It is that time again when many people make new year resolutions. In line with tradition. Market Talk will always give you some directions.
The tendency among many is to have a list of dos and don’ts. Others put a list of bad habits in a bottle and throw it into the sea.
According to research, many Kenyans intend to save more this year, among other good habits. By the end of the first quarter, many resolutions will have been broken but still it helps to have a lifeplan for the year.
One of the best practices is to create a collage with pictures of the things you want and values you want to be associated with. Keep it in a place where you will be seeing it daily. The power of pictures inspires positive action towards achieving your goals.
When it comes to stopping bad habits, one of the best things to do is to replace them with good ones. For example if you want to stop drinking alcohol you can save the money and buy shares in a brewing company. You can also pick new hobbies to replace bad ones.
Make hard choices about the kind of friends you keep. It is said that you can predict the income of a person using the average income of five of their close friends.
To pick good habits and drop bad ones, you can use the 21-day rule. This means doing something daily for 21 days. This ensures the habit is institutionalised. Experiments on rats found that they use a lot of effort and thinking while looking for cheese in a maze.
After finding the cheese in the same place several times they use less thinking and effort as the search becomes automated. That is the power of 21 days in habit formation.
You should also have an accountability partner. The other option is to focus on one aspect that has the greatest transformation power. The passion that comes with focus can easily lead to a life-changing difference.
You may want to get some lessons from Steve Covey’s 7 habits of highly effective people.
Being proactive is the first of the seven habits for this calls for determination to get what you want. When you are proactive you know exactly what you want and take action to get it.
The second Covey habit is based on the theory of second creation and is related to the first. It states that everything is created twice— first in your mind and then in reality.
Always begin with the end in mind. The collage can give you a good picture of the future which helps you to stay focused.
The third habit brings the first and second habits together. It is all about the physical creation by putting first things first— lay that foundation.
Just like we say it is good to dream, you have to eventually wake up and implement the dreams. If you do not believe in making resolutions, come up with a plan that you can adjust day by day.
The fourth habit is about win-win. It states that nobody has to lose for you to win which also works well with habit six which is about seeking synergy where two are better than one.
The fifth habit states that you should first seek to understand then seek to be understood. The seventh habit is perfecting what is already good. This calls for discipline in anything that makes you better.
Hit the gym, pray, take a walk — it replenishes your mind— or go back to school. The choice is yours. Happy New Year.
Mr Ngahu is the Marketing Director at SBO Research. Email [email protected] Twitter @bngahu