August 15, 2023
As a coach, you may be looking to get consistent with writing content, engaging on social media, and business development activities. We can use habit-building strategies to help us get in a groove with completing these tasks on a regular basis.
Let’s take a new business development strategy, for example. It will involve a variety of activities that you’ll want to do on a daily or weekly basis. How will you get used to getting these things done on a regular basis?
The secret to building any new habit is consistency.
Making something a part of your daily routine and tracking your progress helps you to build a habit slowly over time and will allow you to build trust in your ability to start something and stick to it.
Consistency is something we can all struggle with and so, it’s critical to have the proper systems in place. An example of a simple system is a habit tracker. It might be an app, a whiteboard on your wall, or a simple Google Sheet that lets you track your business development activities and their progress including sending connection requests, starting conversations, booking calls and replying to direct messages.
It’s safe to say that sticking to a new habit is always easier when planning is done in advance. That way, when the appointed time to complete a task rolls around in your daily schedule, you don’t need to make any decisions on the spot but rather, you can just stick to the plan!
What does making a plan include?
The first steps are to identify the when and the where. Or in other words, the time and the place in which you’re going to be working on your business development activities. It also means sticking to some key steps that let you lock and load the habit so that you’re set up for success.
1. Where: Start with the location.
Creating consistency with the location is half of the equation. To reinforce the habit through your environment, do the work in the same location each time.
Ensure these activities have a dedicated spot, somewhere that you can just reserve for this work. If you don’t have an office or if space is limited, try a zone within a room or a specific chair to always sit in.
If it’s possible, avoid doing other conflicting activities in that dedicated space. This means, don’t try to get down to business development activities in your relaxing reading chair. If you’re used to chilling out in that spot, it’s likely you might start to drift off when you’re actually supposed to be logging in to LinkedIn to make some new connections.
2. When: When will you roll out this new habit, and where will it layer into your existing schedule?
A good first step is to spend some time thinking about the flow of your daily routine so that you can set yourself up for success. If you need to, documenting a day in your life as you go through it could be helpful in fully understanding your routine. You’d be surprised at some of the things you do without even thinking about it!
Focusing specifically on the morning routine is a great idea because completing a habit first thing in the morning feels awesome and can get you off to a good start.
Waiting too late in the day to begin that important new habit may mean you’ve lost the energy and motivation to start. Think about what time of day will realistically be the most effective for you based on your daily routine and personal energy profile.
After you have a clear understanding of your routine, look back at the daily habits that you’ve already established. Layer these new activities in where the flow makes the most sense. Aim for a likely uninterrupted time of day. For example, try not to schedule it around the time that your kids wake up or typically need you.
3. Create your intention statement.
A good way to do this is by following a formula, for example:
I will (DO X HABIT) at (X TIME) in (X LOCATION)
Create your own intention statement that both follows the formula and is specific and helpful to you. Here are a couple of examples of what your intention statement could look like:
I will (WORK ON ONLINE ENGAGEMENT) at (7:00 AM) at (THE KITCHEN TABLE)
I will (DO MY DAILY LEAD GENERATION TASKS) at (8:15 AM) in (MY OFFICE)
4. Schedule it.
Ensure your new business development habit exists in reality by adding it to your calendar as a recurring appointment with yourself.
It’s key that you respect that appointment in the same way that you would an external appointment with someone expecting you.
It’s time to make the switch to an electronic calendar if you haven’t done so already. Having the ability to easily create recurring tasks for business development and any other new habits or activities is essential for someone who is serious about building strong daily routines and habits that stick.
It’s important to remember that you’re worth the daily investment in working towards a goal that will ultimately improve your business and your bottom line.
If you’re not used to the idea of scheduling things in your calendar, read on to the end of this blog for information on scheduling strategies, time blocking, and how you can make it work for you.
5. Keep showing up for yourself.
Remember the reason why you’re trying to be consistent with your business development – or whatever the new habit is!
Sometimes, tough days come along when completing the task at hand is hard and you really don’t feel like doing it. But, the important thing is to just show up, even if for five minutes.
That might sound a little unproductive, but just showing up is helping you develop that consistency which is key to getting the habit to stick. Even on days when you lack motivation, showing up for your commitment is helping you build self-trust, and demonstrates that you can keep your promise to yourself. It helps reinforce the habit! You never know what could happen, five minutes could lead to ten and ten could lead to thirty!
What if you miss a day?
If you miss a day, have compassion with yourself! But, try not to miss more than one day, because if you do, you’ve actually started a new habit of not doing the habit. Remember – consistency is key in getting a new habit to stick.
BONUS TIP – Accountability
It’s very likely that you’re a one-person team, and that can make it a challenge to hold yourself accountable to new habits! Try to think of someone that could help you stay accountable. Do you know anyone else who is also working on getting consistent with a new habit in their business?
By partnering up with someone who is on the same path as you, it makes it easier to do daily check-ins and to encourage each other on your journeys. It doesn’t even have to be the exact same habit as you, they could be trying to achieve something else but also needing that daily motivation. It can be as easy as sending a daily text to each other when your habit is complete.
Alternatively, consider enlisting the support of a professional accountability coach or project management specialist for a longer-term relationship with dependable support.
We’ve covered some steps to starting and sticking to new habits or activities such as business development tasks. Putting a scheduling strategy like time blocking into place is an additional, extremely impactful next step towards ditching the overwhelm and getting sh!t done.
Contact us here for info on our upcoming FREE workshop ‘Ditch the Overwhelm + Get Sh!t Done’ held this September. In this workshop, Moriah Bacus, Accountability Coach + Project Manager, will help you to put your own time blocking into place. You’ll learn how this strategy can help you put a new habit or activity into place and actually have it stick, plus other scheduling and habit-building tactics.