Achieve your goals without fail by following one habit

Achieve your goals without fail by following this one habit

My doctor just told me to lose 20 kgs. 20 kilograms!!! Do you know what I did? I immediately changed doctors. No, seriously, I bought a book by fitness guru Michelle Bridges. And almost immediately read a massive truth. Life changing. Here it is.

Burberry Australia MD Johnny Mutton told me this story. Australian cricket legend Steve Waugh was having his first ‘net’ practice session as a teenager with the Australian squad. Coach Bobby Simpson watched Waugh smashing the ball at every opportunity with youthful aggression.

“You’ll never make it as a top level Test batsmen playing like that,” he counseled a shocked Waugh. “But I wouldn’t bat like that during a real game,” replied Waugh. Simpson’s reply changed Waugh’s destiny. This is what he said:

“You do what you practice.”

In other words, if Waugh’s habit was to smash the ball during practice, that’s what he’d do in a game. And he would fail.

Mike Arthur puts it this way: “Unless you practice the skill you want to exhibit, you will never achieve the heights that you dream of.”

So, what does that story, about ‘you do what you practice’ have to do with Michelle Bridges and her ‘massive truth’ advice, and my 20 kg challenge?

Simply this. One of her first pieces of advice is:

“Break old habit with new habits.”

If you want to drive change for yourself, think hard about your habits, identify the ‘bad’ ones, and change them.

Waugh immediately changed his habit of playing recklessly in net practice, and formed a new habit of batting at every session ‘like in a Test Match’. (I showed my son the statue of Steve Waugh outside the Sydney Cricket Ground the other day. Point made.)

So I thought about Michelle’s advice. What are my habits that affect my diet and health? Duuurrr. How about this one: I smoke cigars when I drink, and I drink when I smoke cigars. And when I drink and smoke, I eat really, really badly. Maybe there is a lesson in that?

Catherine Armitage in the Sydney Morning Herald: “Habits are the brain’s way of taking a rest. They save us from having to make decisions about every little thing.”

A challenge for you (and me)

1. For the next week, pay attention to what you do and how you operate. What are your regular ‘habits’?
2. Make an appointment with yourself for half an hour
3. Use that half an hour to quietly list the habits you have that you’d like to change
4. And make a long list of new habits you’d like to form
5. Identify your top five ‘Habits To Stop’ and ‘Habits to Start’
6. Type it up and have the page laminated
7. Stick it up in your shower
8. Read it every morning, and take action every day

I really hope some of you do this, and it makes a difference. Good luck with your effort. And wish me luck with mine.


I watched the Dr. Seuss movie, “The Lorax”, recently. The Lorax is the ‘protector of the trees’. He asks his adversary: “Which way do trees lean?” “I don’t know,” was the reply. “They lean the way they fall. Watch out which way you lean.” Let’s help each other make sure we have habits that ‘lean’ us in the right direction. Bloody hard to do — for me anyway.


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