It is no secret that when a chain breaks, the weakest link is the culprit. The common sense application to our life is to focus on what that analogy might be representing to each one of us. However, I want to look at it from a different angle, I want don’t want to focus on eliminating the weak link but rather change it to a strong one.
The first step is going to be similar to what you would expect, identification of where your weakness might be. It is important to define what I mean by weakness. These are things that are holding you back from reaching your full potential and are likely bad habits that you have developed. Common examples could be not getting up on time, eating junk food, watching too much TV/Social Media, missing workouts, finances or perhaps conversations with others. Whatever they are, and while we all have areas we can improve on, it is important to identify the one big one that is most holding you back from what you want to become.
After determining the one habit that is holding you back, you need to see what factors are contributing to it. In other words, what is the preceding step and resulting action to this activity or thing? For example in sleeping late, maybe it is you hear your alarm go off, roll over hit the snooze then go back to sleep. Or if is missing workouts, you intend to go to the gym but suddenly your schedule is crazy for the day and you don’t think you have time to squeeze it all in, so you forego your workout to run that errand. Perhaps it is spending a chunk of your paycheck the day you get paid by running to the mall (or online) to buy something you probably don’t really need. These all have events that led up to the activity you want to avoid or change.
Now that you have identified the big factor that is holding you back, along with the event(s) that lead up to it and the end result that is outcome, it is time to substitute those with a habit that moves us closer to our “Big Whys”. Let’s focus on missed workouts. The preceding event is that you feel rushed and tasks come up that you don’t expect, which cause you to miss your session, which you feel accomplished in completing the errand but discouraged in missing your workout. To remedy this, you must master your schedule verses letting it master you. Perhaps this looks like starting your day with your workout so that your morning routine is always the same no matter what your day throws at you.
In order to cement these new habits into place, there needs to be some factors involved. You should celebrate the small wins and reward yourself for accomplishing the actions you are striving for. One of the keys to this is finding a reward that can be reoccurring (along with the habit). As an example, if you are putting together a monthly budget and following it each month, budget in a reward like dinner out and/or movie if you follow it. Have an accountability group that can help you with your habits. This could be a small group (like your spouse/family) or a larger group (even something on social media).
This should be an ongoing process of improvement. When there are goals that you are trying to accomplish, evaluate the factors that are holding you back. Develop new habits to overcome and repeat the process. Self-discipline and willpower will carry you further than raw talent and ability, so just keep chipping away and you will continue to succeed!