“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” – John Dryden
Improved self-management involves changing our behaviours. Often this means breaking old habits that we ‘know’ do not serve us well. The ruthless reality, though, is that our habits (both good and bad), exert a vice-like grip over our current behaviours.
Replacing old habits and building new ones, therefore, is seldom easy. It can not be achieved through applying random tips and tricks to current behaviours. Tools and technology, no matter how cool or compelling they look, often only add complexity and always dilute personal responsibility.
There’s a lot involved in helping people – individually and as a team – change the habits of a working lifetime. It is something I have developed a deep expertise in. It is an expertise I build into all our support programmes. That’s why we are able to help people deliver sustained behaviour change.
I don’t mean to belittle the challenge of changing the habits of a working lifetime but here’s my top 5 suggestions. The first one is worthy of a workshop in its own right!
- Know why you are embarking on the habit change journey. No purpose – no follow through.
- Launch your new habit as strongly as possible. Change your routine immediately. Seize the first opportunity to act on your resolution because when you delay implementation, it becomes more and more difficult to sustain the new habit.
- Go public. Announce the change to those who care about you. Give them permission to support you and hold you accountable for your journey.
- Keep the right score. Sometimes we can be winning but feel like we are loosing unless we keep the right score. You might find this post useful here.
- Work through the pain barrier, knowing it will pass. Never let an exception occur until the new behaviour is firmly embedded. All new behaviours feel uncomfortable at first. Remember your first time driving a car?
If you are looking for a better way to work, for yourself or your team, why not get in touch to see how we can help.
Let me know what you think in the comments section below.