by Megan McDonough
As the season changes here in New England, so does my wardrobe. It’s time to assess my clothes—deciding what to get rid of, what to keep, and what I need to buy for the colder weather.
Author and leadership expert Jim Collins poses three questions that companies need to ask when taking disciplined action to move from good to great:
- 1. What tactics need to go?
- 2. Which ones stay?
- 3. What needs to be added?
These are the same questions we could ask ourselves about our habits.
When you’ve been successful in making positive change, what aspects were present that allowed you to create the desired change? Share your keys to success below, as we build a community conversation.
We’re very close to unrolling our latest and greatest tool for positive habit formation. As always, your feedback helps shape our thinking. Let’s hear from you: What worked for creating positive change? I can’t wait to hear from you.
As the colors of the leaves shift along with my wardrobe, I’m reminded of what does endure—the human capacity to shape life towards the good.
Megan McDonough is CEO of Wholebeing Institute, an educational organization co-founded with Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar. WBI is committed to spreading ideas and practices that can help individuals and groups live life to its fullest.
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My success has come from combining learning/curiosity, mindfulness, and courage. With a new understanding of how things work, my inner spirit knows the next steps and the destination. The key is then to set aside the fear and just GO.
What a powerful combination, Juli!! That’s been my experience, too…that when curiosity is alive, then mixed with attention and the decision to be courageous, the next steps unfold in interesting ways! Never a dull moment…
My successes are measured in small great things, as Jodi Picoult used in her new book title- and which she used as a quote from Martin Luther King. I am making positive changes every day as I speak kindly to myself, and speak up to others in a kind way. I’ve had interactions with people who in the past I would quietly fume inside if I felt slighted or treated poorly- now, I just leave. Or say something to the effect that
The situations doesn’t feel right to me and I’m uncomfortable- and leave.
I hope my quieter way of dealing with people helps defuse an angry moment- others may be having a bad moment or day or week or time in their lives isn’t about me at all, but also not mine to “fix”. Just leave quietly without judgement.
I’m going to become a better listener to my friends, my daughters, as I take a breath before I speak… there is only this moment- I choose not to carry the past with me in such a way as it blocks my ability to be right here, right now.
These are what I can do today.
Thanks so much for your wise words, Deborah. I’m drinking my morning coffee as I read them, thinking what a great reminder it is as I start my day. It’s so powerful to just leave a destructive situation, speak the truth, or otherwise handle in a way that is kind. Love that.
When have I been successful in making positive change and what aspects were present that allowed me to create the desired change? Megan I loved the short blog you wrote referencing Jim Collin’s Good to Great- linking this with the change of seasons and with habit formation. The powerful tool of 30 day challenges embedded in the WBI/CiPP format have really helped me commit to making small changes with the built in accountability and forum for reflecting on my actions. 30 day practices create a pathway for community as each person enters into the habit cycle: cue, behavior, reward and for 30 days has a forum to report in and assess and celebrate their steps towards progress. So the 30 day practices have helped me most as I deploy strengths and benefit from other’s experience strength and hope!
So glad that structure of the 30 day practice has been helpful Phoebe! I agree, and we’ll be rolling out a new tool to support that practice very soon. More to come shortly!
Most of my success in positive change has come from 30 Day Challenges with an accountability buddy. In fact my buddy and I just started our 43rd consecutive 30 day challenge. In that time, we’ve seen novels written (both of us), yoga teacher trainings completed (my buddy), and degrees finished (me), lifestyles revamped (both of us). Early in the challenge we’re always motivated and engaged but the real gold is when we’re no longer “high” on the novelty and we’re tempted to pack it in if it gets hard, boring, etc. That’s where the accountability buddy is so valuable – to reflect back to you WHY you’re doing this in the first place, and to remind you of your progress. “Daily brags” also help – where we share with each other at least one good thing we did that day towards our particular challenge goal, and we celebrate ourselves and each other. I’ve started doing these with my work teams as well, and I’ll be interested to see if we have similar success with them.
That’s an amazing story, Catherine! And an even more amazing feat…43rd consecutive 30 day practice! Wow, that’s a record for sure. I’d love to see you write an article about that so we can all learn from what works. Phoebe and I have been discussing the importance of co-mentorship for growth and development. This is a perfect example. Thanks for sharing.
I agree with the previous comments. The 30 day habits changers are fantastic. Some other tools l have used is to delve into my yoga tools which really reinforced the mantra to be kind to yourself and be kind to others. I have really changed the way l deal with people and l am much happier. I have since changed jobs where l am happier and have plans to start a new business which gives me great purpose and it has will involves lots of giving back to society. It is truely exciting and will help me develop personally even more.
Hi Kim. Isn’t interesting to see how the internal repetition of a word helps create the context for attitudes and actions? Words do indeed create worlds.