Overcoming Inertia with Your Practice
Has inertia settled into your life? Have you gotten into a routine of bad habits?
Inertia can settle into many parts of our daily life and requires a major effort to change the direction. This includes everything from your diet to exercise regiment to your business routine.
In the dictionary, inertia is the resistance or disinclination to motion or change. As it relates to our businesses, inertia often means that we stick our heads in the sand with regard to truly making a change in the business, working a little harder on the things we do best, and avoid doing something new or unfamiliar. Unless our backs are up against the wall, it's very challenging for us to make a significant change with our daily routine.
Each day, inertia keeps people working in jobs that they've lost enthusiasm for. Been there, done that. That's right, many employees work for companies in jobs they hate and complain about it but are fearful of making a change in their work situation. Their need for a "safe job" makes them miserable and they get stuck in a long-term rut. Over time, this need for safety trumps their entrepreneurial desires, because they fear failure, which leads to overwork, boredom, anxiety and depression.
When you are stuck on the treadmill of life juggling the tasks of working, parenting, spending beyond your means, eating and drinking too much, and getting sucked into watching TV, it's hard to change your routine.
So, how do we break free from this self-defeating ritual of getting stuck in the mud?
First of all, don't expect to change everything at once. Impatience with the current situation can lead to impulsive and short-sighted decisions. While our society yearns for quick fixes, recognize that making changes to your business so that it serves your life with long-term benefits takes an ongoing effort and plan. Changing your office routine will be like giving up alcohol, losing weight, lifting weights, cutting up your credit cards and canceling your cable TV subscription ALL at once. So, break your transition plan into sizeable chunks recognizing that we are all resistant to change.
Below are the steps to overcome your inertia and get pulled out of the mud:
1. Map out your options
Having a plan in place is key. You want to map out the long-term items and the short terms items that will get you there so you have a roadmap to success.
2. Prepare for change
Breaking inertia naturally comes with change. So, be ready to embrace it. At first, the change will feel difficult because you’re breaking out of bad routines, so be prepared for that.
3. Acquire third-party knowledge or guidance to help you
You don’t need to go this alone. Getting help and guidance is crucial in making changes and helping guide you to make the correct choices. Breaking inertia can feel overwhelming so additional support will increase your chances of success.
4. Incorporate a system or routine into your plans to encourage compliance
Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Charles Duhigg wrote the book ‘The Power of Habit,’ a great read for anyone looking to break bad habits and setup better routines. He explains in his book that, “The Golden Rule of Habit Change is you can’t extinguish a bad habit, you can only change it.” Breaking your old bad routine will require you to have new established systems and routines in place in order to replace the old ones. To be successful in breaking your inertia you need to swap your previous bad routines with new, efficient ones that are designed to help you meet your goals.
5. Break your action items into small steps/phases
Bigger, long-term goals are important. It’s good to have a big picture. But, it’s just as important to break those goals into small, attainable phases. You can’t do it all at once. By breaking your big actions into smaller steps, you’re setting yourself up for success.
6. Take action and establish implementation dates
Setting goal dates will give you something to work towards. Like breaking your bigger tasks into smaller steps, implementation dates help you maintain your momentum.
7. Be willing to make modest adjustments
You don’t want to use adjustment as an excuse to fall short on getting things done, but you also need to be flexible. We can’t prepare for everything that might arise. Be willing and able to make tweaks and small adjustments throughout the process.
It's time to take the bull by the horns and improve the quality of your life. Get started this month and avoid the temptation to procrastinate. Go for it!
By Hugh Duffy
Hugh Duffy is the Chief Marketing Officer for Build Your Firm, a leading accounting marketing and website development company. Build Your Firm works with small accounting practices providing marketing, practice management, website development and social media services. You can contact Hugh at 888-999-9800 x151.