Good habits create a positive mindset. By focusing on behaviours that you can control, you can take positive action and improve your performance in specific areas.
Good habits can range from committing to more exercise to improving your work processes. Whatever you’re trying to do, the outcome is that you save time, increase performance or otherwise achieve a positive outcome.
Trailblazer is designed to support financial advisers and planners and to help you get into good habits when it comes to the compliance aspects of your work. So, we’ve highlighted three easy ways that you can get into good habits – and make them stick.
1. Start small
When you decide to make a change it’s natural that you want it to happen as quickly as possible. If you’ve ever made a New Year’s resolution, you’ve probably headed to the gym three times in the first week, even if you’ve never been before!
The problem with trying to make a big change quickly is that it requires a lot of effort and a lot of willpower. Research has shown that willpower works a lot like a muscle, and if you use it a lot, it will get tired. And when it does, you’ll be very likely to quit.
The way to get into a good habit is to start small so that it doesn’t need any willpower. Starting a new habit should be so easy that you don’t really need to think about it.
- Want to start an exercise habit? Your goal is to exercise for one minute today.
- Want to start a writing habit? Your goal is to write three sentences today.
- Want to create a healthy eating habit? Your goal is to eat one healthy meal this week.
By starting small, you’ll establish the habit behaviour before you need to put any effort in. It doesn’t matter how well you perform on any individual day, as sustained effort is what makes the real difference. Prove to yourself that you can stick to a new pattern of behaviour for a month, and once that habit sticks you can worry about increasing the effort and difficulty.
2. Be clear what you intend to do, and when
Research has shown that you’ll be much more likely to follow through with a new habit if you’ve decided beforehand exactly when and where the behaviour is going to take place.
What gets scheduled gets done. So, if your habit is truly important to you, give it space in your schedule. Put it in your calendar or diary, just like you would with an important business meeting.
If you want to be more organised at work, set aside an hour a week for CPD or admin.
Or, if you want better clients, find out what you need to do to get them and then create habits that revolve around those specific actions. Again, make time for this in your daily schedule.
Any goal is possible. Just commit to it and schedule it in your calendar. As best-selling author Charles Duhigg says: “The key to victory is creating the right routines.”
3. Understand what is holding you back
Getting into a habit can be hard if you think you’re ‘not that type of person’.
Sometimes you will find that it’s not the actual action itself that bothers you. Ensuring your client compliance is up to date might not be the problem: instead, it might be the hassle of getting the files out of storage, sorting through them, completing forms and so on.
Once you realise what it is that’s holding you back, you can take positive steps towards achieving your goals.
It’s one of the reasons we launched the Trailblazer app. Many advisers and planners told us that the reason they found it a challenge to keep on top of compliance and CPD matters was that it was too much hassle. They were happy to do the work – the challenge was that it was time-consuming and difficult.
You might think that you’re the ‘type of person who is disorganised’. However, in most cases, you’re not destined to fail in those areas. Instead of making a blanket statement about your habits, break them down into smaller pieces and think about which areas are preventing you from becoming consistent.
Figuring out how to work around some of the hurdles you can face can be the secret to creating a new habit. For example, our app lets you update your records on-the-go, 24/7 and in real-time. So, you can now record client meetings as you’re walking back to the car, rather than having to spend time in the office finding and updating paper files.
Once you know the specific parts of the process that hold you back, you can begin to develop a solution to solve that problem. So, if you struggle to keep on top of your paperwork, get into the habit of using our app. It lets you manage client communication, regular servicing, Annual Suitability Assessments and CPD quickly and in real-time, helping you to get into good habits.
The people who stick with good habits understand exactly what is holding them back. So, if you want a secure and accessible solution to help you, get in touch. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our contact form.