Are you hoping to change behavior or create a new habit in 2022?
Similar to training a puppy, encouraging a new behavior can require changing behavior or “undoing” a current habit. Unlike a dog, however, we humans CHOOSE our behaviors – and asking 3 questions makes it a conscious choice.
I’ve used the 3 question strategy with clients for years and know it can help you train your way to new behavior.
Here is how it works:
Start with your goal or perhaps a theme for the year. This year my theme is to pare down what I’m doing for sanity and quality. In other words, I’m recognizing my tendency to clutter my life and work with tasks and commitments that do not support success. This often comes in the form of volunteer activities. Some of my volunteering is in my field and builds my network of professional speakers, some feeds my soul, but none of it is income earning – so time spent doing that work is time I’m not generating revenue. I need to change behavior to support my goal.
Next, ask yourself 3 questions to slow down the decision make it more thoughtful.
- A question to recognize the choice being made
- A question to check in with your emotions and intention
- A question to connect with your goal
For example, here are the questions I ask when I reach a choice between a revenue-generating activity and a volunteer activity:
- Am I choosing this over a money-earning activity?
- Do I need a break from money-earning activities, or is this a distraction?
- Does this activity support an equally important goal?
Here are some other examples:
If your goal is to exercise each morning, here are 3 questions:
- Am I choosing to hit snooze instead of getting up and taking a walk?
- Will the extra sleep make me feel better or is it just an excuse?
- Will the extra minutes of sleep work toward my goal of being strong and comfortable in my body?
This strategy is helpful at work too – especially in meetings. How often do your discussions wander off-topic? Stop and ask the group 3 questions:
- Is this topic on the agenda?
- Does it support the goal of the meeting?
- Is it essential to discuss it now? (Can it wait until new business, next meeting, or a smaller group discussion?)
I wish you low stress and a happy, healthy 2022!