Habits are what dreams are made of. Work on the one habit to improve your life and work as a freelancer.
“Old habits die hard”. -Anonymous
That ancient idiom is true — habits are what make us who we are. Once they’ve entrenched themselves, it’s tough for us to be rid of them. Habits are more than just repetition (though it does first start by repeated acts) — they are a unspoken, unwritten contracts with ourselves that that is who we are. Lucky for us, we have the power to change ourselves.
Where you Live
This of the word habitat. It means a dwelling, our environment in which we live. Did you know habitat comes from the same root word is habit? It seems obvious because they share 71.428571% of the same letters, but it isn’t immediately obvious.
I wanted to bring out the word habitat because it really highlights what the meaning of habit is, which is:
“to dwell, to live.”
We LIVE our habits and we LIVE IN them. Habits are where we live, breathe everyday and it becomes part of who we are and our makeup overtime as indistinguishable as our environment, our home.
So it should be no surprise to any of us that habits occupy close to half of the things we do on a daily basis. They are strong — like ‘The Force’ in Star Wars. We all have it and it permeates all life.
How to Live Better
For Freelancers and those that are self-employed, habits are amplified. No longer are there bosses who chase after you, or even people to lead on a daily basis. Gone are the days where you NEED to wake up at 9 and stay till when the job is done. There are no rules, no clear boundaries on how or when a job gets done. You are free.
You are the master of your own fate. And that’s the way you have chosen — so shouldn’t it just inherently be better?!
Just because there are no definitive boundaries and rules to follow, doesn’t mean that the outcome is assured. In many cases, freelancers have often devolved to breaking their routines of waking up, and keeping a schedule that works for them.
So while the reason why a freelancer may have chosen the path for freedom to mean being able to define the lifestyle of their chose, it also means that building self-imposed habits are super important to remain effective.
Habits Are Our Friends
We all instinctively know that a commitment to good habits lead to a life of success and happiness. But, more often than not, freelancers have trouble making the adjustment from having all these rules imposed to
After-all, wasn’t that why you chose to be a freelancer in the first place was to break all the boundaries?
So that’s the first key observation here and one where I made myself as a freelancer:
“Rules or boundaries or schedules are not equivalent to habits.”
Creating good habits goes far beyond setting up a schedule or daily routine. A habit in and of itself is something you live in and breathe everyday and is best matched with a goal in mind. Having a habit with a goal is the most effective way to ensure adherence to the habit itself. Habits are your friends, schedules are your enemies.
A habit the thing you do, the goal is the result you want.
Bad Advice Hidden with Good Habits
Take for example a universally accepted (but universally applicable) habit of “rise early”. Even though it’s a good general advice for everyone, it’s just not doable for some parts of the population. We each have our own circadian rhythm and there really is no way to get around it.
So, drop this habit as a general rule of thumb and work with what you feel makes the most sense. I know plenty of people who are energize by working at the wee hours at night — do that then and don’t listen to those people that tell you otherwise. This is a habit about a strict schedule, rather than a way that leads to effectiveness as a Freelancer.
Adopting A Goal-Based Habit
As Freelancers, we want to hone our ability to adopt a new habit, any new habit by adding a goal to it. So what constitutes a goal? A goal in this case is defined as something measurable.
Start with the goal and work backwards and the key is ask yourself these questions:
- What is it that you want to achieve?
- Why do you want to achieve it?
The key part of this exercise is to engage your imagination in the first instance and also to engage your heart. The deeper you can get with answering that question, the more connected you will be to that goal. To go deeper ask these questions with your eyes-closed:
- What would you feel when you achieve this goal?
- What would your environment be like when you achieved it?
Once you’ve declared and made known your true desires and it resonates with you, it is that this point that you put together the actions/habits that makes the most sense to reach it.
Bag of Habit Tricks
There are plenty of articles out there about which habits to adopt and TheFreelancer.co even have some devoted to this topic. The idea at this point is to use the bag of habits you can find and prioritize the ones that best fit the goal in mind.
There are so many virtuous things that come out of just making a commitment. So in the end that’s what habit-planning, habit-forming and habit-making is all about: commitment to a goal, even if the goal is for general person improvement.
So by now you must’ve figured, this article is not about one particular habit, but a process for building good habits faster.
As they say:
“Give a person a fish, you feed that person for a day; teach a person to fish, and you feed them for a lifetime.”
Hopefully this article helped you fish better.