Ten Strategies To Embrace Change

A new year, a new you: The attraction of reinvention is understandably alluring.

But what if the “old you” wasn’t so bad?

Change Ahead
Image: Stuart Miles | FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Fickle change is fine, but meaningful change is usually more of a process of day-to-day refinement. Let’s take a look at what it takes to create, carry out, and maintain meaningful change.

Imagine you are holding an elastic band. There is a picture of a sunny, warm Hawaii taped to the wall in front of you. You stand. You want to shoot the elastic at Hawaii. And now you’re ready to shoot the elastic at Hawaii.

You pull the elastic backward, creating necessary tension and—here’s the critical part—only in pulling back and letting go, can you launch the elastic forward. Newton’s third law of motion holds as true for elastic bands as it does for life.

In moving forward it is necessary to leave something behind.

If we want to launch far and forward, we must look back in order to inform our reality in the present.

Major and minor life changes are rarely easy. These ten strategies are a catalyst for deeper conversations with yourself and with those who know best about what you want. The hope is to narrow the gap between who you are now and who you want to be.

1.  START WITH “WHY” 

Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, suggests all behaviour is driven by our limbic brains and rationalized by our neocortex. In essence, emotion drives behaviour stronger than thought.

When a problem exists, try to work out why it exists. Doing this will allow you to see barriers and will help clarify the source of frustration, fear, or disappointment.

Answering why you want to change will provide the necessary clarity, focus, and motivation to accomplish your goals.

2.  CLARIFY THOUGHTS, BELIEFS, and IDEAS 

Before you can change your future, you must be brutally honest about your present. Knowing why you want ____ is as important as knowing what thoughts, beliefs and ideas have previously prevented you from getting _____.

What beliefs, thoughts, and ideas have reinforced your patterns of behaviour in the past? Would changing or letting go of those beliefs, thoughts, and ideas help you get to where you want to go?

3.  SET REALISTIC and ACHIEVABLE GOALS 

When approaching change, psychologist Mira Kirshenbaum asks two questions: Are you able to change? And are you willing to change?

SMART goals are a mnemonic acronym that can help shape goals into achievable objectives. Is your goal Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time-related?

4.  TAKE ACTION 

You’ve completed the necessary preparation; now it’s time to try it out.

5.  PLANT MANY SEEDS 

While we may not be able to accurately predict the details of our future, we can remain active in areas where possibility exists.

6.  SNOWBALL YOUR BEHAVIOURS TO SUCCESS 

The key is to approach change from an incremental perspective and do many small actions over time. By creating little victories you accumulate momentum. Increasing the time, difficulty, or complexity of your daily actions will naturally result in small changes growing into bigger changes.

7.  EXPECT BARRIERS and SETBACKS 

New behaviours and incremental change is imperative to avoiding inertia because our brains are hardwired to react to the present. Given our limitations in energy, time, and resources each day, sometimes putting out fires takes precedence over long-term goals. To keep morale high and maintain motivation, seek ways to track your successes as you go.

8.  PAY ATTENTION TO REINFORCING FACTORS 

What and who will support you in moving toward your goal? Using an application that tracks your progress, logging your daily accomplishments, or staying in touch with a friend can reinforce the hard work you’re doing in forging this new path forward.

9.  CONTINUALLY REASSESS and EVALUATE 

  • How is this going for you?
  • Do you still like or want the goal that you initially set out for yourself?
  • What’s not working well?
  • What’s working well?

10.  CELEBRATE PERSONAL WINS 

When we successfully accomplish what we set out to achieve, we feel good because we’re rewarded with a sense of accomplishment, self-worth, and satisfaction. Whether it’s a step towards your goal today, or the attainment of the goal itself, celebrate both your small and big personal wins.

You’ve looked back and know why you want to change.

You are committed to doing the hard work and persevering when setbacks arise. And here’s the critical part: if you’re ready to let go and launch in the direction you want, you just might hit your mark.


Article by Yiely Ho

Yiely Ho
MA in Leadership Student, RRU

Dollars & Sense: Save Your Money

Everyone likes to spend money, and in contrast, every company is trying to separate you from your money, one nickel at a time.

Companies spend millions of dollars every year looking to find ways to convince you to part with your hard-earned cash, so shouldn’t you spend a little time and energy watching it? I think so and I hope you do too!

To highlight our theme of a New Year, New You, I have come up with a few tips you can act on today. I hope one or more of these tidbits will get you on your way to keeping more of your money, whether it comes from student loans, part-time job, or (like me) a full time career while completing my studies; every dollar counts!

