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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Cafiero

Habits > Goals

The habits you need to achieve the big goals!

How often are you achieving those BIG goals you set out for yourself?

The reality is, we don’t get our goals, we get the results of our habits. That understanding really got me. As my friend Karissa Kouchis, top trainer for Tony Robbins says, it’s the 2mm shifts that change everything.

A habit that I’ve lost in the past few years is consistent reading. It’s food for the brain that creates inspiration, ideas and belief. I recommitted to this habit (with the help of the app Headway - I’m “reading” a book a day - in about 15 minutes)!

Last night, I finished 7 Habits for Highly Successful People by bestselling author Stephen Covey. It’s been on my to re-read list for YEARS.

1. Be Proactive, not Reactive

  • On Sunday night I clean the house, lay out my clothes for the week, print our schedules, make sure groceries are ordered for the week ahead and most importantly, have a sense of clarity about what my week looks like. That doesn’t mean that chaos won’t ensure (after all, I have small children and a business), but it definitely means there will be a LOT less of it and I’ll have more patience to handle it.

  • Always look at how you can improve a situation (this begins by taking radical responsibility - which means don’t blame)!

2. Visualize the ending you want before you begin!

  • Then, reverse engineer the heck out of that desired outcome. Plan it once in your mind, again on your favorite whiteboard or journal and finally, in the real world (just like an architect would). Basically, make your mistakes on paper!!

  • Some tips to do this:

    • Write down end goals. Often, we’re so focused on being productive or efficient, we don’t stop to think if what we are doing is really the most important thing to be done.

    • Prioritize the steps to reach those goals. Calendar in time to do those steps!

    • Visualize taking the steps (not just the end goal). Just visioning on what it feels to accomplish a goal is nowhere near as powerful as visioning what it feels like as you are WORKING to accomplish the goal. Visualize the actions that lead to the result.

3. Schedule Your Priorities (ideally, the week before)

  • How do you categorize or prioritize how you spend your time? Do you spend all day fighting fires, feeling super busy, but at the end of the d ay, wonder what you actually got done? Put your priorities (and the fires) into the following four quadrants!

    • Quadrant I. Urgent and important (Do) – important deadlines and crises

    • Quadrant II. Not urgent but important (Plan) – long-term development

    • Quadrant III. Urgent but not important (Delegate) – distractions with deadlines

    • Quadrant IV. Not urgent and not important (Eliminate) – frivolous distractions

    • After Quadrant 1, we should spend the most time in Quadrant 2!

    • If something is important, schedule the time for it before it becomes urgent! I love sitting down on Saturday or Sunday to look at the week ahead, to ensure that I haven’t double booked myself, that I have allowed time for what is important and that I have what I need for everything of importance!

4. Think Win, Win!

  • Put in goodwill, time + effort (as currencies) into our relationships + interactions with others. That’s not just birthday cards (though that helps!), it’s being intentional in asking someone what you can do to help them (whether that’s a resource, a referral or just REALLY listening when they need an ear).

  • Be empathetic, and listen. Avoid gossip. Only unconfident people tear down others.

5. Seek First To Understand!!

  • Don’t assume you know what others are going through if you haven’t taken the time to understand. (it’ll save you time, energy and heart ache).

  • I learned years ago that when someone is in a MOOD, snaps at you, or is otherwise not their ideal self, before you take it personally, ask these questions:

    • Are they tired?

    • Are they hungry?

    • Are they stressed?

    • Likely, it’s one of the three (or maybe all 3)! Knowing this makes it SO much easier to not take it personally (or snap back), which only makes the situation worse. Instead, get them a nap, a sandwich or space!

6. Supercharge Synergization!!!

  • Seek what is beneficial for everyone involved - that only happens by being respectful and open. Work with others to achieve exponential results (you’ll go faster on your own, you’ll go further together).

  • Not only do I crave this type of synergy, it’s what we’ve created!!! You can be part of it in the Pitch Club Goal Getter’s Group, on Facebook!!

7. Sharpen the Saw!!

  • Take time out to sharpen your physical, spiritual, mental and social life to remain highly effective. This time spent is an INVESTMENT….are you wasting time, spending time, saving time or investing in your time?

  • This is the reason I have a coach in EACH of these areas…..I’m all about getting the most effective shortcut to excellence in the areas of my life that are most important! Basically, don’t expect something to improve if you don’t invest your time, energy or money into it!

  • Sometimes, you have to slow down to speed up. Stopping to audit what’s working in your life, what’s not, what’s important, and then taking the time to actually make the change will take longer in the short term, but will give you TREMENDOUS results, joy, health, money and even more time in the long run!

For me, writing down the 7 Habits and displaying them somewhere I see them often (hello bathroom mirror) allows me to be intentional in practicing them! And how we practice, we play!

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