Six Critical Steps to Changing Behaviours

Results are the outcome of behaviors. If we want better results then we have to develop better behaviors to bring those results about. Changing behaviors are at the root of getting results in all areas of life – in relationships and in business.

But this is far easier said than done. Research confirms that over 95% of people who make New Year's resolutions end up not implementing them. Nearly 75% of all business projects end in failure, according to the Harvard Business School! The most important factor contributing to project failure was 'mind set' and 'attitude' (60%); next was 'organizational culture' (49%). These factors together make up our WAY OF THINKING. Interestingly, these factors far outweigh such variables as MONEY, TIME or RESOURCES.

So what are the key factors critical for change to work?

First – Begin with the end in mind – This is Stephen Covey's 2nd of his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. We shouldn't begin a journey unless we know where we are going.

Second – Create a sense of urgency – If we don't think that change is important enough we will not try to do it. The other side to this is that oftentimes when we finally accept the urgency, when we begin to make change happen – it is too late! Just of people you know have been overweight for years but who, only after being diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension or a stroke began to make the necessary changes in life style. And the same is true of business. Business failure is not an event. It never happens overnight. It is a process sometimes taking years! The owner feels in the beginning that he/she can turn things around but days, weeks, months pass and the problems only get worse.

Third – Determine Specific, Measurable Action-oriented, Realistic & Time limited objectives and work rigorously at achieving them. The race is not for the swift¼but for those who can endure to the very end. Sometimes we refer to this as our 'action plan'.

Fourth – Establish an Accountability System – Keeping your plan a secret is to set yourself up for failure. Set up someone or a group, a team, mentor or coach who is helping us be accountable for achieving. They should be impartial and experienced enough to haul you in line if you stray from your action plan. Just think of the most successful sportsmen and women they all have one thing in common. No matter how great they were they all had coaches who helped them exceed to the highest level!

Fifth – Align yourself with winners – stick close to people who are successfully doing what you want to do. People who have made the journey before can help you take the same road while avoiding some of the pitfalls. They might be flesh and blood persons or books or conferences.

Sixth – Celebrate Small Wins – rewarding yourself as you pass each milestone helps to keep you motivated. "The only way to eat an elephant is one piece at a time".

It was Charles Darwin who wrote: "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, or the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change".

Contributed by John Haughton, Peak Performance Services, Helping Business Owners Achieve Growth, Productivity and Profitability; 954-742-8332; April 18, 2012.



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