At age 16, I decided to write my first application letter into a religious organization. I wasn’t sure what exactly would be asked, and the last certificate I had was my Secondary School Leaving Certificate. So in preparation, I ensured I found out the names of everyone in the team, what their likes and interests were, the different operations they were engaged in; in fact, every possible thing I could get acquainted with. Then I neatly typed my application letter.

When, I was done, I felt something was missing. As a little girl, I remember stumbling upon my mother’s C.V. and dreamed of when I’d be able to create mine. Maybe that was what was missing, I thought. I needed a C.V!

Writing my first C.V. was quite interesting. I boldly wrote everything that stood as an advantage to me on paper. I wrote my first and only O.A.P. experience which lasted for few minutes. I wrote about the fact that I was a science student but, was currently studying law. I wrote about how taking care of my ba niece had made me proactive and responsible. Looking back now, this memory cracks me up every time. And of course, I did get the entry I wanted.

Years down the line, I get privileged positions to speak with young people, go through their applications and most often than not; I am forced to turn them down. I see scribbled illegible handwritten letters, typographic errors, and lack of thought coordination, among many other things as I go through the letters. No one even thinks of a C.V. until they are asked to write one.

Your writing or omission in writing reveals more about you than you know, and willingly let out.

I am quite a determined lady. When I am set on a goal, I go all the way out for it. Rather than think of a thousand and one reasons why I couldn’t possibly have a C.V. or need to submit one to a religious organization for an interview in Zaria, I wanted to. And I did. If certain opportunities are denied me, I try as much as possible not to be the major reason why.

95% of what you feel, think, do and achieve is the result of habit.

Brian Tracy

I dare to include, 95% of what you write about, talk about, how you essentially communicate, are as a result of what you have perpetually exposed yourself to overtime, and has formed a habit.

Thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes go forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny.

Tryon Edwards

To put simply, successful people have success habits, and unsuccessful people do not. Successful, happy, healthy, prosperous men and women easily, automatically and consistently do and say the right things in the right way, at the right time. As a result, they accomplish ten and twenty times as much as average people who have not yet learned these habits and practiced these behaviors.

Seven Steps to a New Habit

What determines the speed of a new habit development is the intensity of the emotion that accompanies the decision to begin acting in a particular way.

The next seven steps are simple, powerful, proven methods to develop new habits. They can be used for any habit you desire to develop. With practice, it becomes easier and incorporated into your personality.

  • Make a Decision

The first decision to make is what kind of habit is essential and crucial to your success. Are you interested in arts? Do you need to develop critical thinking? Do you need to be more detailed and creative? Find out what your deepest desires are, and what habits you need to cultivate to bring them to pass.

After discovering your greatest desire, make it a goal. Make it as precise, strategic and exact, as possible. Then decide that 100% of the time, you will practice the habits needed to actualize the goal.

  • Never Permit Exceptions to your New Habit Patterns during Formative Stages.

Exceptions are the root of all new habit demise. You probably can vividly remember when you decided to work out for 20 minutes daily for 30 days. You did it consistently for the first 5 days. Then, on the 6th day, you had a friend over. You couldn’t make it for the gym. You probably worked out the next day (7th day), but gradually, the gaps killed the enthusiasm and you never got to actualize your goal; and imbibe the habit.

In forming habits, interruptions would always come. Most times, these interruptions are legitimate and important. When they creep in, and are allowed, it becomes easy for others to slip in too. The reason you need to cultivate a new habit must be stronger than all the interruptions and distractions you might face, for you to succeed.

  • Become Accountable to People.

Accountability is one of the most effective ways to stay true on a course. Inform the people around you, you intend to practice a particular behavior. Always tell them why it is important to you that you do.

Your zeal and drive would not always be a 100%. You need people to remind you of why you started in the first place. It is amazing how much more disciplined and determined you will become when you know that others are watching you.

You will become more likely to stay on track when you are with people who want you to succeed.

  • Visualization.

How do you see yourself?

If you want to quit smoking or the intake of alcohol, you need to see yourself freed of its influence. If your goal is to become an excellent public speaker or coach, how confident do you see yourself becoming?

The more often you visualize and imagine yourself acting as if you already had the new habit, the more rapidly this new behavior will be accepted your subconscious mind and become automatic. Visualizing helps you see expected outcomes. It makes you explore your imagination. You think up different scenarios in your mind and proffer solutions to them, even before they occur. Impediments to the success of your goal will be tackled as you visualize more.

Visualization is one of the most important methods to imbibing new habits.

  • Create a Creed

A creed is a system of beliefs and principles. It is regularly recited and used as affirmation for oneself.

It is a proven fact that whatsoever you constantly repeat or affirm yourself over, there is a greater chance of accomplishment, of that thing.

Get something you can recite as soon as you get up in the morning, and when you are about to retire to bed. I can be as simply as: I weigh 60 pounds today. My body is fit and I am healthy. Anything that affirms the achievement of your goal will suffice for this exercise.

  • Be Resolute and Persistent

Become so resolved and consistently engage in the new habit, so much so that you become uncomfortable when you don’t do it.

You know that uncomfortable feeling you get when you eat the first meal of the day without brushing your teeth? Until you get that uncomfortable and uneasy; don’t stop.

The goal is to ensure you have fully embodied the habit you seek to have. This is what prevents you from retrogressing to old, automatic habits.

  • Give Yourself a Reward

Pain or pleasure are chief motivators for men. The understanding that there is a reward for successfully cultivating a new habit is a great motivator. Rewards keep you focused on your goals in place of challenges.

Remember the story of David in Scripture? He asked multiple people about the reward for the man who defeats Goliath before embarking on the challenge. A reward makes you know that you have something to gain; which invariably means, you lose something if you do not achieve your goal. Human beings detest losing anything.

You can do it! Everything you desire can be achieved. You just need to know HOW. Put these simple steps into practice, and accomplish outstanding feats in life.

Write to you soon.

Grace Christos.