66 Days

That, my friends, is the magic number for the time it takes to form a habit, so the experts say. If you can have the discipline to try to make a change—whether it be exercising; writing your own (or posting on another’s) blog; or making time in your day for a specific activity, chances are it will take a little over two months to make it a regular thing. There are so many tasks we already do on auto-pilot: brush teeth, make coffee, walk the dog, check email. These are things that don’t get missed because they are ingrained in our minds, bodies and routines.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”  — Aristotle

I post this because no less than three business execs I spoke with in the last week complained of not having time to devote to developing thought leadership content for their businesses, something they determined should be a high priority for them personally. Wouldn’t it be great if this was just a matter of course. But as we know, beginning a new habit may seem overwhelming, particularly when there is a learning curve. My advice to them was write a little every day, at the same time every day. Even if it’s just setting aside 15 to 20 minutes — collect data, review related blogs and trade news, comment when possible for immediate impact, start coming up with the list of things that you can write about, jot down ideas and create a schedule for publishing (whether it be for a newsletter, blog post or whitepaper). Commit to publishing something at least once a month. With your daily habit in place, you’ll be producing regular content in no time.

You’ve got to start somewhere. The first step is to decide you will do it and schedule it, preferably at the same time every day. Want some additional tips?

Here’s an excellent checklist from Leo Babauta whose ZenHabits blog is one of the top 25 in the world. Check it out.



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July 2011
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