1) Did you know that many financial institutions offer free banking for students? Next time you are in your branch, ask about “Student Banking”. With your Royal Roads University ID, you could save up to $30 per month in fees! That is over $300 per year! TD is a sure thing, and others brands likely have similar programs in place. It does not hurt to ask!

2) Pay yourself first! It does not matter if you make $100 part time every two weeks or 100K per year, you MUST put away a chunk (at least 20%) off the top to pay yourself.

3) Do not keep up with the Jones’! Nobody cares if you don’t have that newest iPhone except Apple.

4) Do not buy coffee from the green logo barista that rhymes with five bucks! This is the most insane craze out there. I do not care how good, how sweet, or how good that mocha frappe is, it is making you broke. I usually buy good Hawaiian Kona coffee, use 2% milk and it blows any soy chai latte away (plus most of those beverages contain a pound of sugar). You do not have to go Hawaiian, but I’m sure your favorite blend is at your local Thrifty’s at a fraction of the cost of five bucks.

Money saving lunch tip (Yes I did invent, use and may patent this awesomeness):

Take any bowl of spicy (or regular) kimchi noodles, cut out a quarter avocado, a couple slices of cheddar, mozza, or marble cheese, pour in boiling water and you have a hearty gourmet Asian version of tortilla soup. A $10 box at Costco will last you a month and then you can spend spring break in Vegas!

Until next time,
Paul Allen
Royal Roads University Student
Paul Allen

Contact: paulallensblog@gmail.com
Twitter: @paulallensblog

Use a Recruiter for Your Next Job Search

Recruiting: The Answer to Your Job Search?It is estimated that up to 80 per cent of open jobs are not advertised using traditional methods (i.e. job boards, company websites, newspaper classifieds, etc.). Therefore, recruiting firms often have leads on positions you might never hear about, including confidential job searches. Whether you are searching for a temporary, contract or permanent opportunity, there are many reasons why you, as a job seeker, would benefit from partnering with a recruiting firm.

You will be better prepared
Recruiting firms can help hone your resumé, assist with interview techniques, and provide you with more insight into the company, the job, the interview, the culture, the environment and, sometimes, even your competition.

Your resumé will stand out
Your recruiter will personally represent you to the hiring manager. It is not uncommon for hiring managers or Human Resource (HR) departments to receive hundreds of applicants for advertised positions; many qualified candidates’ resumés go unnoticed.

You can negotiate the highest compensation package
Your recruiter can provide advice on how to secure a higher income and better benefits and, in many cases, handle the negotiation for you when it comes to your new employment contract.

It’s free!

It is against British Columbia law for any worker to be charged money or a “placement fee” by a recruitment or employment agency.

Tips for getting the most out of your recruiting firm

Build a good rapport with the recruiting firm. Whether you’re meeting with a recruiter to discuss possible employment opportunities or a specific opportunity with one of their clients, the old standard “dress for success” still applies; you need to present yourself to the recruiter as a professional so he/she is comfortable recommending you to his/her clients.

Don’t underestimate the power of a recruiter. Many clients without an internal HR department develop a strategic business partnership with a recruiting firm. They trust their recruiters to present a shortlist of qualified candidates based on technical and cultural fit.

Work quickly. If a recruiter contacts you with an opportunity, respond as soon as possible. Recruiting firms pride themselves on being able to offer their clients a quick turnaround on filling open positions. So, if they do not hear back from you they may move on to other qualified candidates.

Keep control of your resumé. Make it clear you want to make decisions about who sees your resumé, especially if your job search is confidential. Some less professional agencies may flood the market with your resumé.

Use their knowledge. Particularly true of specialist consultants who work exclusively within your chosen profession or industry, recruiting firms can offer you salary advice based on benchmarking within the industry.

When to apply directly

• If you know the hiring manager, it’s almost always best to apply directly.

• If you have a professional (not personal) relationship with an employee at your target company, it may be advantageous to have him or her pass your resumé along for you. Keep in mind your resumé will likely be judged based on the quality of your referrer; “B” players are thought to attract “C” players.

• If you do not have the requisite experience, skills or current employment history specifically requested by the client, but want to “throw your hat in the ring” via the company’s website.

Given the benefits mentioned above, why not take advantage of the free services a professional recruiter provides when contemplating your next career move?


Article by Jacqueline Gallagher

Jacqueline is the Managing Consultant at the David Alpin Group, one of Canada’s largest recruiting firms, and a MBA candidate at Royal Roads. 

