Hi everyone, Scott Asner here. I’ve been thinking a lot about habits lately. Many people think attaining a goal means you made major strides, took big steps, and overcame immense odds to reach it. I think that’s possible but what’s more probable, is that a series if teeny tiny steps were taken along the way, some consistently and with intent, and that these micro-increments led to macro-results.
Habits may seem insignificant, but I’ve learned over the years that the way we do things has great consequence. To enact a big change, I find I need to start small. To read a chapter of a book at night – a recent goal – I had to build my way to that habit. First, I identified a book I really wanted to read. Next, I put it on a table where I had to see it several times a day and that was in direct eyesight come evening. Lastly, I set an alarm to go off every night at the same time to prompt me to begin to read. At first, I’d read a few pages but slowly I began to read more and more. And while I still set my alarm, I don’t actually need it anymore. I look forward to my nightly reading and I am now in the habit of doing it.
People are creatures of habit. If there’s something new you want to train yourself to do, the secret to your success lies in the small steps you can systematize. It’s much more important that you take a small action toward your goal every day, than taking a big action inconsistently once in a while. It seems counterintuitive, to take a million little steps than a few big ones, but the truth is you can reach your destination much more quickly when the next step is realistic and within reach. You’re also more likely to stay the course when you can see that you are making progress.
I’ve been in business a long time. Every large accomplishment my peers and I have reached has consisted of many small victories, several slip ups, and lots of dusting oneself off and continuing forward. Perhaps resilience is another quality that’s just as important as habit. Then again, the act of standing up when you’ve fallen down, is in itself a habit. I regress: habit is the definite key to success. Set a goal, choose your habits, do them consistently, and see for yourself what happens.
~ Scott Asner, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.