And no, it’s nothing to do with Work, Rest and Play!

By Phil Olley

Success is about … habits.

Many successful people find it difficult to put into words what they are doing which makes them successful. They don’t see themselves as putting any extra effort in, or summoning up huge reserves of motivation and energy, or being particularly clever. Indeed, most of them can't understand what makes people unsuccessful! They can't grasp why most others don't “just do it.” They have such a powerful mindset that they are able to just do things that the vast majority of people would either not consider. Successful people just get on with it, and consistently act at the peak of performance without thinking about it. In business we always default to our habits. Successful people have successful habits, and that’s that.

Most people know they should be making more sales calls, getting themselves organised, delegating more effectively seeing more clients, creating a powerful business vision, setting strong goals, being client focused, using their time better, doing more and better marketing to help get their business really flying, attaining more personal introductions to new prospects, and so on. But whilst most people know it, very few are able to do it on a consistent basis. They are held back by “interference” barriers of self-doubt and lack of focus.

Most people have great intentions to make performance improvements. Many even attend training courses and seminars with high hopes of making changes. But if the new ideas are not acted upon, they are very quickly forgotten. They will certainly never become a habit.

So is it all a waste of time, trying to improve or change? No! And this is why I created The MARS Formula

M indset
A ction
R esult
S uccess

First, the Success or required outcome is identified.
Then the Result (or series of results) needed to effect that success are quantified. From this a set of new or improved Actions can be determined which will lead to the results.

For example, the success is identified as the vision for our business. The results we need to achieve for this to become a reality are based on tangible aspects such as how many clients of a particular type we want, how much business we need to do, and so on. The actions required to achieve these results are the performance standards we adopt, such as how many calls we make, how many personal introductions we obtain, etc. They can also be the small actions we take at a subliminal level which are almost imperceptible but which have a huge impact on the results we achieve. For these actions to become habits, the Mindset needs to be there to allow them to become automatic and consistent actions. If the actions are habits, the new results will be consistent and the success will be attained and sustained. If the actions are not developed into habits, the results will be short-lived and the success will be at best transient.

Unfortunately, most people and companies simply expect that tacking new techniques on will mean enough new results will stick. They focus on training new actions, based on desired results for a new level of success. OK, but I’m sure many people have returned to the office full of the vigour of a conference or seminar or training course only to find that after a couple of weeks (at best) the new actions have lost their appeal, and the enthusiasm has waned.

The result is that, because the M has been ignored, the programme of change is not MARS at all. In fact, the mistake is often compounded when, recognising that “something is missing and our people aren’t fired up about this yet”, the services of a “motivational guru” are employed at the conference who is expected to tack some enthusiasm on to the end of the formula, producing a very different mnemonic (just checking you are still with me here!)

The fundamental element in creating a set of new habits (bearing in mind that people always default to habits) is Mindset. The right mindset – deeply held subconscious beliefs about ourselves and our abilities - will help develop the momentum needed to convert the new actions into habits. The changes begin in the mind before becoming a regular set of behaviours which develop into the default actions…that is, they become second nature.

Initially this will require implanting a new mindset by a process of “reprogramming”. We need to believe new things, think in a new way, expect different performance levels and allow our mindset to drive the changes.

Phil Olley is a leading specialist on FOCUS, peak performance and business breakthrough strategies. Contact Phil via info@PhilOlley.com or by calling 01592 563393. He is founder and broadcaster of The FOCUS Gym. www.PhilOlley.com

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