Hints & Tips Blog

Habit-forming behaviours: why are they important

When you started out on your career or first set up your own business, you probably did so with a vision. It’s likely you had an idea about what you wanted to achieve or where you’d like your chosen path to take you, even if you weren’t yet sure at the outset of all the specific steps and milestones along the way.

Some people reach their envisioned goals and even go far beyond them, and the fact they had a plan or at least knew what they were aiming for is likely to have played a part in their success.

Circumstance and luck will also frequently play their part in such a journey. However, those who achieve their initial goals and surpass them are often those who recognise the critical factors for success in their enterprise and focus on them. They become extremely purposeful in everything they do.

The first step of acting with intent is often to set clear goals to be achieved within a predetermined period. These can then be broken down into more manageable targets, focusing on daily activities that will form the groundwork for achieving the larger goal.

This approach is the foundation of what we call habit-forming behaviours, and it is these behaviours that will help you go that extra mile.

We have formulated five tips that will help to develop your own best business practices.

  1. Learn from your past
    Was there a time you can recognise as being very successful for you? It’s important to look back and reflect on this period: what did you do then, and why did it work? Can you apply it again now to your current situation?
  1. Plan your day carefully to create a structured routine
    This may feel the complete opposite of being an ‘entrepreneur’, but it really isn’t. Set up your daily routines around your key objectives and devote time to the foremost priorities. Set yourself small, achievable targets for each day that will eventually build into the larger goal. While those who achieve significant success might appear to be ‘all ideas and innovation’, the reality is that they are likely to have a disciplined and structured approach underpinning what they do.
  1. Ask and listen
    Make sure you allow time to spend with your team for regular and two-way updates and ask them to contribute their own opinions on the business. Find out whether there is anything they think might be improved, and how. The trick is not to pre-judge their responses, but really listen to what they say. With the confidence to speak out, they’ll very likely come up with some great ideas.
  1. Write it down
    This may seem obvious, but you’d be amazed how many people don’t do it. Taking notes, however, you do it, will also help to direct your own thoughts, stimulate ideas and refine your activities into a more productive path. Reviewing my notes I’ve quite often been reminded of a ‘gem’ of an idea someone has suggested but which got lost in the hurly-burly of a meeting, but which we went on to later implement.
  2. Take care of your Self
    As one American management expert described it “sharpen the saw”, or as we in Yorkshire say “you can’t pour from an empty jug”! if you’re tired, unfit, unwell or stressed you’re unlikely to be operating at your best and it will also impact how you interact with those around you.To be successful often demands passion, drive and a lot of energy. But the historical macho culture of up at 5 am, first meeting at 6.30 am and working late into the night is an outdated approach and not a road many can or want to travel. You need to know yourself; how much and what kind of downtime do you need to operate at your peak level, are you at your best first thing or later in the day? Yes, you need to be committed and put the hours in, but it’s the quality of those hours that really matters. So understand and listen to your own body and psyche, and not that of others, to be at your successful best.

Our team at BHP Consulting all run successful businesses, we understand that businesses are unique and our approach involves sharing this experience to improve your business. For an initial telephone conversation or face-to-face meeting, click here