Much of my coaching practice has been about choosing our behavior and looking deeply into the mindsets, beliefs and habits that do and do not serve us.
Habits can be so very difficult to break. They seem like they are embedded in us with a strong glue – we get stuck in the repetition of that which does not serve or us or that which we are consciously trying to change…because we decide it is a good change.
Here is what Jeffy, my 8 month old Grand Boy, taught me this last weekend about habits.
BTW, an exercise I ask all teams and clients to try that are trying to be more aware of their habits is to move a trash can. It does not matter which one it is. Kitchen, office, bedroom, bathroom. Just move one trashcan for one week so you can be fully aware of how controlled you are by your habits.
One client team I asked to move all their trash cans in their office area for one week. They were to move their trash cans near:
- Their desks
- The copy machine
- The printer
- the coffee room
- the bathroom
- ALL TRASHCANS
You cannot believe the nasty texts and emails I received from that team of grownups during the week. We were to follow up the week after their moving of the trashcans via a group call to discuss the embedded behaviors that became very clear from their participating in this exercise. The purpose was to make them conscious of their behavior and how that kind of behavior might be present in how they dealt with each other through communication; accountability; leadership; time management and support.
It is one of my favorite group exercises for creating clarity around being judgmental and opinionated with others.
“Why can’t Joe just stop doing that? What is the deal with Sally and her being late with reports all the time? What the heck is up with the boss and his demands around his expectations of completing this projects?”
Once you understand that people many times are not motivated by conscious actions, but habits, it is easier to have a conversation about what might work better.
And what does my beloved little Grand Boy have to do with habits?
Jeffy started crawling this last week and so everything is now reachable…easily. He is fast, curious and busy.
My kitchen trashcan was not in a good baby crawling area. So, thinking I was solving a potentially messy problem, I moved my kitchen trashcan to my utility room. I washed the floors, rearranged the utility room, moved everything not needed to the shed which required I clean out the shed. Sweep. Remove spider webs. Stack the “haul around the yard” buckets and rehang some tools. You know, everything not nailed down was rearranged.
I spent an entire day on these activities.
The result of moving my kitchen trash is that I have learned that, with some expletives, that it is going to take some time and conscious thought to REMEMBER where the $%^&*() trashcan is now residing.
Caught at my own habit awareness conscious raising exercise.
I know I am going to hear from the teams and clients I made do this exercise with some Tee Hees and “glad you had to do this” comments.
The point is ALL of us have some habits that need some work to turn from unconscious to conscious decisions.
Try the trashcan exercise and then see which habits might need your help. Send me your comments – and be nice!!
And if you need a good coach, give me a call.
To your success,
P.S. It’s not too late to sign up for today’s FREE monthly live call with ME. The July topic is “getting you back on track” which could be goals, weight loss, time management, branding, or getting done what is on your list. When you sign up for the monthly Wednesday call, you can also submit your questions. We will record the call, but you need to sign up so we know where to send the recording. Looking forward to you being on the monthly call. Click here to register.
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