2022 is right around the corner, and it’s only fitting that we chat about things we’re leaving in 2021 and habits we want to begin, right? However, the word “habit” has become a dirty one, just like other old-fashioned words such as “routine.” We’ve taken for granted what habits do for us: how they make certain things easier and how they ensure we don’t have to relearn them each time.

“What are your business habits?”

…is not a question most people ask each other on first dates. Yet it’s a question that could generate a brilliant conversation. It could lead to unique insights and opportunities if we spend less time being so individualistic and more time focusing on the way we work together.

I don’t mean focus on what you do. I mean on how you do it.

When any of us talks about habits it’s usually about daily rituals. Like the morning routines that help our days run more smoothly. However, business habits are different. They’re not just about your workday or your daily schedule — they’re about the way you approach things.

Are Your Work Habits Effective?

I think of business habits in the same way I do with my health. If I want to be fit, I must eat well, sleep well and work out. Business habits are no different. They provide a framework for your mindset when it comes to getting things done and staying on track. The good news is, habits can be changed – especially if we’re dissatisfied with them. Before launching into the new year, take some time to reflect on business habits that are better left in 2021.

Focus on Your “Why”

We often get bogged down by bad habits and the wrong mindset. But what if we instead focus on developing good habits? Focus on your “why,” and only give it up if you know what you get in return. This is a quote from Simon Sinek, author of several bestselling books such as “Start With Why” and “Leaders Eat Last.” It’s about why, not how.

Why do we do anything? Like stay up late to watch a movie that could have been watched the next day? Why do we order takeout instead of cooking at home?

It’s in our DNA

Is the answer really this simple? Is it because our brains crave novelty and excitement? Simon Sinek suggests all of these possibilities are programmed into our DNA. Hence the “wanderlust” we feel as a species, which often ends up in us seeing new places and experiencing life.

Sinek suggests there’s a more powerful reason for all of this: to pass on our genes. It’s why we crave excitement and love trying new things. However, when you see your work or goals in terms of how it will affect others, not just yourself, you’ll be inclined to stick with it even through the toughest times. Humans are innately wired to value other people over oneself.

By focusing on your “why” and making it about what you do for others, you’ll be able to stick with it even if that means long hours or putting in weeks of hard work before seeing any results. There needs to be something better waiting for you at the end of your efforts; otherwise, you’ll find yourself demotivated and stuck without realizing how it happened.

Here’s to better business habits in 2022!