02 Nov Building Better Habits Requires This
Surround yourself with the standard you want.
It’s a whole lot easier to build a positive habit when the people you spend the most time with already have that habit.
Our habits are the product of three key elements:
Each of these elements play a key influence in structuring productive & negative habits we each have.
The better our choices (influenced by our mindset & focus), the better habits we can build and more effectively break negative ones.
Here’s a link to a refresher on focus if you want to dive into it. Today I want to focus primarily on your circle + environment.
Each can be tackled separately, but for the purposes of today I want to focus on them combined.
Our social circle.
It’s easier to drink alcohol every day when your roommates and friends go to happy hour 4-5x a week.
It’s harder to stop drinking alcohol frequently when the people you hang out with most often drink 5-7x a week.
It’s easier to build a healthy habit of working out every morning when your spouse is getting up every day with you to go workout before dawn.
It’s harder to build a healthy habit of working out when none of your friends go to the gym.
Get where I’m going?
The people we spend the most time with influence our chances of building productive or destructive habits.
According to Harvard’s social psychologist Dr. David McClellan, “the people you habitually associate with determine as much as 95% of your success or failure in life.”
That reinforces Jim Rohn’s famous line, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time.”
You can’t expect to soar with eagles one day if you spend all of your time on the ground with chickens.
So how do we change circles?
It’s hard to cut ties on relationships that we’ve cultivated over time. We like those people. Maybe we love that person.
You don’t have to take an axe to the relationship, actually.
You just have to change your time investments and priorities.
Instead of hanging out with that circle every day of the week, maybe you hang out with them 3-4x a month.
Instead of sleeping in each morning, what if you scheduled a coffee 1-2x a month with a fellow ambitious person to meet and discuss goals, growth and accountability?
”But I don’t know where to start?”
1. Are you reading this on your phone? Finish the email then open Safari and type in “(my city) networking groups” or “(my city) gyms” or “running clubs near me” and find others chasing the same things you are.
2. Google and social media truly eliminate the excuse “I don’t know where to start.” Yes you do, it’s just uncomfortable to start because it’s something new.
It’s always awkward to put yourself out there, isn’t it? We worry “what if this new group rejects me?” and play countless games in our head of what could go wrong. But here’s a question…
What if this new group, activity, class is the best thing that ever happened to you?
Flips the script and internal conversation doesn’t it?
Anything new is uncomfortable – but the key is to do something new if you want to see a change. Your circle won’t magically change on its own. You have to take action to invest time elsewhere.
Your habits won’t just change for the better “one day.” You have to intentionally change your choices and surroundings to improve your chances of making productive, new ones stick.
If you want to build a positive habit, start hanging out with people who already have that productive habit in their lifestyle. Change your circle and watch your chances to build productive habits soar.
Along with your chances to succeed.