New Habits: The One Action that Stands in Your Way

Happy New Year, all!


One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach.
— Morrow Lindbergh


I’ve always loved this quote – both because one literally cannot collect all the seashells but because in order to pick up any new ones, I must put down some of the shells that I have collected in the past. It’s not always easy to choose which ones to put down, but there is a physical limit to the volume that I can carry.

This being early January, I’m also looking at my personal collection of patterns and habits. And looking with my clients at their patterns and habits. 

One thread is blindingly obvious – yet rarely noted:  In order for a new habit to be successful, you must stop an old habit.  

There is a physical limit to the amount of time in your day.

  • If you want to spend more time on strategy, you must spend less time on tactics.
  • If you want to close more big deals, you must spend less time on small deals.
  • If you want to exercise in the morning, you must stop whatever else you are currently doing during that time. You can move activities around to other times, but in the end something has to go or be reduced,
  • And so on …

It’s not just what do you want to do, it’s also what do you want to stop doing.

If you don’t pay attention to both of these questions, you will default back to your existing comfortable behavior whether it still serves you well or not. 

Revise those aspirations for 2017 – make note of what you will stop in addition to what you will start.


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