Let’s make a deal.
By the end of this article, I want us both to be one hundred per cent crystal clear on one thing.
You will know what that thing is, and precisely what to do every day from now on.
In another article, I spoke of having an ‘Apex Goal’ — that one goal you would ensure happened over all other goals.
It is your must-do, highest-priority goal, and one that requires continual laser-like, obsessed focus.
What might that be for you?
Many of us set goals to be more productive, but we can still get overwhelmed. This leads to fewer results and further malaise.
To sharpen our focus, and to instil in us a powerful sense of direction, I encourage people to identify that one apex goal before all else.
This creates an imbalance.
That is what you have been lacking until now.
Having several things to focus on that are ‘equally important,’ means they are all equally unimportant.
Such a goal will often inspire us to pursue our secondary goals too.
The same applies to habits.
We often try to take on too many habits all at once and don’t prioritise any one of them.
With an ‘Apex Habit,’ this changes. We identify that one habit that must be included in our lives, at whatever the cost.
We figure out which habit would have the most significant impact right now, given what our goals are and what we need, and then we commit to the practice every day.
Like with the apex goal, the ‘apex habit’ will give us the energy to improve our lives and create good habits in other areas.
Let’s run through some questions to help us identify your apex habit. You might want to decide on your apex goal first, by reading this article:Be more productive by identifying your ‘Apex Goal’
Goals are hard.medium.com
Let’s figure out your apex habit if you don’t yet have one. Ask yourself these questions:
What are the three to five activities (that I don’t do every day) that have (or have had) the most positive impact when I do them or stay with them?
What are three to five things I currently do that have the most negative impact on my well-being?
Based on my previous answers, what is one positive habit I could commit to over all others such that by doing it, everything else would be easier or unnecessary?*
*Thanks to Gary Keller for the wording for this question, which appears in his superb book: ‘The One Thing.’
Why would it benefit me?
List at least five reasons.
(You can use these reasons to stay motivated on keeping the habit).
What exactly will I do to ensure I do not quit (including having others help hold me accountable)?
There you have it. Your apex habit.
I’d recommend using a physical wall calendar that you mark big RED Xs on every day, to make the whole thing more tangible and more rewarding.
This is what Jerry Seinfeld said about HIS wall calendar:
“For each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day.
After a few days, you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it, and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is not to break the chain.”
Over time this habit will become more ingrained and automatic. When it does, you can move on to the next apex habit to prioritise, while ensuring your other good habits are maintained.
One by one.
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