New Year’s Resolution? Start small…
Lots of our work focuses on helping people identify new and different ways of working and then supporting them in making that change in behaviour. Changing yourself is not easy – even if you are really motivated. Old habits die hard, they tend to be well ingrained, and some of our behaviour is happening reflexively without us even really thinking about it.
With that in mind, we spend a lot of time reading and studying what works in the field of behaviour change.
Over recent years we have found that we get more success with people and teams when we encourage them to “go small”. As you look at your New Year’s resolution why not try to break it down – find a small element which will contribute to you achieving success in your new goal and try to make it an easy habit – something which is part of your routine and no longer needs to be considered.
To give you an example, if you are thinking of trying to become more assertive then why not start by resolving to speak up more regularly (even if it is simply to agree). Once you are in the habit of speaking up in those meetings, or in front of that scary person, then you are much more likely to success in a plan to stand your ground.
In 2015 I wanted to run faster. I learnt to take my running gear with me when I travelled. I made no commitment to running, just to taking my gear with me. Because I had my stuff I found myself doing the odd run when I was away from home. Then I wanted to try running in the morning away from home so I focussed on setting my alarm clock – only one morning. I was worried I would get over-tired and wouldn’t be able to keep it up. By treating is as a test I went out for a 6:30 am jog in London. It was great, fun and energising. I now run regularly when I travel and often in the morning.
Our thinking is heavily influenced by the Zenhabits blog, written by Leo Babauta. Take a look and pick up a few more tips to help you in 2016. And don’t forget – small changes will lift your spirits and help you onto bigger things; they will add up to significant change across the course of a year; treating things as a test seems to help you relax about it as your aim is to try and not to succeed.