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The power of good habits

Small Changes will make a big difference

Many people overestimate the importance of one defining moment behind success. Like it will happen overnight. The same thing for underestimating the value of making small improvements on a daily basis. For darts, it’s been common to think that we all need to practice 6-8 hours per day to reach success.

Success comes from daily habits and not over-the-night transformations. Don’t focus too much worrying about your current 501-average and performance. What really matters is setting up habits that put you on the right track towards your success.
If you set up good habits for your darts training, your will improve and your 501-average will increase.

In the early and middle stages of your darts career, there is often a lot of frustration and disappointment. You expect to improve fast, almost in a linear fashion but while playing you doesn’t feel like you are going anywhere.

Change your identity

The more we repeat a behavior, the more we reinforce the identity associated with that behavior. If we always say to ourselves: ”I’m lousy at darts” we’re identifying being a person who always misses the targets and will never get better. Therefore, no matter what level you’re playing at, every time you step up to the oche, you need to change your identity and say to yourself:
”I’m a darts player – I’m improving every day”

The point of a good habit is not that it needs to be done perfectly every day.
The point is to choose the identity that you want so that the rest of your progress will be smoother.
Missing a planned darts practice one day is not a big deal. But there’s something to what James Clear (the author of ‘Atomic Habits’) said:
“Missing once is an accident. Missing twice is the start of a new habit.”

Motivation encourages people to never miss twice, and to go back the next day after you missed and maybe practice even harder or more focused. But remember that missing twice is not the end of your habit. The end of your habit is when you decide you cannot or won’t do it anymore.

Making it easier and more fun to practice darts at home will make you throw more darts.
Getting a new set of darts, a new dartboard or maybe a Scolia device to autotrack your darts will give your inspiration to practice a boost.

Remember that there’s also some kind of ripple effect with habits. Starting a new habit can easily create a chain of new habits in other areas. If you start a habit to exercise regularly, you probably will try to start to eat healthier as well…

Motivation is not everything! The environment can often matter more!

Setting up a nice area in your home where you really feel inspired to practice will probably lead to more practice. If you have a tiny space where you for example often need to rearrange furnitures or make a change to be able to practice darts, can be the reason why you practice less and less and probably will quit playing darts. Environment matters so make sure you make the best out of it. Google ”darts set up home” and you’ll see photos that can inspire you to set up your practice area at home.

My own practice area at home. I spend hours there every day, practicing or playing darts for fun and trying out new game ideas, so I wanted a nice place where I enjoy staying for hours. Guess if I do…

Conclusion: “We are what we repeatedly do” (Aristotle)

It is estimated that more than 40% of our daily actions are conducted by habits, but we may not be aware of it but habits control a big part of our lives.

Good habits are very essential for making progress in darts. If you have good habits for your darts practice and follow them every day, you’re on the right track for success. By being aware of your good habits will also give your confidence and your energy level a much-needed boost.

If you’re interested to know more about habits, I recommend you to read the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear.

“Failure comes from small errors repeated every day,
success comes from small disciplines practiced every day.”
– Jim Rohn

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