Now that you have clarity around what you want to achieve, what are the steps that will get your there? For success and freedom, use habits to create sustainable action steps.
From the outside it may look simple to others as to how you can achieve your desired result, somehow from the internal view it is more difficult to set yourself up for success. How to plan for success is a dilemma for patients too. They have health goals, from as simple as taking medications consistently as prescribed to behavior changes that will support them. In your role as a physician, nurse or mid-level provider, it may often feel like you’re talking to yourself when you’re discussing behavior changes that will benefit your patients. This can be exhausting and lead to a sense of minimal impact; both are signs of burnout. The ideas below will help you with your goal setting and can help you with your patients as well.
Habits are a key to success. They take the burden of conscious decision making and effort away and allow behaviors to become more automatic. Individual habits exist because they meet, or historically met, a need and provided a reward of some sort. Habits are basically a cycle of Cue/trigger – Routine, behavior or thought pattern – Reward. The most effective way to change a habit is by changing the routine.
Good habits create a positive mindset and help you to feel more in control. You have already established a strong why for achieving your goal or resolution and are aware of the benefits of rereading and tweaking both the purpose and plan weekly. Below are several steps for habit formation.
- Start Small – Break your goal/resolution into component parts. Starting with something which takes less than 15 minutes and minimally interferes with your routine.
- Focus on routine and repetition. It is easier to establish a new behavior when it is associated with an established behavior. This can become your Cue for the new routine. For example, taking medications in the morning when you brush your teeth.
- Reward desired behavior – Our brain likes rewards, so embrace this as a way to be successful. Find rewards that you enjoy, perhaps making a call to a friend, sitting with your coffee for a few minutes before refocusing on a task, visiting a website you like…
- Record Your Progress – Think of the Star Chart for good behavior. As part of your weekly review, note what helped you to be successful and what some of the obstacles to following through were. What were the conditions that led to success? What can you tweak to minimize the let downs? Apply a growth mindset.
- Support – this comes in a variety of forms and is a key to success. This can be reminders, like a med crutch and notes, and on a more personal level having your own cheer leading squad. Sometimes one reliable person is enough, for other goals you may need to select cheering squad. A professional coach like me is a great person to have on your squad. I can hold up a big vision for you, remind you of your values and the why, and provide you with accountability beyond yourself as well as a sounding board to develop strategies and overcome obstacles.
The consistency of good habits enables you to achieve more of what you want. What is it that you want in 2018?
I’m here to support you in attaining more of what you desire in 2018. Contact me.
Revitalize Your Life,
Dina, 203.744.YOU3 (9683)
Improving well-being for professionals through coaching.
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