Jan 7 – Breaking BAD

cheetah_jan7Cheetah Certified Project Manager Tip of the Day

Jan 7 –Did you know that it takes 21 days to create a new habit? Make micro-shifts you can easily keep to for 21 days – for example, drinking a glass of water with meals and one in-between meals. Make enough of these little changes in your life and your life changes in some big ways.


Ben Franklin might have been onto something when he said your net worth was your good habits minus your bad habits. If you want to increase your net worth, adopt better habits. It takes 21 days of a practice to make a new habit, so start today to create those habits that will serve you rather than sabotage you in achieving your important life goals. According to BJ Fogg of Stanford University, behavior = motivation x ability x trigger. And goal research shows when you tie a learning goal to an achievement goal, you have better odds of reaching your achievement goal. So let’s work with these insights to create five steps to adopting better habits:

1. Understand your motivation. Why do you want to create a better habit? What is it about your existing habits that you don’t like? When you can tie a visceral level of disgust to a habit you don’t want to keep, it makes it easier not to do it. But why are you attracted to this new habit – why do you want to adopt it? For example, one of my recent habits I wanted to adopt was to write more meaningful, directed work and spend less time sharing texts with friends and family (which I saw as a mind-sucking waste of time, anyhow).

2. Look at your abilities to adopt the new habit. Honestly appraise if you can do it. What do you need to learn to do it? Who is already doing it and what are they doing? For my goal, I signed up for a class on becoming a best-selling author. It was a 16-week online course that met once a week. The way the course was designed held me accountable for writing meaningful content on a daily basis.

3. Find out what triggers your bad habits and remove those triggers. To move away from my texting time-suck, I found that texting was a feedback system. The fewer texts I wrote, the fewer texts I received. But I also found out that some smart phones made it easier to text than others. I was an avid iPhone user. But I ran out of space on my iPhone because I loved to take pictures. So when I went to evaluate my options, I found the Samsung 4 smart phone could take a SDC card so I could take a lot more pictures. I made the switch. But unbeknownst to me, I could no longer receive iMessages from my iPhone-using friends. Trigger problem solved. I had no idea I wasn’t even getting the text messages. And within a couple of days my texting ways were over.

4. Develop triggers for your new habit. I wanted to write more meaningful content every day, so I came up with this Cheetah Certified Project Manager tip of the day. We found all types of ways to use these tips and now I am writing a blog post every day relating to these tips.

5. Focus on what you can learn rather than just creating a new habit. When you tie learning a new skill to an achievement goal, you significantly increase your chances of achieving your goal. And if that goal happens to be creating a new habit, make a commitment to a daily deliberate practice of a new skill. For my writing goal, I now spend thirty minutes a day creating informative blog posts.

Want to learn how to create effective strategies to adopt better habits for completing your important projects? Check out the Cheetah Certified Project Manager Program.

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