“A habit is formed essentially because it brings a certain ease to your life – it makes certain parts of your life automatic.” — Sadhguru. Habits easily develop for protection and survival. Why, everyone has to find a way of survival that he or she finds most convenient. If the persistent way of life builds into a habit, how then can we have a persistent way of life be changed.
Following a motivation training seminar, on planning for retirement, normally one goes home with energy and motivation to put in action what has been learnt but interestingly, within months, the enthusiasm vanishes and one goes back to normal routine. Why, because you start to try what you have not been used to and is not easily forthcoming or may be your colleagues begin to tell you that it cannot work. What starts to happen is increasingly you return to your old ways that is easier and certain.
Does this normally occur to you? May be, may be not but it is not always easy even if you are committed and determined largely because of mindset, culture and inbuilt systems that have not tuned enough to take on such changes. For the change to be sustained, certain factors must be at play. Let’s explore these factors:
i. Ensure the reason for change is compelling enough.
What is the reason and cause for change? Are the arguments strong enough to convince you and the people around you beyond doubt. You are unlikely to succeed if you are uncertain that the change is worthwhile. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that the grounds for change are very strong, sound and compelling enough to trigger your body, mind, emotion and energy levels to feel sustained urge for change.
This requires you to have robust and well supported justification for the change. It must go beyond and significantly exceed the anticipated benefits from the change. Equally you must have what is needed for it to work and you must be able to give the change initiatives time for learning, tolerate mistakes and have the required commitment and attention.
Effecting change is not a bed of roses, you must think through the impact that the desired new behaviour will have on: your lifestyle, revenue, costs and time. Of significance, you have to treat any negative elements with care and attention so that they are clarified and minimised.
ii. Develop change environment behaviour
The urge to develop what will drive and reinforce the behaviour you want to effect change is essential at this point. A number of the habits are subconsciously performed as you tend to do things in a particular way you are used to even without knowing.
For change to be effected on long built habits, you have to be aware of your subconscious behaviours as the starting point. Then appreciate that those habits are no longer appropriate and deliberately work on reinforcing new behaviours with determination, consistency and zeal until they start to become routinely practiced.
Pay attention to the number of areas you want to effect change. The fewer the numbers, the better. Begin by focusing on the few essential change actions that can make a difference in your new desired behaviour. Pay attention to those first to increase your ability to concentrate on those few aspects to increase the chances of success. Develop your personal change plan with strong sense of ownership. Reflect on the consequences you will experience if the behaviour does not change. Integrate the new behaviour into your performance management action areas. Have appetite to enjoyor success article.
Key Lessons Learnt
Habits can be developed if:
1. The reason for change is compelling enough to trigger your body, mind, emotion and energy levels to feel sustained urge for change.
2. You develop change environment behaviour by recognising that those habits are no longer appropriate in making you who you want to become.
3. Focus on few change areas and once sustained then you can add on other behaviour change areas.