You really want to make this change, right? Maybe you’ve tried before and it hasn’t stuck. Now you’re ready to step up to the plate again—but you need a new approach.
You’re in the right place. I’m about to describe a dependable, NASA researched process for shifting a behavioural habit for good, once and for all.
Some time ago NASA researched how its astronauts would deal without gravity, particularly with being upside down in space.
So it had a bunch of its astronauts wear special convex lens goggles—goggles that made their world look upside down.
Something quite stunning happened…
After between 25 and 30-days of continuous 24/7 use, every astronaut described how his or her world now looked the right way up again. Their brains had created fresh neural pathways that turned the upside-down image that came to their eye, the right way up.
Interestingly, NASA did a second study that had half of their astronauts remove their goggles for 24 hours half way through the experiment, on day 15. What happened?
Those astronauts had to wear their goggles for an additional 25 to 30-days for them to see the world the right way up again.
Just breaking the continuity of the new “habit” once, put the astronauts back to square one.
Why Is NASA’s Research So Vital To Leaders?
When you’re striving to change a behavioural habit, you’ll need to focus on that change for 30 consecutive days.
If you have a break, you’ll need to start your 30-days again.
After 30-days you can relax and let your unconscious brain take over. You’ll be unconsciously competent .
Exactly What Is The Behaviour You Want To Change?
To successfully replace an undesirable habit with a new one, you’ll need to ensure your targeted new habit is a specific and observable behaviour—and that it’s phrased in a positive way.
A behavioural goal like “Stop putting off giving feedback to my team members” isn’t going to cut it. However “Ensure I acknowledge each of my team members at least once a week” is appropriately stated in the affirmative.
Your Leadership Call To Action
- Select the behavioural habit you want to focus on for the next 30-days. (I don’t recommend working on more than one habit at a time.)
- Describe it in terms of a specific, behavioural outcome—and remember to phrase it in a positive way.
- Every day for 30-days, without missing a beat, implement your plan.
- At the end of 30-days, celebrate! Your unconscious mind will have automatically habituated your new behaviour .
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carolyn Stevens has worked with leaders for more than 25-years—hundreds of them.
She’s supported leader after leader (including those who previously struggled to confront the difficult, let alone persuasively deal with the it) flourish—and become confident, courageous and impressively influential.
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She draws on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit the situation.