That’s a loaded question, isn’t it? Your response might be, “that depends.” Let’s get specific: Is there a particular new habit you’ve been thinking about starting? Regardless of how big or how small your desire is, here’s a strategy to be successful with your new endeavor. It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
Step 1: Take a few minutes and answer the following questions about your desired change or new behavior:
- How will you do this?
- How often?
- With whom?
- How will you remember to do it?
- Who will support you in doing it?
- How and when will you record your progress and learning?
- What specific things do you need to do to get started? (Example: conversations you need to have, reminders you need to create, people you need to inform or schedule, etc.)
Step 2: Now that you have the logistics in place, it’s time to look at your attitude toward the new behavior.
Do you really want to do this or is it more that you should do this? Why is that important? Because “should” comes from your intellect – we all know what’s good for us; that doesn’t necessarily mean we do what’s good for us.
If this new behavior is from your heart, then that means you want to do this and will garner the necessary emotional energy required to propel you through the rough times.
Don’t get me wrong – intellect is great. However, thinking doesn’t change anything. Action is what change requires, and that’s where the power of your emotions comes to bat for you.
Step 3: We’re almost done. The final step deals with realistic versus unrealistic. When creating a new behavior or habit, we need to be realistic. Let’s say you’re going to exercise regularly, so you schedule your workout time every day for 30 minutes in the evening, right before bed. Well, how realistic is that? Are you actually capable or likely to do this? If you’re truthful with yourself, you will have a much greater success rate. If you “think” it’s realistic, you may be setting yourself up for failure.
OK, review your practice. Is it realistic? Is it something you’re actually likely to do, or is it too ambitious? Do you need more support from others or additional reminders? Revise your plan, making it something you genuinely believe you are capable of doing.
Step 4: This is a bonus step! Remember to celebrate your success – and invite others to join you in the celebration. You might be surprised at how you inspire others!
(I’d love to give credit to the person who wrote the questions in Step 1. Your name would appear here!)
Quote to ponder:
“We create our fate every day . . . most of the ills we suffer from are directly traceable to our own behavior.” Henry Miller
Question to Ponder:
What decision and action can you take today that will bring you closer to what you want tomorrow?
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