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Weekly Reminders for Changing Your Habits and Adopting New Practices

Weekly Reminders for Changing Your Habits and Adopting New Practices

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“Motivation is what gets you started.  Habit is what keeps you going.”  -- Jim Ryun

One of the best moves I use to change habits and adopt new practices is very simple, but very effective:

I schedule a recurring Friday appointment on my calendar.  On that appointment, I list reminders, habits, and practices that I want to work on.   It’s the art of applied reflection.

I tend to use bulleted questions, because they make a great checklist and I find that questions work better than statements for reflection.  Here are a couple of examples to show what I mean:

  • Am I leading by example and setting a personal example of what to expect?
  • Am I describing a compelling image of the future?
  • Am I bringing out the best in everybody and leveraging their strengths?

You get the idea.

This works extremely well for baking in new practices, especially after taking a new course or training.  It helps turn the training into action, because it forces you to turn the insights you learned into simple test cases (For example, the questions above.)   It also works well, simply because it’s making you mindful of your choices, and it’s reminding you to check your thinking, feeling, or doing against your goals.

I’ve been using this practice for several years, and it’s worked like a champ.  It’s part of the Friday Reflection pattern in Getting Results the Agile Way.

If there is a new pattern or practice you want to adopt, simply add a Friday reminder and see how easily you can adopt a new habit.