So, what should we do to minimise the chance of our resolutions failing?
To build a behaviour that lasts, there are several steps we should take:
1. Clarify Aspiration
Be realistic. By putting weight loss rather than ‘lose 3 stone’ you’re giving yourself some flexibility and therefore increasing the chance of feeling successful. If you put ‘lose 3 stone’ you won’t feel successful until you’ve lost 3 stone… that could be a few months down the road. If you get there.
Tip: the more meaningful your aspirations, the more likely you are to get traction. If it’s ‘playing with the grandkids’ or ‘getting back into my favourite dress’, it’s more likely to get traction than ‘getting fit’ or ‘losing weight.’
Write down your aspiration in the middle of a piece of paper.
2. Explore Behaviour Options
Think of all possible behaviours that would possibly help you reach your aspiration. If it’s weight loss it could be; reduce snacking, reduce alcohol intake, monitor portion size (all ways of decreasing calories) or increasing protein intake or increasing sleep?
Go crazy, get creative and write down a whole list of behaviours around your aspiration that you think will help you toward your goal.
3. Behaviour Matching
Matching specific behaviours is the most important part in Behaviour Design and, is the key to changing your life for good. We call these ‘Golden Behaviours.’
Golden Behaviours have 3 Criteria:
1. The behaviour is effective in realising your aspiration. It has impact.
2. You want to do the behaviour. You’re motivated.
3. You can do the behaviour. You have the ability.
Select the two behaviours from the previous action that you think match the Golden Behaviour criteria. Highlight these two behaviours.
Summary & Taking things Forward
We’ve gone through a proven process of clarifying your aspiration and identifying your first two golden behaviours.
Tips on nurturing your chosen habits:
• Don’t overload yourself and add more to start with… resist the natural urge to load yourself as you get motivated
• The Greenhouse. View ‘growing’ your behaviours like seeds in a greenhouse; some may grow, others won’t. If they don’t, try another seed
• Gamification. As soon as we start our resolutions we get stressed and doubt ourselves. Don’t, view this as a game and something you can have fun and experiment with. It’s a constant journey that over time will result in improved behaviours and results.
If I can help in any way, please get in touch.