CareerSherpas: Climbing the Mountain

When you’re on the way, it helps to share the load

Archive for February, 2009

Forming Habits

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

So far this year I’ve looked at a couple of habits that make sense to form, but how about we take a break and talk about some ideas on how to form those habits?

Forming long-term habits is not an easy task, and there are many ways in which your hard-won gains can be derailed. At the same time, forming a habit is just another goal that you’re setting yourself. There are a couple of really consistent goal setting techniques that help to kick start your habit forming campaign:

  • Make sure you have some way to track progress: Without some kind of progress chart it’s easy to lose sight of how far you’ve come or how far you need to go. There are lots of options, from the mundane to the esoteric. You can go from something as simple as a calendar or notepad with tally marks to something more complicated like a goals management program or checklist like my personal favorite Joe’s Goals.
  • Make your commitment known to someone: Whether you’re posting your new habit forming goal to a blog or a community, talking about it with a friend, co-worker or spouse, or standing on a street corner yelling it to the sky, sharing makes you accountable to someone else. Sharing with someone who’ll check in on your habit forming activities or call out when you’re slipping works best, but even if the person doesn’t care you get some psychological prodding from seeing that person (or place) on a regular basis.

So prepare yourself for success and set in motion a plan to take on at least one new, positive habit for the year.

Peter Fitzgerald is the founder of and is currently working on his first book, conducting high-level business analysis, connecting individuals with ideas and opportunities, and attempting to learn the bagpipes.