I recently had the good fortune to sit in on a workshop with Cassie Solomon. Ms. Solomon conducted the workshop at the same conference where I was the keynote speaker. While her book, Leading Successful Change, is geared towards change in the workplace, her examples were largely about personal changes.

Just as I often do, she referred to New Year’s resolutions, and their high rate of failure. She explained motivation is not enough. And she gave a great example I have heard before: Even after open heart surgery, when you would think people would have the ultimate motivation, a huge percent do not follow their doctor’s recommendations regarding eating and exercise.

“The motivation theory of change is wrong,” she explained. Instead, you need to identify the change you want to make and come up with a system. Instead of motivational statements (or New Year’s resolutions) such as “I will be healthier,” you need to break down your goals into the specific behaviors you want to change (such as waking up early each morning to exercise) and come up with the steps needed to make that happen.

Perhaps you need to go to bed earlier each night rather than watching TV. Maybe having a gym bag packed the night before, having a water bottle (or your morning coffee) ready to go, and sleeping in (clean) exercise clothes with your running shoes waiting by the foot of your bed are some of the behaviors in your new system.

What new habits do you want to adopt? What are some of the behaviors you need to change to make it happen? Join the conversation with your comments…

Best regards,