Thursday, January 10, 2013

Got Goals? Take Them With You!

You may have goals.

And you may have written goals.

But do you carry your written goals with you?

Compelling research says you should ...

In a new study published in Psychological Science, researchers found that when people wrote down their thoughts on a piece of paper and threw the paper away, they mentally discarded the thoughts as well.

On the other hand, people were more likely to value their thoughts if they wrote them on a piece of paper and then tucked the paper in a pocket to protect it.

“However you tag your thoughts -- as trash or as worthy of protection -- seems to make a difference in how you use those thoughts,” said study co-author Richard Petty of Ohio State University.

“At some level, it can sound silly. But we found that it really works -- by physically throwing away or protecting your thoughts, you influence how you end up using those thoughts. Merely imagining engaging in these actions has no effect.” (Emphasis mine.)

In one study, 284 students were asked to write down negative or positive thoughts about the Mediterranean diet.

Some threw their thoughts on paper away, some left them on their desk, and some were told to put the paper in their pocket, wallet or purse and keep it with them.

All participants were then asked to rate their attitudes toward the diet.

Those who kept the list of thoughts at their desk were more influenced by them when evaluating the diet than were those who threw them away.

However, those who protected their thoughts by putting them in a pocket or purse were even more influenced than those who kept the thoughts on their desk.

This suggests you can magnify your thoughts, and make them more important to you, by keeping them with you in your wallet or purse,” Petty said. (Emphasis mine.)

This idea of carrying written goals with you is Habit One of what I call "3 Habits of Growth."

Here's the deal: Your success in business (and life) comes from what you think and what you do every day.

And most of that comes from your habits.

Example: Psychologists estimate that up to 95% of your thoughts today are the same ones you had yesterday. Your brain largely repeats itself, over and over.


And, as much as 45 percent of your actions today are the same as yesterday. What you say and do is largely habitual.

We run mostly on autopilot, day after day, week after week, month after month ....

That's the power of habit. It can stick you in a rut -- or keep you in the groove for daily growth that compounds into huge payoffs.

So, to get better results in your business, you need better habits.

But not all habits are created equal.

In The Power of Habit, New York Times columnist Charles Duhigg makes a startling suggestion: You don't need to change dozens of habits to dramatically change your life.

Because some habits are worth more than others. A lot more. And adopting just a few of them can significantly improve your life -- and your business.

These super-valuable habits are called keystone habits. And they "have the power to start a chain reaction, shifting other patterns as they move through our lives," according to Duhigg.

"Keystone habits influence how we work, eat, play, live, spend, and communicate. Keystone habits start a process that, over time, transforms everything," says Duhhig.

"This, then, is the answer of where to start: focus on keystone habits, those patterns that, when they start to shift, dislodge and remake other habits."

Get that? Keystone habits can dislodge and remake other habits -- which is how you change your life.

Now. How many keystone habits do you need?

Good news: 3 are enough.

If you're in the Twin Cities and it's not too late, you can learn more here

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