Is there a behavior that if done consistently would dramatically increase your bottom line?
But, you can’t make yourself do it.
You find yourself thinking you’ll start it tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes.
Don’t beat yourself up if you can relate – you are not alone! It’s our nature to resist implementing new behaviors, even when we have the best of intentions.
Making changes in routines and habits is hard for most people. We are creatures of habit and many of our actions take place without much conscious effort or intention. Yet when we desire to achieve what I like to call improvement goals, conscious change is required.
For example, let’s say you want to increase your networking activity. You decide to conduct at least three in person or virtual one-on-one meetings a week. In order to accomplish this, working the phone every day to schedule the weekly appointments is an action step that can be tracked. If you aren’t accustomed to reaching out to people regularly, you’ll need to consciously incorporate the new activity into your daily routine until it becomes a habit. When I work with my clients we jointly establish metrics such as how many people to contact in order to achieve the desired results; when you do this for yourself, focus on the process and not the result.
Committing to an improvement goal like this means you may need to break some old habits, instill new behaviors and thought patterns that serve you, and muster the tenacity to maintain the awareness that it takes to incorporate new actions consistently. This is the tough part – it’s where the change comes in!
Here are three keys to make it easier for you, taken from the Account step of my Choose Success Sales Process:
- Adopt a system of accountability – this works really well when implementing new behaviors to achieve your improvement goals. Download a copy of my Daily Accountability Tracking Sheet. Use this tracking sheet or one of your own design, to write down your commitments across the top columns and monitor your progress for the days that are listed in the rows. For example, let’s say you decide to connect with five networking contacts each day. So in one of the top columns, write “call five people at 10 am”. It’s important to specify a time when you will contact them; call five people every morning is much less effective than call five people at 10 am.
- Get into alignment each morning when you first get to your daily tasks – align yourself with the new behaviors that you intend to take. That means, remind yourself of your WHY for desiring to achieve your improvement goals, remind yourself of the new actions that you plan to take that day (those actions that are on your Daily Accountability Tracking Sheet), and take a moment to emotionally tap into how great you’ll feel when you achieve the goals you’ve set.
- Review your performance for the day – at the end of your work day complete your daily accountability tracking sheet. This step is not meant to make you feel bad if you didn’t take the actions you specified on the tracking sheet, but is to help you learn about yourself so you can ultimately achieve your improvement goals. Of course, it’s also an opportunity to celebrate the daily victories along the way to your goal when you follow through on your commitments. If you don’t keep a daily accountability tracking sheet, you can just as easily think to yourself, I’ll start again tomorrow. I’ll make the calls tomorrow. But then tomorrow never comes, does it? However, if you keep a tracking sheet, you can learn about yourself; maybe the new activity was too ambitious, maybe it wasn’t grounded in your values, maybe you need a coach to help you get into action; this is your opportunity to really analyze why you aren’t taking the actions and do something about it! Anything is better than staying unconscious and procrastinating until the illusive tomorrow.
Use this accountability process for any improvement goals and behavior changes you desire to achieve. It’s an easy way to consciously incorporate the new actions you desire, on a daily basis, until they become your new habits.