"The only proper way to eliminate bad habits is to replace them with good ones." Jerome Hines, Musician
So here we are in the New Year, a time for making resolutions. Resolutions may be to become healthier and fitter. Resolutions could be to spend more time with family and friends. Resolutions might be to become more efficient and effective at work.
Whatever the resolution, whether personal or professional, it is all about creating a new habit. It is important to stress that habits take from three weeks to three months to form and become routine. Trying to incorporate more than one important habit at a time is difficult and usually backfires. Think of the times when your new year's resolution started well, petered out within a period of time and the excuses mounted.
It all comes back to a few questions. What is it we want to change in our professional or personal life? Why is this important to us? When will we incorporate this into our daily or weekly routine? How do we make sure the habit sticks?
Again, we need to focus on what it is we truly want to change and work on. This needs to be our focus; not what others say or feel. We need to be fully committed to the new habit, if there is to be any chance of success.
Next, we need to look at when and how it will be incorporated into our life. What is a good time that will ensure we keep it up? Is there something that is being replaced with the new habit and are we willing to replace it? We have to be honest with ourselves to ensure that the new habit is truly what we want and are willing to make some sacrifices to ensure its successful implementation.
Finally, we need to have a plan as to how to keep it going. This is really about accountability. When we enlist a family member, friend or colleague to whom we have confided our goal, we have become accountable to both ourselves and them. We will endeavor to keep up the habit when we know others are aware. If they understand the importance of you acquiring this habit, they will want to help you along the path you have chosen.
So, as we look ahead in this New Year you may want to look at changing a certain habit. Knowing this habit will impact your life in a powerful way is the motivation to begin this journey.
"Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going." Jim Ryun, Olympic Athlete
Paul Abra, Certified Executive Coach, Motivated Coaching and Development