I’ve been studying the ultra-successful for a long time. Most of them preach that if you aren’t successful (yet), it means your goals aren't big enough. They tell us to keep the end in mind, and NOT to focus on the “how". 

In some cases this is true. If you can’t visualize success and don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there. 

What about people that have BIG goals, but never seem to make progress?

Craig Groeschel, host of “The Leadership Podcast”, points out that we all have similar goals: Successful people and unsuccessful people; Winners and losers. We all want to be promoted in our job, make more money and to have more meaningful relationships. 

There is not a single football team that started their year hoping to finish 5th place. No one says they hope to make less money this year.

Why do some people have more success than others? It’s the systems and habits that make all the difference. It's all in the “HOW”. 

Craig notes that successful people do consistently what other people do occasionally.


Why is this so difficult? One reason is we don’t see progress fast enough.

When we don’t see progress quickly, we start to give up.

Craig Groeschel uses a pot of boiling water to explain how habits compound. When you have pot of water on the stove and turn the heat on, the water slowly warms up…85 degF, 120 degF, 150 degF, 200 degF… Every minute that the stove is on, the water is getting hotter, but you can’t see that from the outside. Finally, at 212 degF, the water starts to boil. 

Habits are the same way. They take a long time to show results. It takes consistent action over a long period of time for results to show. In Darrin Hardy’s book, “The Compound Effect”, he says Small Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE

What are some ways to make sure your habits stick?

  • Make it a DAILY habit. It is very hard to start a habit that you do 3 or 4 times per week. This is why I run first thing in the morning every day. 

  • Make sure the habit is measurable. For example, read 5 pages of a book per day, or run 2 miles per day. If you can’t measure it, it can be easy to slip. 

  • Track it! It's fun to look back and see how much you’ve progressed which adds some much-needed motivation. 

  • Start SMALL. Don’t try to add five habits at one time. Pick ONE and try to create a habit out of it. In “The One Thing" they say it takes 66 days to form a habit. In “Principles", Ray Dalio says it takes up to 18 months. Either way it won’t happen fast. The more challenging the habit the longer it will take. Be patient and only add habits when you’re ready!

  • Have an accountability partner. I am currently in a push-up challenge (100 per day for a whole year). We have a google doc that is shared between everyone in the competition and we are holding each other accountable (also notice this this is a DAILY habit that is MEASURABLE).

What success habit will you start today? 

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Brad Telker
Vice President, Applied Systems Group at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of the Applied Systems Group, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys reading, running and spending time with his family.