractive
Just say “Yes”. Just Ask. These habits are simple but not easy. My ego and my fears have rendered me speechless and perplexed on occasions as I have tried to find the words to express my thoughts and feelings. I have even struggled with the attractive principle. A hot flash crept upon me as I tried to explain vision boarding to a young business woman at a recent speed networking event. But bravery is the new black, and it goes well in whatever circumstances, even hot flashes. So now I fan myself, recover with a sip of water, and finish my elevator pitch. (Real women sweat and sometimes others see it.) The practice has become easier as I become more accustom to my environment. I share what I do and why I do it and ask for assistance and business opportunities.
My 2019 has been a great year so far. I have had an opportunity to co-create fabulous events like an annual Women’s History Brunch, speed mentoring event, and professional development trainings.
And this brings me to my third atomic habit—practicing gratitude. I want to be the Queen of Support, Sharing and Shout outs as I’m experiencing of the benefits of support and love from communities. I generate thank you texts, letters of recommendations, shares, likes, and follows when I see good people and good things. I’m saying “Thank you!” I’m saying Yes! And, I invite you to join me and create the world we want to live in.
James Clear’s Atomic Habits
Shondra Rhymes’ Year of Yes
Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead
Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way
Enjoying more PWAT creation by Destiny