All too often we are prompted and guided and expected to say yes. Yes to that beer, yes to staying late at work even yes to splitting the food bill when you only had water and a small salad. We say this word to easily when really it doesn’t make us happy.
Let’s clear the decks a second and stop focusing on the yes or things you want. Let’s turn that positive and apply it to a negative process.
What DON’T you want?
Write down five things you’re currently doing in your life that by the end of 2015 you’ll stop or cut out and that more importantly you don’t want to be doing. Sit down take a hard long look at yourself, this does require utter truthfulness of yourself but trust in YOU. You’re the one person in control of your happiness.
1………….. Not buying food at work and making bad lazy food choices.
Done? Great! Re read and make sure you’ve got things in this list that leave you feeling uncomfortable.
Now with these five don’ts lets write down five yes’s that will underpin you achieving these don’ts. This is a behavior a habit something you can do differently but the don’t is the reason for doing it.
You can see my example in the lists, I don’t want to keep making bad food choices and wasting money everyday. But if I focus on the YES of HAVING to make food each evening I forget why I’m doing this. But by reminding myself that I DON’T want to buy food at work and I DON’T want to make bad food choices, this will motivate me to make a behavioral change its called (A,B,C explanation below #.
1…….. Making food every night for work the next day.
Now, here’s the tough bit! The yes’s are what you want to achieve and the don’ts are things you want to stop. By focusing on what you want to stop (you’re don’t list & you’re behavior) for example “I don’t want take the tube to work” now tie that with your “yes” which might be “I’m going to cycle to work” you’re focusing on what you want to stop doing rather than all the effort and thought going on what you need to change.
The process as I mentioned is called (A,B,C) Action, Behavior, Consequence.
This is your don’ts, the thing you want to stop which is at the start of the cycle. We focus of changing this rather than what the outcome or “yes” is of us carrying this action out.
Behavior, this is what you now do after the action has been changed. You were motivated on taking action, now you’ve changed your behavior as a result of the action.
Here we go, changing your action has led to a behavioral change right? And you’ve now doing it?! (Please tell me you’re doing it!) So as above in my case I’m now cooking and regularly taking food into work, each evening I get home and make the effort to cook (behavior) food knowing that tomorrow I’ll have my food (Consequence)and that makes it so much easier for me to achieve my YES!
PHEW! if you made it this far down WELL DONE! That’s some serious staying power people. But finally before I sign off, it’s about the end of Jan we might be fading from those new year life changes, will power only has so much mental strength right? Try this ABC and writing it down and if you find you’re doing something because you feel you should rather than you wanting too. Then again get back to A and change the action you are carrying out. This can be applied from morning runs to new jobs or relationships if you DON’T want to be doing it break the cycle and change your action.