New Year New Habits?
Someone asked me recently about my new year resolutions and they were surprised to hear that I don’t have any. I wasn’t surprised by the question. After all, this is the time of year we most see courses, books, and offerings on how to set intentions, healthy lifestyles, and positive changes. It is a new year, and with it comes the opportunity to start afresh. We are also in the midst of winter, which means nature itself is in the process of renewal, dying off and preparing to re-surge again in the coming months.
I do set goals and seek to improve myself in various ways, but I do that throughout the year. Somehow new year resolutions do not work for me. Perhaps what is missing with resolutions is making them realistic and achievable.
When I got my hands on the book High Performance Habits- How Extraordinary People Become That Way by Brendon Burchard (2017), I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have seen a few promotions on the book as well as courses Burchard offers, and I was afraid it was going to offer a different way of working on resolutions.
It didn’t, and I was pleasantly surprised. The book describes six habits to perform at a higher level, and these habits are more about attitudes and approaches to life.
The Six Habits
Let me first clarity that this book isn’t about getting things done. I’ve written about a book, Get It Done, that deals with that subject. Instead, High Performance Habits deals with science-backed and well-researched habits of people who are considered extraordinary performers.
These are the six habits:
1. Having and actively seeking clarity about who we are, what we want and what we find meaningful
2. Being able to renew our energy to stay focused, create intentions, feel joy, and stay healthy
3. Increasing the need to perform better because we know what we value and why, we develop a sense of purpose for ourselves and others, and we surround ourselves with positive and successful people
4. Increasing productivity by having clear and challenging goals, figuring out what you need to achieve them including essential steps and skills
5. Developing influence by learning how to teach, challenge, and be a role model to people
6. Demonstrating courage by taking big steps, no matter how hard they are, and living our truth
These are overgeneralized statements that are better explained in the book, in addition to other qualities such as developing a sense of gratitude, achieving flow, finding enjoyment, balancing work-life, mastering skills, and experiencing personal freedom, among others. In addition, the book includes case studies from people Brendon Burchard has worked with who best describe each habit.
My Take on the New Habits
As with many of these types of books, there is an e-course and additional resources that complement the book, which allows you to expand further than what the book provides. I didn’t take the e-course or make use of the additional resources, so I can’t speak about those. If you feel you need more support, then look at what else Burchard offers.
The best part of the book, in my opinion, is that it includes advice on how to develop these habits, as well as several questions to foster self-reflection on each. If you are unsure as to where you stand with these habits, the book has a link to an online assessment. My recommendation is that you take the assessment and go through the questions and exercises in the book. You’ll need a journal or at least several pieces of paper to answer the questions.
The other aspect I enjoyed about the book is that these habits aren’t just about work or a career, but they apply to any project or purpose in life. Having clarity about what we want, feeling energized to accomplish it, developing a passion for it, increasing productivity, being influential, and being courageous are applicable to anything and everything we do.
I also enjoyed that Burchard provides pitfalls so that as we develop these habits, we can be aware of behaviors to watch out for, such as superiority, dissatisfaction, and neglect.
Before I leave you, let me clarify that I am not getting compensated to write about this book. I found it to be beneficial, especially to those looking to set lasting habits and changes in their life and wanted to share it at the start of this new year. Read it now or at any time.
Burchard, B. (2017). High Performance Habits- How Extraordinary People Become That Way. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc.