After tonight’s killer boot camp, the instructor announced that between January and March a flood of new, resolute members will descend upon the gym. We were asked to be patient and encouraging to new members. She assured us that, come mid-March, our class size will normalize with only a few new members remaining.
Why does this happen? Combine the pressure to regularly get to the gym, to be patient and accepting of oneself, and to tolerate too much discomfort too fast causes the high New Year’s Resolution crash and burn rate. These admirable, super-sized intentions are a great strain on one’s limited willpower reserve. What results is a sense of failure and another blow to one’s self-esteem. How can you avoid this? If you are thinking about any New Year’s resolutions for you and your business, I advise you to plan first and then “go micro.” Ask yourself:
- Which new habit would have the greatest impact on your family and your business?
- What would you gain from your new habit? And conversely, what will you lose by not following through with this resolution?
- How will you break down your resolution into micro steps making change more gradual, least uncomfortable, noticeable and worthwhile?
- Do you need a coach or a partner to motivate you and monitor your progress?
Jess, a 40 year old founder of a small home furnishings company, wanted to keep her meetings under 20 minutes. Her meetings typically ran over 40 minutes. She knew that shorter, more efficient meetings would yield greater productivity for her team, plus she’d get home earlier to her family at night. She tended to address topics off the top of her head and over talk. Jess recognized that her poor planning and gift of gab were problems. After previous failed attempts to stick to the 20 minute limit, I suggested we chose just three micro steps and apply one at a time:
1) prioritize the top 2-3 topics for the meeting
2) write out the key talking points , and
3) have an analog clock in view so as to pace herself.
Interestingly, Jess reported that the analog clock was the most helpful step in staying on track. She remarked, “I got a sense of what 20 minutes felt like and what I could reasonably accomplish in that span of time.”
These small steps improved other inefficiencies such as: dependency on Jess to remember the main points, her over-talking and wasting time. Three meetings later, after applying a micro step at a time, the new habit was in place. The benefits of the micro approach? Staff demonstrated 20-30% better follow through, there was less confusion about priorities and next steps, attendance at meetings increased resulting in better staff connection, and Jess was getting home sooner. Resolving to a micro step approach can make a New Year’s resolution stick.
Let me help you “Go Micro” and accomplish more this year. Email me at Rebecca@MindfulCommunication.com and let’s get started.