I don’t know if you may have actually read the instructions that line 99.9 percent of all the shampoo bottles out there…but if we actually followed them to the letter, we would never get out of the shower. Yet there is some infinite wisdom in those three little words.
Perhaps the secret is in the one piece of advice very few of us likely follow: repeat. Most of the time (unless for some reason I am feeling really icky…) when I wash my hair I do just one cycle. I don’t see the point in repeating it. Yet consider how often we receive directions on how to effectively live our lives and/or grow our businesses, and don’t follow through or keep up the good behavior?
How often do we hear the expression, “Well, it’s back to basics…?”
We are told that it takes anywhere between 21 and 30 days for a habit to form—or to be broken. It seems that when it comes to our behaviors, we humans have short memories. There are basics that bear repeating. In the previous article I discussed how it is important to not allow yourselves to become overwhelmed with all the different ways there are to prospect. To keep it simple, you should take two or three “nuggets”—a strategy or tactic that feels right—and focus on those.
So now, it merits repeating. Did you follow through? Sure, we had a holiday break in between…but what is keeping you from taking out an index card and writing down just three prospecting strategies that you would like to adopt as habits? Keep the card with you at all times. Review it several times throughout the day. Focus on the three.
There is a dual purpose to this process. Yes, while you will read much of the same advice over and over again here (and elsewhere), it is more than just keeping it top of mind. It is also about reprogramming your mind.
In his classic book Think and Grow Rich (the original edition is in the public domain and can be accessed at no charge from countless resources), author Napoleon Hill describes the process of “auto suggestion.” He describes the vital importance of daily repetition—replacing negative or counter-productive thought patterns with those that are much more positive and more productive. But it must be done several times per day. There is no way around it.
2010 will soon be upon us. Don’t wait for January 1 to make sure it’s a great year. I’m not. My memory is as short as everyone else’s (and my ADD and other challenges doesn’t make focus any easier). As I write these words, I have my “nugget card” filled out and right in front of me—taking it with me everywhere I go. What about you?
What three behaviors do you want to improve TODAY? Print out the PDF above, and fill it in. Keep it with you, and if necessary, reprint and update it accordingly. Think of it as part of your daily renewal. As the Psalmist so eloquently put it (Psalm 118:24 NIV):
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”