Super Habit #43: Become a Self Monitor

Some of the super habits on the checklist are similar. The habit of self-control and managing emotions comes up several times in slightly different variations. One way to learn self-control is to become a high self monitor.

Low self monitors tend to use inner beliefs and values in deciding how to behave, while high self monitors tend to monitor their surroundings and change their behavior to fit in. This means that you are able to read situations and quickly adapt.

5 Practices to Become a High Self Monitor

  1. Practice self-awareness: High self monitors are acutely aware of their own behavior. You understand how to act in any given social situation. You watch yourself. If you are put in a new situation, you study those around you and act accordingly. You are aware of both negative and positive emotions and understand how to control those emotions.
  2. Understand your mirror image: I know it might sound vain to study your own mirror image, but that is something high self monitors do. Have you ever had to give an important presentation? If you study yourself in the mirror as you practice, you’ll be able to improve more quickly. Understanding your body language and your facial expressions is crucial to knowing how to present yourself in a variety of situations.
  3. Practice self-improvement: High self monitors do things to improve themselves. You study your own behaviors to discover your weaknesses. Then you make a conscious decision to improve yourself on a regular basis.
  4. Set and work toward goals: Self-improvement requires setting goals. The best way to set goals is to write them down. Make sure you make your goals specific and measurable. If your goal is to run a 5K, you’ll need to give yourself an adequate amount of time to prepare for the event. If your goal is to lose weight, make sure it’s a reasonable amount. Once you set your goals, you need to practice self-discipline so that you can reach those goals.
  5. Review your progress: Make sure to track your progress. Self-monitoring should always include tracking. This means that you review your goals frequently and update them when needed. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you fall short of a goal. Instead, study your own behaviors. Why did you fall short? What could you do to improve the next time?

Success Is Earned

People who live successful lives don’t just get there by luck. They work hard. They earn success.  Becoming a high self monitor is an important part of that journey. When you learn how to monitor your own behavior, you’ll be ready for most any situation that might come your way.

Check out this Ted Talk about understanding your own body’s data.

The new breed of high-tech self-monitors (measuring heartrate, sleep, steps per day) might seem targeted at competitive athletes. But Talithia Williams, a statistician, makes a compelling case that all of us should be measuring and recording simple data about our bodies every day — because our own data can reveal much more than even our doctors may know.

Pay attention to your body, your facial expressions, your speech, your heart rate. Understanding yourself is key to being ready for a variety of situations. It also helps you to understand others better.