Connect with her on Twitter @recruiterjax 

NYE: A Catalyst To Create An Effectual, Rewarding Life?

Think Big Dream Bigger

 

It’s New Year’s Eve and you’re making plans for the “special occasion”.

Would you rather attend an expensive, crowded soirée, only to find yourself regurgitating your party fare into a Porcelain God the next day, while worrying about what you might have said or done in the midst of your drunken stupor? Or, would you rather spend the night in a quiet and relaxing environment, determining how you want to live for the next 365 days, and then wake up feeling inspired, motivated, and ready to tackle the world?

Why do so many people choose the first option?

Is it to commemorate our ability to survive another year of living in a world full of violence, abuse, political corruption, poverty, injustice, and discrimination—to name a few? Or, is it just another excuse to let loose and blow off steam with friends?

Legendary journalist Hunter S. Thompson wrote, Buy the ticket, take the ride.” If we are afraid to embrace positive people and experiences in our life, then we are actively choosing a “ride” of acceptance; we remain complacent with the unsatisfactory life that we have and believe we deserve. On the other hand, if we spend time with people we care about and set clear goals for ourselves, then we are more likely to achieve the “ride,” and life, that we truly desire. In short, we get back what we put in.

As the CEO of my life, I choose the latter.

Despite there being a lot of wrong in the world, I’ve decided to focus on what’s right, and more importantly, do what I can to create positive change through community work. Having overcome poverty and horrific trauma, I find it especially empowering to make a fresh start each year with a clear plan for success. Undoubtedly, my resilience, ambition, and ability to focus have played a significant role in any success that I have achieved over the years. However, I believe that my annual New Year’s Eve ritual has played a huge role in ensuring that my goals were aligned with the person I was at the time, and who I aspired to be.

So, while people are busy drinking and having fun, I spend quality time on my own on this momentous night, reflecting and journaling about the year that is drawing near, by documenting my successes, challenges, key learnings, and even regrets.

To create my SMART goals for the next twelve months, I ask myself the following important questions:

  • What do I want?
  • Why do I want it?
  • What possible barriers can get in my way?
  • What tools do I have to overcome these barriers?

This magical process is simple, really.

I create ambiance by filling a dimly lit room with a dozen candles and make space for my favorite pen and a beautiful new notebook, which is used to plan and curate my dreams that evening, and throughout the coming year.

If you haven’t guessed it, I LOVE New Year’s Eve because it’s an ideal time to reaffirm and reinvent myself. Sure, I can do this at any time of the year, but I find the symbolic freshness of embarking on a new year to be a great motivator for change. If we are fortunate to be already living the life that we truly want, it’s also the perfect time to celebrate and practice gratitude.

That, my friends, is why New Year’s Eve is the perfect impetus for embarking on a life-changing transformation!


Article by Christine Morrell
BAPC Distant Ed. Student

Bringing My Whole Self

Accomplished orchestral conductors dance an amazing dance. They have an ear on the purity of each note and the capacity to ensure each piece of music unfolds in splendour. They enliven each score with a vision of all it can be for each listener. As students and developing professionals, we can learn something from these maestros.

The past year has been a growing one for folks enrolled at Royal Roads. Juggling work, learning, and family is rich and challenging. Shifting from course work to integrating this learning is just as exciting.

It is, however, no small feat. Putting our best selves forward, applying all of our new learning, and integrating authenticity in all aspects of our lives requires the same intricacy, attention, and poise as the orchestra conductor.

In my experience, it is always difficult to maintain the balancing act. I have had success in integrating my professional experience, personal skills, and aspirations in my busy life; yet I sometimes still feel inept in my journey.

As a graduate of the Executive Coaching program at Royal Roads University, I would like to share some of the ways I’ve had success in putting my best self forward and some reflections on the results in my own life since I left Royal Roads one year ago.

What Helps?

  • Knowing who I am. And reminding myself that authenticity matters.
  • Clearly defining where I want to be.
  • Paying attention to what works. Letting it evolve.
  • Putting service to others as a priority.
  • Finding my path forward.
  • Support. Accountability. And pushing reset when it isn’t working.
  • Again and again. And again.

And, as I strive to honour the melody and the dynamics, the crescendos and the diminuendos…

Self-care! Self-care! Self-care!

Reflecting on 2014 allowed me to look back and see what a difference a year has made in my life since Royal Roads.

