How to Identify Bad Habits: Your Habit Will Determine Your Future

bad habits

Be Aware Of The Habits That Are Not Working For You

Many of our habits, patterns, idiosyncrasies and quirks are invisible, causing renowned author Oliver Wendell Holmes to observe, “We all need an education in the obvious.” So let’s look more closely at the habits that are holding you back. You are probably conscious of a few right away. Here are some common ones we have received from clients in our workshops.

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  • Not returning phone calls in time
  • Being late for meeting and appointments
  • Poor communication between colleagues and staff
  • A lack of clarity about expected outcomes, monthly targets, goals etc
  • Not allowing enough travel time for outside appointments
  • Not attending to paperwork quickly and efficiently
  • Handling the mail more than once
  • Allowing bills to go unpaid, resulting in interest penalties
  • Not following up consistently on overdue receivables
  • Talking instead of listening
  • Forgetting someones name sixty seconds(or less) after being introduced
  • Hitting the snooze alarm several times in the morning before getting out of bed
  • Working long days with no exercise or regular breaks
  • Not spending enough time with your children
  • Having a fast-food meals program Monday to Friday
  • Eating at irregular times of the day
  • Leaving home inn the morning without hugging your wife, husband, children and/or dog.
  • Taking work home with you
  • Socializing too much on the telephones
  • Making reservations at the last minute (restaurant, travel plans, theatre, concerts)
  • Not following through in time as promised, with other peoples requests
  • Not taking enough time off for fun and family, guilt free.
  • Having your cell phone on all the time.
  • Answering the telephone during family mealtimes.
  • Controlling every decision, especially the small stuff you need to let go of!
  • Procrastinating on everything from filing taxes to cleaning out your garage.

Now check yourself out by making a list of all the habits that keep you unproductive. Block off an hour or more so you can really think through this process. And plan it so you won’t be interrupted. It’s a worthy exercise and will give you a strong foundation for improving your results in the years ahead. In fact, these bad habits, or obstacles to your goals, really act as a springboard to your future success. Until you clearly understand what is holding you back, its difficult to create more productive habits. Another way to identify your unproductive behavior is to ask for feedback. Talk to people you respect and admire, who know you well. Ask them what they observe about your bad habits. Look for consistency. If you talk to ten people and eight of them say you never return phone calls on time, pay attention. Remember this, your outward behavior is the truth, whereas your inner perception of your behavior is often an illusion. If you are open to good honest feedback, you can make adjustment quickly and eliminate bad habits permanently.

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This was written by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

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