Everyone has bad habits that they wish they didn’t have. I know I have plenty of them… But as a nurse practitioner entrepreneur, it is very important that you ensure you don’t get into bad business habits and that you break free from any that you might have! This also applies to personal habits that will hold you back! Some of these habits might be:
- Not eating as healthy as you should.
- Not working out as often as you should.
- Being easily distracted and not giving your patients or loved ones the attention they deserve.
- Having poor finances and have too high of expenses.
- Being in too much debt.
- Always living in fear and having negative self-talk dictate your life.
- Procrastinating on the things that you know you should be doing like working towards going out on your own and starting a niche practice.
The good news is that you don’t have to live forever with the bad habits you’ve developed! You can break out of them. I know I have broken out of A LOT of bad habits throughout my life, and still have some I need to break (I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.). There are multiple ways to break out of bad habits, and one way is through the four valuable laws proposed by Atomic Habits author James Clear:
- Make it invisible.
- Make it unattractive.
- Make it difficult.
- Make it unsatisfying.
Yes, you try to make the habit invisible…
Yes, you make it unattractive so you don’t want to even deal with it anymore (smoking is a prime example).
Yes, make it so difficult to achieve the bad habit, that you just gave up (putting the cigarettes out in a storage shed 10 miles away).
Yes, try to make that habit unsatisfying to your overall goals and objectives in life!
Here is an example: let’s say you’ve got a bad habit of being on your phone too much (who doesn’t?!). A simple step would be to throw it in a draw when you get home (i.e., make it invisible). Out of sight, out of mind!
Or maybe the reason you’re on it so much is that you’re constantly checking social media. In that case, try removing those apps from your phone so that the only way to check them is from a computer (i.e., make it difficult). Even though you could still go on a computer, chances are that you probably won’t since it’s not as convenient. Who here scrolls on their phone while laying on the couch? Probably most of us…
What about your poor finances or being in too much debt? I know a lot of you are addicted to your credit cards and don’t put too much thought into that ever increasing credit card bill… I also know many of you live way above your means or have too many unnecessary expenses in your business! So, how can you break out of these habits using the four laws?
- Make it invisible: What if you cut your credit cards up and threw them in the trash? What if you avoided the places that you spend too much money at (Block Amazon on your phone! Make it invisible!).
- Make it unattractive: What if you made a pack with yourself and said “Debt is unattractive… It is disgusting… It prevents me from reaching my financial goals… It makes me a SLAVE to it, and I cannot escape…” Well, if you put it that way, debt sounds pretty damn unattractive, doesn’t it? You must rewire your brain. Make yourself BELIEVE the habit is unattractive.
- Make it difficult: Again, if you cut your credit cards up and threw them in the trash it would make it pretty hard to purchase stuff on them wouldn’t it? What about putting a FREEZE on your credit? Then you CAN’T purchase stuff on debt…
- Make it unsatisfying: This is similar to the unattractive law. If you tell yourself this habit is DISGUSTING, then it automatically becomes unsatisfying. What if instead you built a new habit with saving and investing your money? That’s what I did, and at this point in my life, I can’t stand DEBT. It does not satisfy me in the slightest, nor does extravagant consumer garbage. I would rather pay for experiences and build my wealth. THAT is satisfying.
The reverse of these laws is also true. When you want to build or improve a habit, James Clear suggests making it obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying.
For instance, I’ve often said that the absolute most important thing you can do to market your niche practice is to make it as easy as possible for people to find your practice. And believe it or not, this can be done by making a Google Business Listing and practicing SEO (search engine optimization).
The first one is an easy one-and-done process. But SEO takes a little more time. It involves regularly publishing useful and helpful content that will help the audience and potential patients find you. You’d be amazed at how just one hour every week of working on your SEO can improve your businesses visibility online!
In the above example, you make your marketing strategy easy (a Google listing and publishing an article once a month is easy), satisfying (come one, who doesn’t find satisfaction out of a well written article or having patients calling your practice), and attractive for your business.
Another example on how to make your financial habits easy is by setting up an automatic withdrawal and investment task in your post-tax brokerage. Every 2 weeks, the brokerage account automatically withdraws money from your bank account and invests it for you. PIECE OF CAKE! And now you have a habit that is attractive because it is building your wealth!
In my opinion though, I think it is wise to first get rid of the bad habits, because if you follow these laws, then the good habits tend to evolve on their own VERY quickly because it forces you to adopt the obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying laws.
Listen, the MORE BARRIERS you can put between you and something you’d rather not be doing, the easier it will be to break that habit. Break yourself of the traits that are undesirable, and you’ll be amazed at how much greater capacity you’ll have to focus on the ones that will improve your life FOR THE BETTER (like starting your own practice)! It is very hard to become financially independent if you have multiple bad habits haunting you. Everyone reading this knows what bad habits they have, so follow the principles above and break yourself of those. You won’t regret it, I promise!