A few months ago I read a phrase on a fitness blog that's stuck with me: Focus on habits, not outcomes.
I was struck by how perfectly this addresses one of the ongoing problems for creatives.
Last week we talked a little about how to stay motivated in order to have consistency in our creative businesses. Being consistent is vitally important to your relationship with customers and readers - you build trust every time you show up and provide value when they expect you to.
But in the day to day slog of life, it can hard to stick with it. It's hard to find the time. It's hard to remember all you have to do. It's hard not to distracted by Pinterest, blogs, and fun!
How do you do it?
How do you blog regularly? Send newsletters? Make your product? Connect with customers?
Reframe your approach.
This system is a series of interconnected tasks, filters, and decisions that can become habits.
A habit is "a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up."
When your business to-dos become habits, it's harder not to do them, than to do them. Instead of wondering what you should do each day, you know - and you accomplish it with relative ease.
Focus on habits instead of outcomes
Instead of worrying if a specific blog post drove sales or if that tweet got retweets, focus in on creating habits of doing what your business needs.
For most us, these necessary habits include:
- Making new products
- Photographing, writing descriptions, making your products available to buy
- Connecting with potential customers, through outreach marketing (social media, blogs, etc)
- Connecting with current customers, through follow-up (email newsletters, thank you notes, etc)
It's important to check in with your outcomes, so you can understand what is working in your business + what isn't. But this assessment needs to be separate of taking the action. In the Solo Mission we take a moment to assess outcomes (money made, tasks completed, etc) once a month. That way we can learn from what happened, without it affecting our consistency of action.
Can you see this distinction in your own business and life?
Instead of focusing your day to day energy on judging the outcomes, spend your energy on establishing good habits of forward momentum.
What's one habit you'd like to establish this week?
What task would you like to be more consistent with?
How can you turn it into a habit?