1 Simple Way Tip To Stay Consistent In Your Business
Tony Robbins says “I always tell people if you want to know the secret to happiness, I can give it to you in one word: progress. Progress equals happiness.”
Personally, I couldn’t agree more. Even if the progress is small, it feels amazing. It feels like growth. It feels like what you’re doing is being rewarded in some small way!
Unfortunately, a lot of female business owners don’t experience progress. Their revenue plateaus. They can’t seem to bring in more leads or paying clients. And they feel frustrated as a result of it. The progress is inexistent. Why? Well one of the reasons they don’t make progress is due to their lack of consistency in their business.
From spending time with my clients over the last 6 years, I know how easy it is to fall off the bandwagon when it comes to taking certain actions in business.
For example, marketing. I’ve had so many coaching calls over the years with clients who struggle to remain consistent with it. They know how important it is to be consistent in marketing, adding value and promoting their business. And yet, they get stuck. And procrastinate.
Their minds will give them all kinds of reasons not to show up that day.
For example, they might start comparing themselves to other business owners who they deem better than them.
Before they know it, their mind has hooked them with a story of just not being polished or professional enough, and they avoid marketing their business.
Sometimes, they’ll tell me that they have no idea what to write or share. They don’t know what their target market wants to hear from them. This block stops them from sharing anything on their website or through their social media platforms for weeks on end.
There are so many little thoughts and excuses that can get in the way of actually being consistent in your marketing.
However, I wanted to share a super simple way for you to start executing more consistently.
I learned this from BJ Fogg, who is a researcher at Stanford who focuses on behaviour design. Anyway, his recommendation after doing lots of research on the topic is to break the desired habit down to the “starter step”.
Basically, he recommends either reducing the number of reps you need to do or decreasing the amount of time it takes you. Simply reducing the habit to the first step of the process.
Let me share an example of his to demonstrate how to do this in real life. He tells the story of a woman in her thirties who desperately wanted to lose weight. Unfortunately, she couldn’t seem to stick to her habit of making her own breakfast and lunch at home.
This meant that she’d often end up picking up some really unhealthy takeaway lunch near her office. Or she’d end up having the pizza they often had in meetings at work.
Of course, the smell of the pizza and the incredibly easy option of getting greasy food for lunch made it that much harder for her to avoid. And her weight remained the same.
She was left feeling annoyed with herself as she just couldn’t seem to get herself to prepare her own food at home. Most days, she’d be rushing out of the house and feeling like she didn’t have time to prepare it.
As the healthy habit of preparing food wasn’t ingrained, the idea of having to do all of that prep work, cooking and packing seemed overwhelming and like too much effort.
After learning about making the habit tiny from BJ Fogg, she decided to only do the first step. All she had to do was put a pot of water on the stove. She didn’t even have to add the oatmeal to it or even cook it. All she had to do was fill up a pot of water and put it on the stove. That was it.
Of course, her desire was to get to a stage where she’d not only boil water, but then actually put oatmeal in it, wash some berries, mix them in, add a little honey, pour the porridge into a bowl and actually eat it.
However she’d learned from weeks and weeks of not executing on the habit that it was too big to start with.
So, for the first few days, all she did was pour water in a pot and put it on the stove. That’s all.
Every time she did it, she felt like she’d won. She’d followed through. It was helping her build her confidence.
Her only goal each morning was to pour water in a pot. She kept nailing it! And it made her feel great about herself.
A few days later after just pouring water into a pot and boiling the water, she thought to herself, I’m just going to add the oatmeal in there. As she did this, she told herself that was just extra credit.
She’d already achieved her habit and goal of boiling water. Anything extra was just extra credit!
Before she knew it, she was having oatmeal with fresh berries every morning. She felt amazing about it and it kicked off her day beautifully.
Do you see how she made the habit the first step in the process? Instead of having ALL of the steps: boiling water, putting oatmeal in, washing berries, pouring oatmeal into a bowl, adding a spoon of honey, sitting at the table and eating it… she reduced it to just the first step: boiling water.
Now, the next thing she could do is the same thing with her lunches. Instead of doing it all, she could simply wash and peel 1 carrot. That’s all. 1 carrot.
Sounds a bit silly! But again, it’s critical.
We’re reducing the steps to just the first starter step. Preparing and cooking a whole meal the night before to bring to work can feel overwhelming and hard to do. Washing the veg, peeling it, cutting it, adding spices, mixing in other ingredients, heating it in a pan, putting it into Tupperware. That’s a lot of effort.
Again, we want to be reducing it to the smallest part possible to first make the habit a routine. Once that small starter step is ingrained, it’s so much easier to improve it and add to it.
It sounds kind of futile when you think about how tiny that first step is. However, it works because it’s SO simple to do. The simpler a habit is to do, the more likely you are to do it.
As you and I both know, motivation is fickle. We can’t count on motivation to help us every morning as you don’t know if it’ll be there when you need it. Instead, we need the behaviour to be as easy as possible so that regardless of how we feel, we get it done.
How could you apply this principle to your own business?
Let’s say you want to be sending an email newsletter to your email list every week. And let’s say you’ve been putting it off almost every week for months!
It’s time to break it down and make it super small. For example, you could tell yourself that all you need to do is come up with the subject line. That’s it. Just writing down the subject line each week.
And when you get that done? Give yourself a big pat on the back. Praise yourself. Be proud that you achieved your new habit!
Anything extra is just extra credit. See how that goes!
Before you know it, you’ll have a new simple habit ingrained of writing down an email subject line each week.
And then, before long, you’ll just be writing the weekly email newsletter! And guess what? You’ll be making progress on your business goal, which will feel amazing.
So let’s do it. Write down the habit you’d like doing be doing every day or every week.
Now, break it down to be as tiny as possible. Just the very first step. Even if it feels kind of ridiculous to you because it’s such an easy step. That’s the point. It should be SO easy that it seems a little silly.
For example, if you have a desired habit of going for a run every day, maybe the habit could simply include putting your shoes on and tying the laces. That’s it! Keep it small remember. You can build on it later once the routine has been implemented enough times.
The smaller, the better. And remember, anything you do extra on those days is extra credit. Be proud of yourself for achieving that new tiny habit!
I can’t wait for you to give this a go this week in your business. Let me know in the comments how you’re going to break down your habit to be the tiniest first step.
Looking for more help? I’ve just made a free guide for you on how to overcome your self-doubt in business. In the guide, I provide 8 easy steps that you can work through to build your self-confidence and finally grow your business!
You can grab it here for free: 8 Easy Steps To Overcome Self-Doubt!
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