The 66-Day Habit

We’re heading into the 2nd week of February, where apparently 80% of New Year’s Resolutions start to crumble and fail.  After about six weeks, willpower is compromised and we can lose focus on what seemed extremely important on January 1st.  Researchers now believe that a habit takes, on average, 66 days to develop and cement in our daily routines.  So how do we get from ringing out around the 6-week mark to forming a life-long habit a mere 3 ½ weeks later?

I just finished an amazing book, The One Thing, written by Gary Keller, cofounder of Keller Williams Realty, which is currently the largest real estate company in the world.  Keller believes that in order to achieve success in work and life, you must find your “one thing.”  In other words, we’ve all been placed on this Earth to do one thing—and if you can narrow your focus to achieve it, you’ll live an extraordinary life.

Keller argues that “you can become successful with less discipline than you think, for one simple reason: success is about doing the right thing, not about doing everything right.”  Identifying your “one thing” and then selectively developing one habit at a time will ensure you stay focused only on your “one thing.”  Allowing enough time for each habit to develop into a routine is critical—remember it takes 66 days for a habit to form.

So what’s your “one thing” for the year, month, week?

My one thing is to teach management and leadership.  Since I want to grow my business, I have reached a point in the business lifecycle where I cannot do everything myself and I need my Team to run the business for me.  This doesn’t mean that I’m not involved in running my business or not working, it means I’m assuming a new role of supporting my Team and then my Team is supporting our clients.  I’ll be working with each member of my Team to help them reach their goals.  Together we’ll figure out what I can do to help make each one of them more successful.

What am I doing to transition into this new role and support my Team?  First, I am no longer assuming responsibility for creating their sales or teaching goals—they are.  That’s right, each member of the Team is responsible for developing their “one thing” for each month and 3 quantifiable ways that they will track and reach their goal.  At the time of our next Team meeting, everyone will have been working on reaching their self-made goals for just about 66 days.  I’m really interested in finding out the following:

  1. Has setting your monthly goal, or your “one thing” become easier? By focusing on “one thing” do you know what you need to work on the most to become more successful at teaching or working at the front desk?
  2. If you failed to reach your goal was it because you weren’t focused? Or did you find your 3 ways weren’t easily quantifiable?
  3. Did working with another member of the Team help you reach your goal? Did the expertise or advice from someone on the Team to help you to re-focus your goal?
  4. Do you set easier or more difficult goals for yourself since you are responsible for creating them?

Second, I’m devoting time and money to develop my management and leadership skills.  I take at least one hour a day to read business leadership books and I’m registering for more business leadership seminars.  Creating a budget for training is in the works.  I’m actually going to Houston later this month to attend the Business Excellence Forum with my business coach.  I’m up for an award—Best Business with over 10 employees.  Good times!

When you sit down and define your “one thing” it becomes more clear what habits you’ll need to form to make achieving your “one thing” easier.  You won’t be wasting time trying to create habits that aren’t going to help you.  The habits you do form will become routine and instead of losing steam during week 6, you’ll reach that 66th day to make the habit lasting.

I’m only going to be posting once each week on Tuesdays going forward, because I have actually started writing a book.  So, next Tuesday I’ll share with you something that I learned at the Business Excellence Forum and hopefully a picture of my newly-won award-Ah!

Until then, stay on your toes!

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, Gary Keller

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