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7 Ways to Create Better Business Habits for Greater Profitability

apple-a-dayWhy are some people consistently more productive than others? Many high-achieving people claim their success is due to routines that manage their time and ensure productivity. Constructive habits help us achieve daily as well as strategic goals.

Strong business habits are especially important for entrepreneurs and others whose work is largely dependent on how they structure their day, such as insurance agents, real estate agents, and financial planners.  Successful people prosper because they are habitual.

How Long Does it Take to Create a New Habit?

According Dr. Maxwell Maltz, it takes 21 days to create a new habit. My friend and healthy habit expert, Scott “Q” Marcus asks, “So what would be your first choice if YOU were able to commit to that new behavior for those 21 days so that YOU could develop a brand new healthy habit that would help to get rid of one of those old habits that hold you back?” Scott has a 21 day program that provides accountability for people who are serious about developing new habits. You can find out more about it (and him) at

Others maintain that 21 days works best for repetitive tasks, like eating right, exercising, and carving out time with family.   Complex change may take 66 days or longer because when we step out of our comfort zone into something new, we trigger an emotional response to change. We tend to be wary and resistant of change, making it harder to create the new habit. So we fight against ourselves.  Additionally, it’s easier to stay in the old routine than work to create a new progressive habit. It can be frustrating to evolve for changes, become automatic but well worth it to push forward. Once we incorporate a behavior into an automatic response, the habit becomes unconscious and easier.

How Do We Create New Habits?

Establish structure.  We create new habits by establishing more structure, and when old habits begin to surface, we take conscious control and change the direction of the habit. If we want to make time to walk the dog, schedule that activity for the same time every day. 

Start Small. According to Mini Habits by Stephen Guise, it’s the little things that matter when developing healthy habits. If we want to change, we should start small.

One-Minute Method.  Commit to doing just one minute of the behavior you want to do per day.  For example, commit to walking out side for just ONE MINUTE every day.  That quickly turns into more.  Few if us can claim that we don’t have even ONE minute to walk.  Guise uses doing one pushup per day as an example.  Commit to doing one pushup per day and that leads to more.

For business, that translates to making just one outbound call, or sending information to just ONE prospect per day. To de-clutter, that means just one minute cleaning up a messy area, and it will probably lead to more de-cluttering. 

Kaizen.  The Japanese word for tiny continuous change is kaizen, which is a technique that implements small but continuous improvements. Adding too many huge changes at once tends to overwhelm us and decreases our motivation.

Stay motivated.  Successful habit creators find what motivates them and they remind themselves of their ultimate goal.  Want to lose weight?  Get a proposal completed on time? Do some outbound marketing? Focus on the end goal.

An Apple a Day. Commit to doing the new habit every day. Even for a short period of time. Consistency is key.

Watch the Clock.  Business people with healthy habits monitor and track their time. Use the calendar to schedule in the one-minute habit or doing that proposal.  Once this becomes routine, we start seeing results.

Creating structure, developing a consistent routine, and starting with just one small change per day will help us to achieve our goals. Start today creating a change that you can track so that you can see results. The more consistent we are, the easier it becomes, then it becomes automatic.


  1. Andrew Szabo (The Marketing Chef)

    Absolutely true – great blog post Mary!
    Start small – be consistent – do it every day!
    That’s how I’ve developed the habit of working out EVERY day for the last 75 days!
    Like the idea of adding the one minute a day to new habits – start micro-small – that’s brilliant!
    Thanks for always stimulating our thinking and encouraging us to be better Mary – you so rock!

  2. Robin Carter


    Your content is always GREAT! Practical, down-to-earth, sensible, do-able … I’m sharing you with my peeps!

    ~ Robin

  3. Marilyn Suttle

    I so agree with your approach. Habits are key. Love the quote: “Habits – first you form them, then they form you”

  4. David


    Such good advice! Starting small is so vital to lasting change. Our brains are wired to maintain the status quo (after all, it’s worked this far…why change?) Small consistent changes can accomplish huge impact over time.

    Take care,



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