Happy 2015! Hope you all had a restful and enjoyable season. Now comes January. The month of overflowing gyms, vegan cleanses (hey I’m on one too….I don’t judge), new organizational goals,and new ways of doing things.
Ruth and I have those annoying type-A and process based personalities that are ripe for habits and accountability. Look at our blog for example, we’ve been consistently blogging every Friday for almost 4 years. Every Friday no matter what. Literally EVERY Friday. Every single one. Wait…wasn’t our last post a really long time ago? Well…..okay the last couple of months has been a little off. Why? We’ve been busy, but no busier than usual and not “crazy busy” (my pet peeve when people say this). So what happened?
We lost our trigger….
Of course we had reminders to do the blog! Little miss task list Ruth has us on quite the regimen! We have a recurring appointment in iCal that alternates between “Ruth Blog” and “Nicole Blog”. It was error proof! But occasionally we switched blogging dates. Sometimes the calendar had two different versions and I wasn’t sure if it was my blog day, or Ruth’s. One day one of us just forgot to do it, and then it happened again….and again.
We stopped doing the task….
This is just the actual act of writing the blog. When we were in the “habit” of blogging it meant me knowing it was my blog week, thinking of potential topics, and making a mental note of what might be interesting that week. Just the sheer act of getting prepared and starting to write it started a habit. But as soon as I missed a blog or two, the task just kind of disappeared.
We stopped tracking….
When we were in the habit, one of us would usually ask the other : “Oh have you posted the blog yet?” or “Oh, its Friday, did we forget to post the blog?”, or “Can I help you with the blog this week?”. It was our way of keeping each other accountable (in a kind and curious way of course). What happened instead was we said to one another: “Oh don’t worry about it, we’ll do it next week!, or “Oh you’ve been sick that’s okay.”, “Or, it’s the holidays, who has time to read our little blog”. We were making it okay to not keep our habit! Excuses. Excuses. Excuses.
So if you’ve made some new year’s resolutions like reducing your email inbox from 10,000 to 100, or meeting with your team members more regularly, or *gasp* implementing a new process -you need to make it a habit. Use T3!
1. Trigger: Set a calendar reminder, use Siri, put a post-it note on your monitor. Whatever works. Do it. Do it in multiple ways.
2. Task: Do the task. Do it the first time. Do it the second time. Do it even if you get behind schedule do it anyways. Even if it is late or seems futile. Do it.
3. Tracking: Find someone to keep you accountable. Ask them to follow up with you. Ask them to be your accountability partner. Make a chart in your office that everyone can see. Find someone/something to cheer you on when you did it and call you out when you didn’t do it.
Let us know how these help you keep a habit on your new years goals! Keep us posted on Twitter @whiteboardcons!
Until Next Time,