Practice makes Habit

Make a good habitIt is well thought that practice makes perfect. Unfortunately this couldn’t be further from the truth. Practice cannot make you perfect. Believe me I know… 🙂

What people are trying to convey is that by practicing YOU WILL GET BETTER! This by no means guarantees any perfection. In the case of practicing something that you have little knowledge of, you can even get worse as you go. We may start to develop bad habits that will be even harder to break once they are ingrained into our process.

If you practice something, with a clear sense of improvement, a desire to get better, then you can make progress towards strengthening your skills. If you perform the task with limited desire and just go through the motions, then this will only serve to create a habit. Improving will still require that you start with good habits and an open mind along with a true desire to improve over time.

The biggest part of getting better is the ability to examine and reflect on the process. You need to understand that each movement needs to be broken down into smaller components and pay attention to the execution of each. Step by step look at what you do well (what goes well) and what areas can you improve upon?

A good example of this is golf. Golf is a simple sport. Really, it is. You hit a ball into a hole – pretty simple. It is by no means easy.

I can head out to a driving range and whack away at a bucket of balls day in and day out. Will I get better, maybe a little bit. If I head to the driving range and hit a shot, then dissect what went good and what went wrong, then make a conscious effort to fix what I perceive to be broken THEN I will start to make improvements. This will help to a certain degree as I can only help myself to a certain point. To the level of my ability + knowledge.

If I wish to improve even more I will need to work with a mentor or coach, an unbiased second party, that will observe what I am doing and impart their knowledge on improving my game. There is no better way to improve than soliciting the advice of an expert.

So, where am I going with all of this?

I have been working on a few projects, some personal others more business focused. In doing this I keep looking at writing and blogging. One of the items I wish to get better at is writing. Even more so, developing a habit of writing.

The second part is developing a habit of exercising and eating well. I have done pretty good over the past year in this regards, still I can do better.

Next steps to forming a habit

I have noticed that in order to really make an improvement I need to do a couple of things.

  1. Set a clear goal
  2. Make a plan of action
  3. Hold myself accountable

Set a clear goal – this happened by the way of a “challenge”. (Link to one site about NaBloPoMo) There is a yearly [ongoing] challenge to help people with writing called the National Blog Posting Month. Through the month of November you make a commitment to post daily. There are others that happen in other months too, just I happened upon an announcement for November.

My goal – I will write daily. To make is a SMART goal. Through the month of November, I will write a blog article every day. I will even hit publish when I am done writing it.

Make a plan of action – I have created a list of topics (done). I will set a time for writing (done – second thing each morning). I will set my alarm and get up a little bit earlier to allow extra time. The plan is in place and I am already starting with it. As I have tweeted earlier

I will review my topics in the evening and prep some content. Write earlier in the day and get my thoughts out. Look to review the article and “click publish” at lunchtime. This way I can write a little more freely and fix typos and grammar issues later.

Hold myself accountable – Writing this blog post and putting it out there. The second part of this step is asking each and everyone of you who are reading this to comment and keep me in check. If you see I haven’t posted, say something. If you like something I have written, share it with others and leave a comment. If you have ideas of how I can move forward with specific topics or areas of interest, please let me know.

While I am doing this, I will also be looking to keep on track with exercising. By getting up a bit earlier this will allow me time to work out, write and start my day off on a positive note! Looks like a win-win situation all around. I will be writing more on this as well. There are a few more challenges here as well. Next event is the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day.

What can I do for you? If you have a goal or desire to accomplish something please let me know. I will be happy to work with you on a plan and helping to keep you accountable as well. Working together we can accomplish anything. We are only limited by what we can imagine.

Truly Blessed,
-Dennis

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