Test yourself: Do I have winning habits? Your habits can make or break you.

January 24, 2016 Gustav Gous

Test yourself:  Do I have winning habits? 

Your habits can make or break you.

1.       The good habits make you, the bad ones break you.
2.       Why do we need habits?  Habits are protocols for success
3.        How do we form habits? How does it work ?
4.       How do we change habits? 
5.       We need habits on these areas ...: Be it the 7, 10, 14 or 50 habits of highly successful people.
6.       Six steps to change habits :



  1. The good habits make you, the bad ones break you.

All of us have habits. These habits can make or break you. You first form  your habits, then they determine your destiny.  The reality is – bad habits can cause your demise, but good habits can help you to be a winner in your game. The question is:  Do I have winning habits. Aristotle said excellence is an habit.    I always say -  to sales people, relationship partners, business people, sports teams, etc : Show me your habits , and I will be able to almost forecast your future.  The sun-total of your habits are like your autopilot: If your autopilot is set on the wrong thing – then you will surely perisch like the German Wings plan that crached into a mountaing because a mentally disturbed  pilot set the plane onto a collision course with a mountain to commit suicide. But a good autopilot can help you to land safely and rendezvous with your destination

  1. Why do we need habits?  Habits are protocols for success.

In the freedom of everyday life we do cannot decide from scratch everything we must do – we must make life easier by creating little patterns to limit tedious decision making. Values are rules for success, but habits are protocols for success.  We are creatures of habit.  The downside is that it limit our options and creativity in the moment, but the upside is tha this ‘automatism’ can really help us.   The human life process can be simplified to three aspects:  Feeling, thinking and action.  We all create habits in these areas:  thinking patterns, emotional patterns and actions patterns  - and they in turn determine our destiny. In the consulting room I help people to have better habit s to handle their emotions, better thinking patterns, and better repeated actions aka habits.  

  1. How do we form habits? How does it work ?  ..

The process is simple : Thoughts are the seeds of deeds. And repeated action form habits.  Sow a thought, reap an action, sow an action , reap a habit, sow an habit, reap a character, and sow a character , reap a destiny.     Your character is made up of the sum total of all your habits, and your character determines your destiny.    This is also true for families and companies.  Culture can be defined as ‘the way we do things’.   In families you can exchange the word ‘character’ with ‘family culture’, in in corporations with corporate culture:  It is true: You create the corporate culture (or family culture) and the culture will create your bottom line or progress in life.

  1. How do we change habits? 

You change habits in the exact same way as you form habits: New and better ideas  must lead to new actions that will, when done repeatedly, will become new habits, changing your character and your destiny. Habits are changed through replacement. Your habits fill your life like water that fill a glass. Only new water can drive the old water out.  Men doing woodwork know that you drive out a nail with another nail. You replace a habit through doing a new thing (new eating patterns) repeatedly and not by thinking about the previous habit (I must not eat cream cake).

  1. We need habits on these areas ...: Be it the 7, 10, 14 or 50 habits of highly successful people.

When Stephan Covey wrote his “The 7 habits of highly effective people” he started a trend followed by many people to compile list of success habits. One of the best developments was the Shadowmatch® Psychometric tool developed by a colleague of mine.   His list of 14 success habits for the workplace is to my mind one of the most important recent developments.  I would like to take it one step further and categorize some of these habits under headings where we must create habits:

The success habits Shadowmatch® (IN CAPS) are as follows:


Just for the sake of memory: The 7 habits from Stephan Covey  are:

1) Be Proactive 2) Begin With The End In Mind 3) Put First Things First 4) Think Win/Win 5) Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood  6) Synergize  7) Sharpen The Saw

The Covey and Shadowmatch® habits  can be categorized under the headings of the important facets to shape in executive coaching ( Taken from my Diamond Profiling© Shaping yourself model).  In my Executive coaching program “Diamond Profiling©” we work with the two levels of a human being:   The inside:  intra-personal,  and the outside:  self-projection/personality. Then there are two playing fields where you have to perform every day:  Interface with people, and Interface with Life and Work.

(i)                  Intra-personal

(ii)                Personality/Self projection

(iii)               Interface with people

(iv)              Interface with life/Work

Obviously the habits on the field of shaping your own self  is just part of one of the 8 areas in life where we need good habits:

  1. Physical Habits
  2. Family life habits
  3. Social Habits
  4. Spiritual Habits
  5. Talent/Shaping yourself Habits
  6. Work Habits
  7. Wealth Creation  Habits
  8. Charity/Making a difference Habits


  1. Six steps to change habits :

Here is a short 6 step process to change/replace habits:
After the big decision to make your life different: 

-          Step 1: Get a new action plan (list of new behaviours)

-          Step 2: Commit and resolve to keep it for at least 30 days. Start immediately

-          Step 3: Line reminders/alarm clocks up to keep you going

-          Step 4: Get an accountability partner / exercise partner to make sure you don’t have to do it alone.

-          Step 5:  Act with Discipline (create a routine)

-          Step 6: Reward yourself along the way. (Not with cream cake!) 

Dr Gustav Gous was the in-house counselor for an international Petro-chemical company (SASOL) where he coached staff from CEO to shop floor level. If you want more information on how to make counselling/coaching appointments or book him for talks, contact 
If you want  interventions for your team: Contact +27 12 3455931   or email to discuss possibilities. 



Dr Gustav Gous  is an International Motivational Speaker and 

Executive Life Coach with experience on 5 continents. In the past he 

was the in-house counselor for the petro-chemical company Sasol 

for 9 years. He is known for his Transformational leadership 

programmes on Robben Island, titled the “Short Walk to Freedom”. 

He is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) and past President 

of the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa and a 

member of the APSS (Asia Professional Speakers Singapore).  

Currently he is heading up the Diversity Intelligence Institute, 

specializing in rolling out Diversity Intelligence interventions for 

international companies. His leadership caps does for leadership what De Bono's thinking hats did for creativity and problem solving. His Coaching programme on national Radio in South Africa RSG FM 100-104 "Fiks vir die lewe" touches the lives of many South Africans. , ,

Follow him on Twitter: @GustavGous  or on Facebook and LinkedIn .