(I’ll be writing a few more emails about specific marketing topics in the next week or two so if there’s anything specific you’d like me to cover, let me know – email@example.com)
Habits change when your perception does. Instead of viewing running in the rain as stupid, you view it as a release, an escape from reality. Instead of thinking about that difficult customer as a nuisance, you view them as the person who pays you money so you can be be free at the weekend. Instead of seeeing sleep as unproductive time, you view it as a welcome recharge, leaving you fresh the next day.
‘Keystone habits’, talked about by Charles Duhigg in The Power of Habit, refer to fundamental, single things that affect your entire life in more ways than you can imagine.
Imagine (if you need to) that you live a sedentary, unhealthy life. You sleep badly, eat poorly, drink too much, don’t exercise, bored with your job: everything just feels a bit rubbish.
Then you spot a special offer for swimming pool membership. On a whim you decide to give it a go. You do a few difficult lengths but feel OK and go again next week. It gets slightly easier, but the only time you’re free to go is on a Thursday, and you normally have a few drinks and a curry on a Wednesday night with some friends.
Suddenly, you find yourself not quite drinking so much, or ordering a slightly lighter meal. You’re tired after swimming and notice that you sleep better on a Thursday night – so you swim on Tuesday too, and that helps. When you go shopping you reach for the veg instead of the frozen pizza because you read that it gives you a bit more energy.
Like the butterfly flapping its wings and causing a tornado, that one simple change you make – jumping into a swimming pool – has affected your whole life.
But: if you had sat down and decided to change your diet, your social habits, your sleep patterns all in one go then in all likelihood you’d have been overwhelmed and failed.
It comes back to perception. Pick one thing in your life (or not in your life) and look at it in a different way. Reframe it to mean something else. Change your approach to it, give it a chance. And see what happens.
Let me know what you have started to look at differently. Add a comment below or if you’d prefer to keep it confidential, email firstname.lastname@example.org