Achieve Your Goals Without Fail By Following This One Habit

“The Steve Waugh statue - point made!”

My doctor just told me to lose 20 kgs. 20 kilograms!!! Do you know what I did? I immediately changed doctors. No- seriously- I bought a book by fitness guru Michelle Bridges. And almost immediately read a massive truth. Life changing. Here it is.

Burberry Australia MD Johnny Mutton told me this story. Australian cricket legend Steve Waugh was having his first ‘net’ practice session as a teenager with the Australian squad. Coach Bobby Simpson watched Waugh smashing the ball at every opportunity with youthful aggression.

“You’ll never make it as a top level Test batsmen playing like that,” he counseled a shocked Waugh. “But I wouldn’t bat like that during a real game,” replied Waugh. Simpson’s reply changed Waugh’s destiny. This is what he said:

“You do what you practice.”

In other words, if Waugh’s habit was to smash the ball during practice, that’s what he’d do in a game. And he would fail.

Mike Arthur puts it this way: “Unless you practice the skill you want to exhibit, you will never achieve the heights that you dream of.”

So, what does that story, about ‘you do what you practice’ have to do with Michelle Bridges and her ‘massive truth’ advice, and my 20 kg challenge?

Simply this. One of her first pieces of advice is:

“Break old habit with new habits.”

If you want to drive change for yourself, think hard about your habits, identify the ‘bad’ ones, and change them. Waugh immediately changed his habit of playing recklessly in net practice, and formed a new habit of batting at every session ‘like in a Test Match.’ (I showed my son the statue of Steve Waugh outside the Sydney Cricket Ground the other day. Point made).

So I thought about Michelle’s advice. What are my habits that affect my diet and health?  Duuurrr. How about this one: I smoke cigars when I drink, and I drink when I smoke cigars. And when I drink and smoke, I eat really, really badly. Maybe there is a lesson in that?

Catherine Armitage in the Sydney Morning Herald: “Habits are the brain’s way of taking a rest. They save us from having to make decisions about every little thing.”

A Challenge for You (and me)

  1. For the next week, pay attention to what you do and how you operate. What are your regular ‘habits’?
  2. Make an appointment with yourself- for half an hour
  3. Use that half an hour to quietly list the habits you have that you’d like to change
  4. And make a long list of new habits you’d like to form
  5. Identify your top five ‘Habits To Stop” and “Habits to Start”
  6. Type it up and have the page laminated
  7. Stick it up in your shower
  8. Read it every morning- and take action-every day

I really hope some of you do this, and it makes a difference. Good luck with your effort. And wish me luck with mine.


I watched the Dr. Seuss movie, “The Lorax”, recently. The Lorax is the ‘protector of the trees’. He asks his adversary: “Which way do trees lean?” “I don’t know,” was the reply. “They lean the way they fall. Watch out which way you lean.” Let’s help each other make sure we have habits that ‘lean’ us in the right direction. Bloody hard to do- for me anyway.

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20 Responses to Achieve Your Goals Without Fail By Following This One Habit

  1. Michael Knox August 15, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    Good luck Chris. You can do it. Celebrate that moment when you sit in a plane seat and don’t have to adjust the seatbelt.

    • Chris Savage August 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      Thanks Michael! Hope you are well.

  2. Margaret La August 15, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Another excellent article Chris, with some easy to follow action steps. That’s so important. I was speaking to a friend the other day and he’s working on a weight loss goal like you; so I’ll be sending out positive vibes to you both! Good luck!

    • Chris Savage August 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

      Thanks Margaret!

  3. Will Masson August 15, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Great article and very useful and timely advice. I’m also in the process of changing some of my bad habits and replacing them with habits that I know are good and needed. I have 10kgs to lose…good luck to both of us.

    • Chris Savage August 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

      Good luck Will!!

  4. Gerald Richards August 15, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    Last week I went to the doctor and asked “How can I quickly lose 8 kgs of unsightly fat?” The reply was “Chop your head off”

    Great tips and like Mao Zedong it’s that first step that’s important.

    • Chris Savage August 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

      Thanks Gerald. That’s one way to drop weight!

  5. Sam August 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    Chris, I’ll bring the cigars and we’ll eat steamed chicken and vegies. Also – instead of booze, try an Earl Grey tea with a Hoyo De Monterrey Epicure No. 2 – a great (and somewhat healthier) match.

    Hope you well and thanks for post!


    • Chris Savage August 16, 2012 at 10:23 am #

      It’s a date!!

  6. Gerald Richards August 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    After this article I’ve changed my one of my habits by not drinking as much – I’m putting less water in the scotch.

    Just love that definition of “habit”. Can so work for us and against us. Guess the choice is ours.

    • Chris Savage August 16, 2012 at 10:23 am #

      It certainly can work against us too Gerald!

  7. Colleen Rose August 15, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    HI Chris
    An inspirational post as always! I am also on a weight loss journey at the moment and something that really helped me was someone who said to me that you will lose weight when the actions required become a “MUST” rather than a “SHOULD”. I have so many things in my life that I MUST do and these always seem to get done (work, deadlines, brush my teeth etc), but the SHOULD eat better, SHOULD exercise more seem to have less priority. Since the language has become I must eat better and I must exercise every day, 25 kgs have been lost and the journey continues!!
    Good luck !

    • Chris Savage August 16, 2012 at 10:23 am #

      Thanks Colleen! And well done on the 25 kgs. That is inspiring stuff!

  8. Aryeh Sternberg August 15, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

    Excellent advice in the action category…it runs along the lines of “practice what you preach” and with a means to the end. Great post!

    • Chris Savage August 16, 2012 at 10:22 am #

      Thanks Aryeh!

  9. Sharon Cartwright August 18, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    I’ve learned the practice technique through singing. A vocal coach once told my choir that we were wasting precious opportunities by just singing notes and words at rehearsal. ‘If you don’t perform when you practice, you’ll practice when you perform’. Wise words. So, we now have a mantra ‘don’t wait to be great!’ which sees us giving full show stopper energy in a little suburban school hall each Monday night. This is pretty confronting for prospective members at our open nights. But, as I’m about to fulfil a dream to compete in an international contest in the US, performing with Australia’s representative choir in front of 10,000 people and a bigger webcast audience, having a weekly opportunity to switch on the right level of energy makes sense.

    • Chris Savage August 22, 2012 at 10:33 am #

      Great story Sharon- thanks!


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