One of the things I am interested in is actively changing my bad behaviors, poor ways of thinking, do better at work, etc. That's where "Small Move, Big Change" has been a fantastic resource. Caroline Arnold shows how making small steps over time can yield bigger and better (and more permanent) results than if we try to set huge goals right out of the gate.
If you want to make changes (and keep them going), specifically define how you plan to accomplish each change and start that plan by promising that you will take just one small step: a "microresolution."
Rather than attacking the whole problem, pick one or two small, realistic changes; and then follow these seven microresolution precepts:
- A Microresolution is EasyThe more challenging your resolution, the less likely you are to accomplish it. Even slight changes to your routine require sustained focus, but achieving a small goal is easier and will give you confidence.
- A Microresolution is an Explicit and Measurable ActionSpecific cues trigger specific habits. If your cue and your behavior share a strong link, the resulting habit endures. Therefore, create explicit habits based on explicit cues.
- A Microresolution Pays Off Up-FrontAccomplishing a microresolution provides and immediate positive effect.
- A Microresolution is PersonalCreate microresolutions based on observation of your own habits, attitude, and situation. Your success hinges on heeding your personal reactions.
- A Microresolution ResonatesSome tasks are better suited to being done in small doses, so play around with the frequency of your microresolutions. Fram them positively, except when taking an action which could lead to (or keep you from) harm - then use zero-tolerance language.
- A Microresolution Fires on CueThe cue that will trigger your microresolution is already part of your behavior. All you have to do is figure out what it is. Don't be afraid to tweak your microresolution if the cue isn't working.
- Make Microresolutions Just Two at a TimeResist the temptation to make many at once. They won't seem natural until they become habit, and that takes time.