Promises, Promises: Three Ways to Achieve Lasting Behavioral Change in Your Personal Life

How many times have you promised yourself that you would change a specific undesirable behavior? Have you ever been disappointed because somehow your good intentions were not translated into sustained behavioral changes? Despite such outcomes, it really is possible to make lasting changes. Here are three suggestions to help you get started:

  1. Be clear about the reason for deciding to make the change. To be sustainable, the reason must represent something that you value personally, not something you are doing to please someone else.
  2. Be kind to yourself. Recognize that creating lasting behavioral change is a journey, not an event. It’s likely that you will lose your way upon occasion, falling back into old, familiar patterns. When that happens, identify the lesson(s) learned, forgive yourself for the slip, get back on track, and resume your forward momentum.
  3. Ask for, and receive, help. Identify one or more accountability partners – e.g., a trusted friend or colleague, a Mastermind group, a mentor or coach – who will be honest with you, provide constructive feedback, and offer sound advice.

Though we may not realize it, we have many resources and tools to support a goal of sustainable behavioral change. Which ones have worked well for you?

Pat Lynch, Ph.D., is President of Business Alignment Strategies, Inc., a consulting firm that helps clients optimize business results by aligning people, programs, and processes with organizational goals. You may contact Pat or call (562) 985-0333.

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