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To Create Habits for Success, Try These 3 Things

Rich Johnson
Rich Johnson

Posted Sep 28, 2021

This week the Ignite Community hosted a strategy breakfast on Cultivating Peak Performance with world-class optimizer and coach, Michael Balchan. We had a great discussion about the 5 building blocks for successful performance in any area of our lives: sleeping, eating, breathing, movement (exercise) and being present (mindfulness). Once we’ve identified a habit we’d like to pursue in one of these areas, here’s how to make it stick:

1. Make it easy. 

If you want to eat less potato chips or cookies, don’t have them in the house. That way, when you get home from a long tough day and don’t have much willpower, it won’t be an option because you made the decision to keep those foods out of the house. 

2. Make it visible.

If you want to go to the gym in the morning, pack your back the night prior and have it ready to go when you wake up right next to the bed. Or if you are working on intentional deep breathing throughout the day, set a timer on your watch or phone to visibly remind you. 

3. Celebrate progress. 

Each time you choose that positive behavior, pause and recognize yourself for being consistent. Keep track of how many nights in a row you get 7+ hours of sleep, or use an app like HeadSpace for meditation that rewards you with badges and encouragement.

Ignite Leadership Development - Strategy Breakfast with Michael Balchan.JPG

To break a habit, do the opposite of these steps. Make it hard, make it out of sight, and create consequences. The last thing to consider is that we have more control over the beginning and end of our days. Focus your most important habit-forming efforts in these times in order to see the quickest and most significant progress. 

You can read more about Michael’s work here.  

Ignite is a learning community for early to mid-level managers to develop into the purpose-driven leaders of tomorrow. Through weekly in-person training experiences and a network of inspiring peers, we cultivate the character and competence to lead in a complex world. Learn more about our community here, or apply to become a member here.

Rich Johnson

Rich Johnson is a leadership coach and consultant with nearly two decades of experience starting, leading and advising organizations. Rich works at the intersection of people /culture and strategy /operations to create thriving places to work. As a Principal at sr4 Partners, he works with clients ranging from high growth startups to F100 companies, training their leaders, consulting on strategy, and designing programs that facilitate inclusive and thriving cultures. Rich’s work with diversity, equity and inclusion began in 2003 as a member of his company’s diversity council, and today includes leading executive-level consulting engagements for clients as they navigate these critical and uncharted waters. Rich founded Spark Ventures in 2007, a nonprofit funding jobs, education and healthcare in marginalized communities in Africa, Latin America and the U.S. In 2017, he cofounded Ignite, a leadership development company that was acquired by sr4 Partners in 2020. He speaks, writes and in his free time loves to read, run and hang with his two dogs.

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