A new beginning

Today has been a watershed day for me.  Earlier this morning I began a two year journey with a group of men in learning to be better Christian Leaders as we work through the CLC program.  Click here to read more about  CLC-Christian Leadership Concepts.

New beginnings can be difficult.  We all get stuck in our habits and finding ways to modify these habits is extremely challenging.  To emphasize this point I did a Google search on starting new habits and the search returned over 20 million entries to choose from.  Here are just a few thoughts on changing habits that I can share today:

  • Reminder (the trigger that initiates the behavior)
  • Routine (the behavior itself; the action you take)
  • Reward (the benefit you gain from doing the behavior)
  • courtesy of James Clear

    Deane Alban offers the following advice:

    • Set Small Goals
    • Use Triggers
    • Do it Early
    • Be Prepared
    • Make it Convenient
    • Make it Fun
    • Don’t Break the Chain

    The following is offered via Zenhabits:

    • Start Exceeding Small
    • Be Mindful of Negative Thoughts
    • Savor the Habit
    • Have a Plan for When you Falter

    All sound advice, I would ask you to consider the common threads among these three strategies:

    • Don’t try to do too much at once; small bits are the way to “eat the elephant”, so don’t try to change too much, too soon
    • Find a way to enjoy the changes; you need to have a reason for changing and anything you can do to reinforce the change only helps solidify the change
    • Don’t give up if you backslide; most changes will have some regression, so don’t give up the ship if things do not go flawlessly; find out why things slipped and put some type of reinforcement into place to keep things from continually faltering

    Change is essential for success and finding a way to change bad habits into good habits will only ensure that you continue to be successful.

    One last method that works for me is to have a support group in place to help encourage the new habit versus the old habit.  Most of us can learn from the encouragement of others, so make sure that support group is aware of the new direction and timetable for change.

    What works for you when you try to implement  a new habit?