Some Wins:

  • Wild Goat Executive Coaching, my business, is growing, and satisfying
  • I am combining my coaching experience with fiction writing in my blog Daring Imagination
  • I work with colleagues from Royal Roads who challenge and support me
  • I have time and means to head to the ocean and be in awe
  • I love getting up in the morning and being of service

I am grateful for my teachers – even the unexpected ones. For my peers – who continue to encourage and challenge. And most importantly, for my clients, who have trusted me to make a difference. Reflection will allow you to put your accomplishments in perspective.

Royal Roads University has encouraged me to bring all of myself on this amazing, and challenging journey. I have been changed on this journey, which I am grateful for. I would recommend the experiences I have had to anyone and hope that sharing my experiences will help you bring your best self to the table.

Some Final Questions to Think About:

  • What changes do you want to reflect on in January 2016?
  • What are you willing to do to create those changes?

 

Article by Dr. Meredith Egan, ACC CEC PharmD

Meredith Egan

Executive Coach

Who Are You Spending Your Time With?

Right before 2014 ended my aunt and dear friend Marguita passed away. I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye despite her illness having lasted months. It was devastating. I felt regret and deep sadness as I came to the realization that she was gone and I hadn’t had the chance to make my own peace with her.

This brought me new perspective on the fragility of life. I knew I had to change something and, as 2015 begins, it is a good time to reflect how I am spending my time, or to be more precise, who am I spending my time with.

Life is unexpected. We never know what is going to happen next. I have realized in the wake of my loss how important it is to understand who is important in my life.  How much time, energy, and effort dedicate to those friends, family members, and significant people who accompany me through this life journey will make all the difference.

I learned I should never take for granted a hug, a kiss, an opportunity to share the impact someone has made on me. Seize every moment

You may want to ask yourself, as the year begins anew, who might be waiting for your words, your kisses, and your love. I know I wish I realized this sooner.

Don’t wait until it’s too late.


By Yvette Mucharraz

Yvette is a Master’s student at Royal Roads. She is the author of A Life in Eight Words.
Connect with her on Twitter @ymucharraz

 

Wave Goodbye to 2014

There have been many periods of reflection in our lives—most of which result in some form of learning. In these times we have remembered our struggles and our pain, our failures and our victories, our love and our hate, our hope and our discouragement. Now, as you look at yourself, you can recognize how strong you have become. You are entering a new chapter of life again: a new year that is both exciting and motivating.

So, how do you want to be this year?

No matter how you want to be, make a point of reminding yourself that each day and each moment is the newest day and the newest moment of your life. You are the newest you who is newer than who you were yesterday and, perhaps, even a moment ago!

Do you want to live with more awareness?

Do you want to feel clean, healthy, authentic, transparent, and be constantly “going”?

Do you want to stick to old and sticky patterns that hold you back from achieving your dreamsOr do you want to let go of your fear, resentment, anger, and egoistical thoughts and, instead, flow like water? 

I did want that freedom, and I continue to. Water has inspired me in troubling times throughout my life, and I hope you can draw inspiration from it as well.

Water

Water is like velvet—distinctive and treasured—just like your heart.

It is cleansing and washing, so let all of your anger and grudge be washed away from your velvety heart because YOU deserve peace. Water leaves heavy stones behind and flows smoothly, finding its way even in a still pond. As water does, let us leave the burdensome thoughts, hurt, and discomfort behind and move on; the ocean is waiting for us.

Water is persistent—as is your heart.

Persist in life and know that you will eventually find your way to the ocean merely by being authentic. You must love and surrender to what is happening now, while moving towards a better life and a better you.

Water never stops flowing and transforming— neither do you.

Follow your passion purposefully and you will find peace within. Love yourself so that you can love all the rest, only then will you be abundant. Remember, you are a beautiful spirit that has been given the gift of life; live it fully in connection to others and your Higher Source, and bring up the fruit of love.


Article by Nazee (Behnaz) Mirshamsi

Nazee Mirshamsi

Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, CPCC
Success & Relationship Coach, Author, Speaker
Fitness Coach & Workshop Leader
www.coach2love.com

Include Mental Fitness in Your Plans for Getting Healthier in 2015

Mental Health Growth
Mental Health Growth

According to Mental Health First Aid Canada (MHFA), 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental health problem by the age of 25.

