In a previous post, we discussed whether our daily choices really matter when determining our future. What we do, or put off doing, regularly does matter a lot. There are a few strategies that can really help us make better choices. The three key emotions of Disgust, Desire and Resolve drive our choices and actions.
We will now talk about the impact our daily habits can have on personal and organizational improvement initiatives.
Review your habits regularly … and be curious.
When we reflect on our habits, we learn whether they are serving us well or not.
So, achieving organizational goals are simply a collection of our daily habits;
- Reflect on ‘bad habits’ and remove them;
- Introduce new things and convert to ‘good habits’
Sounds simple, right?
Why do change initiatives fail?
There are obviously many reasons why change initiatives fail and the factors can be either internal or externally driven. With regard to our habits, here are two main reasons;
- We fail to choose the ‘good habits’ that can be incredibly easy to start. Instead, larger, audacious goals are selected and not really broken down sufficiently to implementable tasks
- We continue tolerating ‘old habits’ or ‘bad habits’
Forming New Habits
I read an excellent blog on this topic, by James Clear: The 3 R’s of Habit Change…”. It is worth the read and a visual of the “Habit Loop” is presented above.
The important point is that organizational change can be successful if we understand our habits and communicate which old habits will no longer be rewarded.
Let’s sum up the previous posts about our daily choices and apply what we learned here about our habits. Here are three insights that can lead to greater successes with our change initiatives.
Firstly, tap into you and your team’s greatest and often underutilized tool, the power of collective imagination. Use it to craft a ‘preferred future’ that people can really connect with. This can then be used as a filter to evaluate whether daily decisions are moving us toward or further away (i.e. “Fast-forwarding the tape”).
Secondly, understand that “emotions are fuel and the mind is the pilot …”. What emotions are you talking about when creating your strategic plans and goals? These emotions play an important role in strategy execution, so you might as well embrace them. Here are some questions to ponder;
- Do we have a sufficient level of “Disgust” in the status quo?
- Is there a real “Desire” for the future?
- Can we persevere through inevitable hurdles we will face, by have sufficient “Resolve”?
Lastly, break your strategies and goals into daily habits, rather than leaving them at the larger goal or initiative level. Reinforce them often and discuss which habits will no longer be rewarded.