Leveraging Habits to Shift Performance
Changing your performance doesn't just happen. You don’t usually drift along and find yourself operating at new levels. You have to be intentional, force yourself to get clear on what you want and why it’s important, and then pursue a plan of action that accomplishes your objective.
Sometimes, this involves setting an achievement goal with a definable end point, like losing weight, running a marathon, or completing a course. But often, significant achievements are the result of ingrained habits over time.
Most of us know that to achieve your goals, you need to write them down. . . then share them. . . then secure an accountability partner. . . then track them together. . . and work. The problem is, we often achieve our goals, then revert back to previous performance. THAT'S OKAY if your goal was truly meant to be one-time. But what if your goal was meant to propel you into a new way of being (being healthy, being connected, being spiritual, etc)? In this case, the conventional way of going about goals won't work.
When you have a vague aspiration that you just can’t seem to make measurable (I want to be more connected with my spouse, I want to be more aware of current events) or if you want to change how you operate, then you want your goal to be HABIT-BASED.
Habit-based goals have no deadline because you aren't trying to accomplish just one thing. You're trying to build or maintain a PRACTICE.
Habit goals have 4 elements to them:
1. Start Date- The time you intend to begin installing the habit
2. Frequency- How often you will engage in the habit. This could be daily, specific days of the week, weekly, monthly, etc.
3. Time Trigger- When you plan to engage in the habit. Again, it could be a specific time of day, week, etc. This makes it easier to become consistent if you can do the habit at the same time.
4. Streak Target- How many times in a row you must do the habit before you can consider it installed.
Here's an example of how accomplishment-based goals differ from habit-based goals:
Why distinguish habit-based and accomplishment-based goals? As a leader, understanding this distinction will help you teach teams how to design and execute on goals that actually shift their personal performance. Tracking streaks, obstacles, and changes in performance will help your people see what it takes to really achieve something big.
Remember, it takes on average 66 days to install a new habit. That means for really ingrained or complex habits, it can take up to 120+ days of consistent action. This puts you as leader in a coaching position to really help someone see their limiting beliefs, limiting actions, and how to help them move through the "walls" that have kept them operating from their current position.
Now it's your turn. Look at your goals. Are any habit-based? If not, what ONE HABIT could you create for yourself that would support your vision for this year?
You can learn more and receive 1:1 coaching by attending our workshop The 4 Keys of Personal Effectiveness. Get in action now... can't wait to learn what you discover!