“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”

Vincent Van Gogh

 Habits cut both ways; they are either good for you or they are bad for you. At both ends of the spectrum they are difficult to change, for example when you quit exercise, you notice the loss of tone and perhaps put on weight and when you decide to break a habit of laziness and begin exercise, the first few days is one of the pain of rusty muscles clicking into gear. The same can be said of applying yourself to jobs, long-term goals, and the workplace, how do almost microscopic life choices make the difference?  Each New Year brings the same question “What are your New Year’s resolutions?” The resolutions vary from the smallest changes in lifestyle to all-encompassing changes to a lifestyle. The smaller changes ultimately make a bigger difference in life.

Mastering the mundane, enjoying process, making important daily choices and operating comfortably outside the fabled comfort zone. These are crucial to making the average person stand out from the rest. Habits are an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary. Old habits are hard to break and new habits are hard to form because the behavioural patterns we repeat are imprinted in our neural pathways.

Success is achieved through inches, not miles, of progress. Making the small changes and consistently applying those changes whether it be eating breakfast every day, exercising daily, innovating and being creative at work every day will shine through. The Grand Canyon was not formed in a day, the Roman Empire wasn’t built in a day, love them or hate them Manchester United would not have dominated the Premier League for two decades unless they changed the small things we didn’t see behind the scenes in the late 1980s and Mark Zuckerberg wouldn’t have created Facebook if he hadn’t had the cheek to create FaceMash from his room in Harvard and cultivated it overtime.

The modern-world is instantaneous and moves faster than at any previous time in human history. Instant results are expected, instant internet access, instant coffee plagues the workplace, we expect instant success, and even instant happiness. Habits distill themselves into finances, health, business, personal development, and relationships and these subtle differences often determine the difference between success and failure in an interview or the workplace and they are so subtle no one will ever notice them or see them until the crucial point. Thinking big without attention to tiny and at times seemingly insignificant details of life can undermine personal development and career. Changing habits requires conscious discipline and changing a tough habit requires discipline and strong mental strength against temptation to do something which is easy to do, but easy not to do. Patience, process, practice, repeat, balance, time; these are words that are not emphasized enough to undergraduates, graduates and postgraduates. Have a look at some of the links below and make those little changes that will benefit your performance in workplace and personal life.

Matthew Williams



24 Daily Habits