Most successful people are programmed to learn and take on new challenges. How many times have you learned something new and decided to take on a new challenge only to see it end in frustrating disappointment? I was reminded of this while mountain biking over the weekend. If you have ever ridden a bike, in the woods or not, you have probably experienced what happens when you over correct. It’s that moment when you feel yourself drifting off course and you make a sudden swift movement in an attempt to pull yourself back on track. And that’s when it happens, bam – you hit a tree.
I have seen this happen many times as people attempt to learn new behaviors or implement a new strategy. They look for the quick big move that will produce a big result and when they end up off the trail covered in dirt they immediately return to their old comfortable habits.
Changing behavior is hard work. One key to success once have decided to a change is experimenting with different ways to make it happen. To increase the likelihood of making the change stick consider these tips:
- Slow down to speed up the impact of the change process. Sometimes you have to hit the brakes and gain a good understanding of your surroundings before you jump into a new plan. Back up and examine what you are doing today. Try to break it into steps so you can analyze where the root of the issue lies.
- Attempt to pin point one or two specific actions or behaviors that you could alter to put you on the path to a new end result.
- Identify the new mindset necessary to support your new behavior. You will undoubtedly run into some challenges and if you haven’t created a new mantra or supporting attitude to keep your focus, you may easily slip back to your old habit.
- Plan and Practice the new behavior. When you start to pick up speed reaction takes over, if you haven’t practiced you will revert.
- Measure and track your progress. Whatever you choose for a new behavior, it should be measurable if you can’t say; “yes” I did it today or in a specific situation then keep looking.
- Reward yourself for progress and for doing what you set out to do not simply when you achieve your goal.
Sometimes the changes with the biggest impact are the result of the small incremental behavior shifts not major disruptive actions. Over-correcting can sometimes be a bigger impediment to meaningful change than one subtle shift that will produce a big impact.
A great read on deciding what to change is Small Move Big Change by Caroline Arnold.
How do you get yourself or your team out of a comfortable pattern to elevate your performance? [We want to hear from you! Please share with us in the comments section below. ]