Habits are the building blocks for growing your business and tackling your goals. Good habits can get you mentally and physically closer to your idea of success whereas bad habits can slowly pull you away. The good news is that you are not born with habits. They are formed, which means they can be built and broken.
We are going to dive into how to determine the habits that will grow your business the ones that will stunt it. Then we will create an action plan to start developing healthy routines and to break negative patterns.
Which Habits are Helping Me vs. Hurting Me?
How do you know which habits you need to form or break to grow your art business? Start by looking at your short-term and long-term goals and determine what could prevent you from reaching these goals. Actively write down a list and don't leave anything off. Include anything from "my kids' soccer practice falls in the middle of my studio time" to "I can't keep my studio organized" to even "I just hate social media."
All of these worries can be tackled by building the right habits.
Let’s look at not having enough time. I understand, maybe you have three kids that you have to shuttle around for what feels like hours every day. How will you have enough time to paint, market yourself, and work on your website? Try forming a habit of getting up one hour earlier.
Are you disorganized? How can you set up your studio so that staying organized is easier? Can you make it a practice to put away your paints every time you leave the studio?
Do you hate marketing or another aspect from "the business side" of your career? Create a habit of accomplishing that difficult task first thing so you don't have to dread doing it later.
Once you form these little habits, they become easier and easier and you will see visible changes begin to take place.
Make it as Easy as Possible
The key to developing your good habits is to make them as simple as possible. If you decide to wake up earlier, have your coffee ready, your laptop charged, and prep a healthy breakfast. Reward yourself for completing the task. This creates a positive feedback loop and therefore will make you want to continue the habit.
Maybe you really don’t like waking up an hour earlier. Try rewarding yourself with a pastry from your local coffee shop each time that you choose not to snooze your alarm. Eventually you will get used to the earlier wake up time and will no longer need small rewards.
Brainstorm a few prizes that can help you create a positive feedback loop for your habits.
Break Down Bad Habits
What about bad habits? Look at where you are wasting time, procrastinating,or not being your best, creative self. Ask yourself, how can you make this habit as difficult and unenjoyable as possible?
Many clients complain about not having enough time. Check how much time you are spending on your phone. The average person spends about an hour and a half on social media per day. What if you cut that in half? What could you do with an additional 45 minutes per day?
To break this habit, you must make it as unenjoyable and tedious as possible. Try putting your phone in another room so you have to stand up to go get it. Make yourself spend one hour writing an email newsletter or another business task every time you go over your phone's time limit. Find small ways to encourage yourself not pick up your phone. Once this habit is formed, you will see the amazing growth that can happen with just adding a few minutes of productivity to your day.
Put it Into Action
Now that we covered how to build and break habits, lets put our research into action.
Brainstorm two habits that you could improve or form to help you achieve your goals. Make them simple and possible to do every day. I often tell clients to wake up five minutes earlier or to spend five less minutes on their phone, then, once that becomes easy, build from there.
What is one negative habit that is standing between you and success? How can you begin to break or lessen this habit?
Take some time to reflect on these ideas. Habits compound over time, so even a small improvement can lead to huge results down the road.
I am challenging you to start today. What will you accomplish in a week, a year, and a decade from now?
Common Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs
A few common habits of successful creatives to get you brainstorming include:
- Commit to continually learning (read, listen to podcasts, etc.)
- Surround yourself with people that you admire and share your goals
- Create a little every day
- Don’t waiver on your decisions
- Find ways to work smarter not harder
- Give back
- Focus and remain disciplined at the task at hand
- Take calculated risks
- Set boundaries for yourself and your work
- Show up and do the work every day
- Reflect and always try to change and grow
Additional reading: One of my favorite books about habit formation is Atomic Habits by James Clear. The book gives actionable tools and real-world examples about how to make habit formation work for you.
We want to hear from you! We can be your virtual accountability partner. Share your new habits below or tag us on social media!