Drinking a long island iced tea the minute I smelled the sea air on my beach vacation was a habit I formed some years back. Just like smoking a cigarette after dinner was a habit, as was starting meetings at work with a laundry list of all the things that had gone wrong in the last week that needed correction. As so many of you have, I was able to change these habits and I know that any behavior that does not serve you or your team can be changed if you have the desire to. In last week’s Launch List we discussed how habits are formed. This 2nd in a series of 3 will focus on how to change any habit you want to this week:
READ THIS: Jeff Haden of Inc. magazine gives 6 tips for changing a habit. Refine “must”, Determine the cue, routine, reward change the routine and write it down. Something as simple as not checking your email first, but rather eating your frog (check out this video about the book from Brian Tracy, Eat That Frog)
DO THIS: Focus on the CUE first. To change the habit of meetings filled with only what went wrong, I started the meetings with the technique we teach at Cortex Leadership taken from a Serving Leadership meeting format. We start all our meetings with “what went right?”. What is the cue that sets in motion the behavior you want to change?
TRY THIS: Study the REWARD you get from habits you want to change. I know it sounds completely nuts, but I get the same sense of bliss from a long run now, that I used to from that long island iced tea some 10 ½ years ago. Every habit has a reward from it. What reward are you getting from the habit you want to change? If you have a habit of getting angry is your reward that people seem to concede to your point? Is being tardy a habit? Is the reward from that behavior that you feel like you’re in control of your schedule?
Focusing on the cue and reward can give you a major jumpstart in changing any unwanted habit you have. What’s one habit you want to change this week? What’s the cue? Can you change it tomorrow? If you want to work out tomorrow after work, will you pack your clothes tonight and put them in your car? If you want to appreciate other people more, will you send out a message of thank you right now? If you want to grow your business, will you eat your frog of contacting 5 prospects by 9am tomorrow morning?
Let me know how it goes. I’d love to report on progress in this area in next week’s List from some of you. The stories I hear about what our readers are able to accomplish, in short periods of time, I think will be quite inspiring. Won’t you share your story of changing a habit so I can share it with others?