As we leave one year behind and look towards the new one, we often ﬁnd ourselves with the best intentions, feeling totally committed to new outcomes and results. We take time to set our goals and truly desire to do better, do differently and achieve new standards – only to ﬁnd that after a short period we have reverted to the same old patterns and behaviours.
Repetitive behaviours are formed around the beliefs and values that we have on a conscious and subconscious level. We perform these behaviours due to the experiences we have had and the meaning we attach to those experiences. We then repeat these behaviours which form the patterns that drive our choices and decisions – for better and for worse.
The simple truth is this: if you are not evolving, you can only be revolving – constantly looping and repeating negative, limiting and unfulﬁlling behaviours, therefore struggling to see real and meaningful progress.
To help set you free, the following framework includes six simple steps that you can start working on right now.
1. ‘Where your focus goes, energy ﬂows’
What we focus on expands, often to the exclusion of everything else. To the extent you focus on problems, you will get problems. To the extent you focus on solutions, you will get solutions. So the ﬁrst step is to focus on the right things! Observe the positive and empowered behaviours you demonstrate, and consciously acknowledge for yourself the strength in the effective and useful patterns that work for you. This focus creates more positive energy, which will fuel you to continue and create even more.
Considered and clear actions are the only way to break patterns and create change.
2. Identify and document the top three patterns that are currently getting in your way, such as:
- Working in a reactionary state rather than proactively
- Always running late for appointments
- Not meeting deadlines
- Not exercising even though you planned to
- Giving up halfway through whatever you’re doing
- Staying back late and getting burnt out
3. Drill down into the causes of these patterns
Ask yourself, ‘What has led to this?’, ‘What is present when I behave this way?’, ‘Why is that the case?’ Keep digging and asking again and again until you determine what the root cause is. You may need to ask yourself nine or ten times to ﬁnally dig deep enough to uncover the trigger.
4. Planning for new actions
Now that you know the trigger of your top three patterns, simply think through the actions or steps that you will implement to change the outcomes and behaviours. Considered and clear actions are the only way to break patterns and create change.
5. Go ‘on the record’
Understand and accept that sometimes it’s more difficult to do these things alone. If you are truly committed to breaking these patterns and leaving them behind for good, consider going on the record in a public way to strengthen your commitment to the result. This may be by sharing your action plan with colleagues, asking for support, documenting the steps and pinning them up where others can see them.
6. Find the momentum
Repetitive action delivers momentum – when you are in ﬂow you can recognise the wins and the positive outcomes. You gain conﬁdence; you believe in yourself. You acknowledge your ability not only to decide how you want to live and work, but to design and create how you behave and achieve so that each day is closer to your ideal day.