Move Out of The Status Quo
Last week was supposed to be different. You made the decision to start exercising, or to more effectively plan your day. You're tired of trying to get everything done or the nagging thought that there's something more important you should be doing. Your new resolution only lasted a week... and then you slipped back into old habits and old ways of thinking. The convenience of status quo is just too easy.
Take a minute and read Seth Godin's Blog, Are You Certain That You're Trapped?
It's only four sentences long, but it has the honesty that I need when I keep making excuses.
When you're ready to finally make a change, here are some of the strategies that work for me (most of the time):
1- Ask Yourself A Question
When I’m stuck in a rut, my coaching work admonishes the power of asking the right question to bring clarity or a fresh perspective. Some of my favorite questions include:
What are you doing that's hindering you from where you want to go?
What value are you not honoring by remaining where you are?
If I've allowed my choices to get out of sync with them, I need to change. For more related to this idea, read my blog, Are You Losing YOU In The Struggle Of Too Much To Do?
What are you willing to fail at... so you can succeed at something more important?
This question helps me drop some of the "nice but unnecessary" activities in my life to create space for the more strategic and/or relationship-building routines or events.
What are you doing that’s hindering you from getting to where you want to go?
2-Make an Engage/React Chart
One of the reasons I get stuck in the status quo is that I find that am reacting compulsively too often instead of engaging consciously. So, I use a note card at my desk and keep score of whether I am engaging or reacting to situations throughout the day. If the "react" column wins, it reminds me that I need to make some changes.
3-Use Daily Questions
As John Maxwell so powerfully said,
"You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of success is found in your daily routine."
I find that holding myself accountable by asking questions about what I did each day helps me make those small consistent changes.
Take An Intermission
I'm as guilty as anyone about getting so wrapped up in my work and life that I rationalize I can't stop long enough to look at the big picture. When I finally take an intermission, it's amazing how the motivation to change improves. I savor the moment thinking, "I want to feel like this more often!"
In addition to all these strategies, I like the quote by the icon of motivational speaking, Zig Ziglar:
"The basic goal-reaching principle to understand is that you go as far as you can see, and when you get there you will always be able to see farther."
How do you shake yourself out of the status quo? You can email me at email@example.com. I'm always looking for a fresh idea.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jones Loflin is a global keynote speaker and coach who helps individuals and organizations with the struggle of too much to do. You can learn more about his work at www.jonesloflin.com.