Many Royal Roads University students are working and going to school, so it’s easy to get swept up in the rush of everyday life. It can be difficult to realize how much stress and anxiety we are under, and how much it really affects our mental fitness. Along with the physical stress on our bodies from lack of sleep, pushing ourselves to meet deadlines and trying to juggle a personal and professional life, stress can leak into all facets of our lives.

There are many outlets for individuals to find mental health resources, including RRU’s Coaching & Counseling Services available on campus, as well as via phone and email. An experienced and licensed counselor is on campus full time to assist RRU students who are on enrolled in any and all programs. There is also individual and team coaching available for students as the university puts a large emphasis on teamwork. RRU’s Student Services is also developing a wellness workshop series with a focus on mental health and academic success aimed to launch this spring.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for improving the mental health system and changing the attitudes and behaviours of Canadians around mental health issues. Through its unique mandate from Health Canada, the MHCC brings together leaders and organizations from across the country to accelerate these changes. One of those organizations is the Canadian Mental Health Association, which  offers a helpful Mental Health Meter that defines the characteristics of mental health and offer a quiz that helps users identify strengths and areas that can be improved.

Checking in on our own mental health on a regular basis helps us take preventative measures to prepare for when we experience stress. The Mental Health First Aid course is based on self care and guarding our mental health and supporting those with mental health issues. We can help manage our stress levels by getting enough sleep each night, pre-planning the week and ensuring some downtime is available, as well as managing substance use, such as alcohol. The Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse has drinking guidelines to prevent future substance issues, identifying supports such as other students, teachers and counseling centres.

As students and professionals, many of us feel the pressure to get everything done and feel disappointed when they let something slip. Maintaining a balance can be easier said then done. For example, we might concentrate on finishing our assignment that’s due in a few days and then plan to catch up with friends afterwards. It sounds simple enough, but when we have numerous balls in the air that need to be caught, it is easy to feel inundated. So, when we have to work the night that three assignments are due, the balancing act gets tougher.For some, balance means putting more effort into their career and work over time one day, and then the next peeling themselves away from from their desks at 4:30 p.m. right on the dot.

In the meantime, when we’re juggling our personal and professional life, finding ways to cope with those emotional moments, helps us and those we are close to. As we experience large amounts of stress, it tends to affect our personal relationships. So, when we might be ready to throw our coffee mug at the computer or are about to take our frustration on a loved one, taking a breather is important. Find an activity that helps take our mind off whatever it is that we’re doing. If you’re stumped while writing an email or paper, stand up and take a walk. Physical exercise helps with maintaining mental fitness.

The MHFA points out if that many of us would know what to do if someone we knew sprained their ankle, however, chances are we wouldn’t know what to do if they were having a panic attack. If you notice a change in the behaviour of someone close to you, it’s important to recognize if someone is exhibiting signs of depression. We can all do this by increasing your own mental health awareness. If someone decides to confide in you, you can help by genuinely listening and validating their experience and giving reassurance. Besides making yourself available as part of their support system, you can also encourage them to seek appropriate professional help or informal support.


Mental Health First Aid of Canada
http://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.ca/EN/Pages/default.aspx

Mental Health Meter:
http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/mental-health-meter/#.VLBTnivF_k0

Royal Roads Link:
https://student.myrru.royalroads.ca/student-services/counselling-services

Email: counselling@royalroads.ca


Article by Carissa Ng

 

What’s So Insane About New Year’s Resolutions?

For the past couple of years I made a New Year’s resolution to floss my teeth every day.

Every year I’ve managed to stick to the regime for a few days before falling off the wagon.

My hygienist’s stern advice and disapproving comments get me back on the wagon periodically, but they haven’t helped me stick to a regular routine. When a group of friends gathered at our house this past New Years—as they are wont to do—the question of resolutions came up between bottles of champagne. Most were of the opinion that there was no point in making one; after all, it was not as if any of us were going to keep them.

Who was I to argue given my track record? Nevertheless, in the spirit of third times the charm, I resolved yet again to floss my teeth every day. My friends laughed, having been there before. One even opined that Einstein had said, “Doing the same thing again and expecting different results was the definition of insanity.” Einstein didn’t actually say that, and I’m not of the opinion that persistence is insane.

Crazy Eye Peacock
“Insane” Peacock at Royal Roads University

As a student in the Leadership program at Royal Roads University, I am all too familiar with how hard change can be for individuals and organizations. Given what I have learned over the past two years in the program, shouldn’t I be able to lead myself to do this one simple thing? It’s not as if I had resolved to run a marathon—as my wife has—yet I repeatedly failed in the past. When I reflected upon my daily routine, it was plain to see that there are a number of opportunities to floss: I brush my teeth several times a day and there is dental floss in ready supply.

