Do you have a routine somewhere in your life?…..maybe the way you get ready for work in the morning…you may take a shower first, get dressed then have some breakfast………Well what would happen if someone told you that you had to change to…..…shower in the evening, breakfast first thing, get dressed last!
You may have been doing it your way for years! Change can be exciting, but also uncomfortable and difficult for some.
What I would like to draw your attention to is the process you need to go through to make a change successful.
A very common method that we use with our clients is called: Plan-Research-Do-Review.
We use this to demonstrate what is required to make a change successful. When parts of this method are not fully executed, individual and companies typically fall down.
This is how the process plays out:
The key thing to say before we go any further is that this is a process and on average it will take several turns around this cycle for true behaviour to change.
If you want to make a change the first thing you do is make the decision to do so. You may be saying things like “I need to”, “I must” etc. I would argue that unless you get firm commitment from yourself (and others if needed) the change will not happen.
Commitment is key to the process of change.
Being realistic is also important, asking questions like “how long will this take?” or “what do I need to understand in order to do this?”
Your plan may need to be much more detailed depending on the level of change, you need to be the judge of that.
Make a plan to change!
Before you start on your journey of change, you will need to gather information. You can get this from lots of different sources:
Books, internet, fabulous trainers (that’ll be us by the way) to name a few.
Gathering your information is important to understand and imbed the change. If you are a fan of exercise boot camps for example you will know that the position “The Plank” is a firm favourite amongst fitness instructors. But it’s a difficult position to hold, and after a while I started to wane in my commitment to the plank position. It was tough going and I began to question “why am I doing this crazy exercise?”…..then I saw this picture (information!!!) I suddenly wanted to plank more!
Information is key.
Here comes the Nike Tick (other brands are available) part of the process. This is where you go out and practice. Remember that this is a process and you will be going round this cycle several times. So the first time you go out and practice it’s understandable if you don’t feel fully prepared, this fine (as long as you’re not solo skydiving, make sure your prepared fully for that). The truth is that you won’t be fully prepared, because the majority of the learning will come by doing.
So go out and practice, even if you don’t have all the answers, that’s why they have beginner classes, nursery slopes and training equipment.
Once you have done some practice it’s important to take time to review.
Review Review Review, I hear myself often telling my clients to take more time to review where they are and where they are going. It’s one of a handful of key management practices that I personally believe are crucial, you can’t be successful and not do these practices. If you’re stuck for a simple method to use to review then you’re in luck we have a blog called “A handy review tool” which will unstick you (we’re good to you like that).
Once you have reviewed you will go round the cycle again. Ask yourself whether you still want to do this, review the planned commitment you needed to make. Then increasing your information and research, practicing some more and reviewing. Rome wasn’t built in a day and new skills, effective change, behaviour and habits, will take some time. Going around this process will ensure that you are covering all bases.
Avoid the traps
The first trap is to jump straight to the doing, not good, you need to plan and research first.
The second trap is to spend too much time in the research phase. It’s so easy to keep gathering information, at some point you’re going to have to step out and practice.
The third trap is missing out the review stage. Typically Western society gets obsessed with productivity, if we’re not doing we’re not being successful, big mistake. Reviewing doesn’t have to be this great soul searching exercise, you can even do this travelling home at the end of the day, but review, just check in with yourself to work out how things are going.