It's a new year, and according to Martin Grunburg, author of The Habit Factor® (affiliate link), “resolutions” are pointless. Confucius said, “All men's natures are alike — it's their habits that carry them far apart.” Therefore, says Martin, what will propel us forward are the habits we incorporate into the rhythm of our lives.
I discovered The Habit Factor iPhone app about six months ago. While I recognized its value and downloaded it immediately, I did not use it for several months. I'm embarrassed to admit that the reason is because I was too preoccupied with other things to take the time to set up the app to track my habits. When I finally did so, I kicked myself for wasting so much time.
When I saw that the app creator had published a book to complement the app, I dropped everything to reach out to Martin to invite him to be a guest on my show. I could not think of a better show to start 2011 than one to help you incorporate new habits into your life! I hope you'll scroll to the bottom of this post to enjoy the 30-minute audio podcast, or download it on download it on iTunes, but if you can't do either, read these tips Martin shared on the show.
- Set the goals first. Martin points out that most people confuse goals with habits by identifying a goal and then making a “to-do” list around it. Martin's approach uses “habit alignment technology,” to follow goals with habits rather than “things to do.”Martin recognizes that all of life is rhythmic. The things we do on a subconscious level become a part of the cycle of our lives. When we incorporate specific habits (as opposed to “to-do” lists) into our lives, we are more likely to achieve our goals, and we also better ourselves in the process.
The first step is to set specific goals. Do you want to double your quarterly sales numbers? Do you want to lose 10 pounds? Do you want to write a book? Once you know what you want to achieve, you can identify specific behaviors you must engage in to achieve the identified goals.
- Choose and track behaviors that move you toward your goal. When you engage in behaviors that move you toward your goal, the behaviors become habits, and the rest of your life happens in alignment with those habits.I can tell you from my personal experience that The Habit Factor app is a fantastic tool for this. But Martin confirmed on the podcast that you can chart your behavior on a piece of paper if you don't have the app.
For example, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds, write that goal at the top of the page. Then list the behaviors you intend to engage in to accomplish that goal. To lose 10 pounds, you might list drinking a certain number of ounces of water 7 days a week; exercising for at least 30 minutes in your target training zone 3 times a week; drinking a meal replacement shake 4 times a week, etc. You get the idea. Track your behaviors and over time, they will become habits.
Martin acknowledges, “It's not easy, but it gets easier over time.” He likens the process to a child learning to tie his shoes. It's a monumental task at first to get the loops and knots into the proper sequence, and to get just the right tension so his feet are comfortable. Fast forward, and because it's a habit, the child who was in tears over the project a year ago is now tying his shoes while holding a conversation with you, and without even looking at his feet. That's the power of habit — but you have to be willing to stick with it through the challenging time on the front end.
- It's all about the NOW. Martin reminded us of our propensity to beat ourselves up if the habits we have developed thus far are not serving us well. “A lot of people waste energy on being frustrated about the past. Bring it back to ‘now,'” he says.Forget about what happened (or didn't happen) in the past. Use your energy proactively to change your future. It's all about the NOW!
About Martin Grunburg
Martin Grunburg is a life-long entrepreneur and experienced coach who has worked with executives and children. He's a dedicated volunteer and philanthropist for causes committed to educating and inspiring children. Martin is also an avid surfer, waterman and unlikely athlete. He credits his success as an athlete to his decision to incorporate of the “habit factor” principles discussed in his book. You can follow Martin on Twitter here. You can download The Habit Factor app on for iPhone or for Droid.
Listen to the Show
This post contains my paraphrases of the fantastic information Martin shared. To hear it from the horse's mouth yourself, listen to the entire show, and benefit from Martin's and my exploration of these topics first-hand. You'll get great tips that you can apply to your life and your business each and every day!
- You can download it on iTunes. (It usually takes a day or two for iTunes to feed the show there.)
- You can stream or download it at my radio show website.
- You can stay where you are and simply click on the arrow at the bottom of this post to listen right now!
- Because I have not had a chance to load all of my shows to this blog, you can listen to hundreds of interviews from 2005 to 2010, each one as relevant today as it was when I recorded it, at my Indie Business Radio site.
Coming Up Next Week!
Coming up on January 10 at 1:00pm EST, my guest, Christine Louise Hohlbaum, author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World (affiliate link) he holiday season is over, and there's no better time than now to take a look at whether all the hustle and bustle actually got us anywhere! Christine Louise Holbaum, author of “The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World,” joins us to share how making “slow” a part of daily life can help small business owners accomplish more and enjoy a more fulfilling life in the process.
See you then!
Question: What tips do you have for small companies looking to hire their first employee?