I just read an interesting article on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network from Dorie Clark. She's decided on a list of things to give up in 2012. It's hard to disagree with anything on the list, but for many people it's not enough. It's like telling you to stop eating donuts and pies when you're entire diet consists of donuts, pies, candy, soda and alcohol.
Instead of just giving up things and continung bad habits what are the things you should add to your list in 2012?
1. Develop your concentration. Are you jumping from activity to activity. Start stopping and really concentrating on what you are doing. It builds up your mental strength and helps you deal with difficult problems with less stress.
2. Investigate deeply. Why are you doing something? Do you really know the reason? Do you need to ask yourself why you came up with the first reason? One piece of advice I was once given was to ask myself "Why?" seven times. The discipline of asking "Why?" gets you to the bottom of all the excuses we give ourselves for acting in ways that don't produce the results we want.
Building these two things into habits will make a big difference for you. It takes a lot of discipline at first but like bad habits they get easier over time, and they produce big results.