Changing Habits

How are those New Year's resolutions working out for you?  This year, don't just write a list of resolutions, make a commitment.  Commit yourself to changing habits---either eliminating a bad one or initiating a good one.

A habit is a combination of three things: knowledge, skill, and desire.  Most important to this formula may be the desire---the focus to eliminate those bad habits that don't allow us to be the best version of ourselves and the discipline to take our good habits to the next level. Without the desire, we cannot fully make the commitment to expand our knowledge and improve our skill sets.

As an example of success, my sister in the year 2012 committed to posting a daily random compliment on Facebook.  Out of her list of resolutions, this was the only one she followed through with for the entire year. Why was she able to stay committed?   

·She stated her commitment publicly and had a good support system. 

·She felt good giving the compliments and so did others receiving them, reinforcing the desire.

·She felt guilty if she didn't do it. 

·She received positive reinforcement and feedback from her support system. 

Life, like business, is about the successful allocation of scarce resources. Don't over-commit to a long list of resolutions. Rather, focus on changing one habit.  Keep it simple.  Keep it attainable.  

For instance, eliminate sugary drinks from your diet, perform one random act of kindness per day, read a self-help book to improve your relationships, or invest in 30 minutes of daily physical activity.  Write your habit down and read it every morning or enlist a buddy who will be a source of positive reinforcement and feedback. 

Forgive yourself if you do slip up and revisit your desire for making the change.  That desire will help you follow through with the commitment.  So this year, don't resolve to do anything, rather commit to changing your habits and I guarantee the best you this year!

Clarifying Values

With reality shows and political rhetoric dominating our media, the question of why people make certain decisions that are morally correct while others do not seems a poignant one. We've all heard a news story and had a "what on earth were they thinking?" reaction.  The reason being - our value system.  

What exactly are values? When we reference "value" we describe the preciousness of something.  While "values" are the principles or beliefs that are important to us.  For example, if we value trust in a relationship, our principles relevant to this belief could include being open, honest, and transparent.

So where do our values come from? They have been shaped by our upbringing, community, role-models, and life experiences. 

Why are values important?  Values are a moral compass that give us direction to align our actions to our beliefs. They help us make the right decisions and give us guidance when we are at a crossroad in life.  Much conflict also results from differences in value systems.  If we know our values and make our choices based on them, it is then clear to us what we can or cannot compromise when resolving disagreements.

Our values may change as we progress through the seasons of life.  What was important at age 20 may no longer be important at age 45.  Take a moment to evaluate your values. Identify what is truly important to you and set goals that will help you feel fulfilled. Clearly defining or redefining your values now can guide you onto a path of success and reduce the possibility of "what on earth was I thinking?" circumstances in the future.

Dealing with Change

If you are unhappy with a situation, instead of whining, ADKAR it.  ADKAR, created by Prosci Research, is simply an acronym for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement.  These are fundamental requirements for anyone to succeed and change.

Awareness:  Do you understand why the desired change is needed?

Desire:  Are you motivated to make the desired change?

Knowledge:  Do you know how to make the desired change happen?

Ability:  Have you been given the right information and training?

Reinforcement:  Do you  have a system of encouraging or keeping change in place?

Answering the above questions will identify the first stumbling blocks towards making a transition to adapt.  Consider all your options and implement what will work best for you.

(To learn more about this topic, check out our Surviving and Managing Change training.)

 

Quote of the Month

"Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard for it."

 

Professional Tips

To receive these tips directly along with other useful information for your career,  sign up for our free newsletter.

Newsletter Signup

  1. Name(*)
    Please type your full name.
  2. E-mail(*)
    Invalid email address.
  3. Stay Connected:

    Facebook View Developing Professional's profile on LinkedIn