How could this simple act have proved so difficult to have turn into a habit?

This made me wonder what answers lie in the nature of the human mind. Dr. Sandy Pentland, of MIT’s Human Dynamics lab, has found we are not the rational, deliberate creatures we believe ourselves to be.

Here’s a simple test you can take to prove this to yourself:

  1. Sit completely still and do absolutely nothing.
  2. Don’t blink or draw a breath without consciously forming the intention to do so.
  3. See how long you can last.

If you regularly participate in Tai Chi, Yoga, or another form of meditation, you might last a while. Many will not as we, as humans, are wired to act on imperceptible stimuli—intentionality is a discipline. Furthermore, neuroscientists David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz have found that we are wired to resist change. Repetition of past patterns of behavior makes us feel good, rewarding us for doing things the way we have done them before. On the other hand, the development of new patterns of behavior and thought take concentrated effort: failures are inevitable and persistence is required. Even worse, we experience change as pain.

The sense of wrongness that comes from trying something new or thinking in a different way is a form of pain.

Try saying something grammatically incorrect such as “quickly blueberry” as fast as you can; you will want to stop before the headache gets too bad.

So what is a poor soul to do when the deck is seemingly stacked against change? Know that people kick far worse habits (think cigarette, alcohol, and drug addictions) than your resolution adjustment likely is. Rock and Schwartz have found that change requires focused attention on the new pattern of behavior and avoidance of the old: addicts kick the habit, yet the old patterns are waiting to draw them back in. It’s not enough to make a resolution; you need a plan to go with it as well—a very focused plan.

Complex adaptive systems theory gives a clue to what this plan will look like. Dave Snowden, of Cognitive Edge, has described how patterns of behavior form around attractors such as a television in the middle of a party—conversation dies as people’s attention is drawn to it. The tricky part is that these patterns can be positive or negative. Sooner or later someone will say, “Turn off the damn TV!” Everyone will be relieved, and conversation will resume again. As a host in this situation you must be aware of the attractors and have a plan to manage the patterns of behaviour that result: positive or negative.

What does this say about the importance of the company you keep? As an example, if people you associate with drink in excess socially, inevitably so will you. When you were young, your mother probably advised you to stay away from the “bad sort”, but Sandy Pentland has found that you can leverage that company as well.

Most of us have grown up being rewarded for what we do: annual bonuses, carrots and sticks, and that special something if you achieve the goal you set in your New Year’s resolution. Contrary to belief, this model has never truly worked. B.F. Skinner identified that an anticipated award, particularly one that is received consistently, quickly fails to motivate. The Harvard Psychologist found that random, unanticipated rewards for behavior are actually the way to go—hence why wiser managers will randomly take their teams out to lunch. It’s hard to randomly surprise yourself with a reward though, no? This is where the gap is in Skinner’s theory: His conceptions involve a dyadic relationship of giver and receiver. Advances in the study of the complex adaptive systems that are human networks have revealed different and more effective modes. Sandy Pentland and his team found that small rewards given to close connections for behavioural change in others reinforce the pattern of change. This may seem a bit counter-intuitive, but “under the covers” human beings are profoundly affected by the relationships they have.

Generosity rewards both the giver and the receiver, and reinforces behavior.

Could more focused support also help the process of personal change? If you are struggling, a coach can certainly help you work through obstacles and maintain motivation. Keep in mind, however, that not all coaches are created equal. Most will support you in identifying a change that needs to be made, but the better sort will also push you to make a plan of action, and hold your feet to the fire to achieve it. The best will encourage you to enlist the help of others in achieving that goal. While rewarding others for your successes is not common practice, I would bet dollars to doughnuts that your last weight loss bets rewarded the winner. Now imagine the difference if at each weigh-in those who had lost the most bought the drinks…

You might think all of this sounds crazy, but that’s because we’ve been brought up to believe in cause and effect. At times this notion creates confusion, however, our thin veneer of rationality can serve us well in this situation. Everything in consideration this approach makes sense; we need to own the goal, live a plan, and have supporters with a vested interest in our success.

For my own part, I’m going to give my children the biggest hug ever after we have all brushed and flossed. Why? Because it makes us all feel great and it’s working. It would be crazy to stop.

So, what are you crazy enough to try?


 

Article by Nicholas A. Cioran

Nicholas Cioran

@NicholasCioran
Connect on LinkedIn