Making your New Year’s Resolution Stick!

If you are looking at establishing and sticking to new habits this year, here’s a little trade secret of how PACE is able to ensure any change in our partner organization is an improvement that is sustainable or as I like to call it “Sticky”; We have a slightly different take on the concept of New Year’s Resolutions which we call commitment statements. A commitment statement is something we use in our change management practice to hold team members (people like you) accountable to themselves and create a safe space for your peers to politely remind you to hold yourself accountable to your commitment statement.

So what exactly is a commitment statement? It is a personal commitment you make for yourself which is developed out of a validated need for a behaviour change that you and your trusted advisors see as necessary. It is not a goal statement but a statement that helps you execute on a strategy to meet your goal. So for example if my goal is to weigh in at 150 lbs or lose 30 lbs by a certain date, my commitment statement has to be a behaviour change or a strategy that has a high probability of helping me reach that goal, which might be something like, “I commit to ensuring my diet consists of 70% meat and vegetables and no processed foods which I expect will help me lose 5 lbs in 30 days”.

This article will introduce you to our ABC framework laid out will help ensure that you not only have a solid commitment statement but also have the infrastructure to ensure you stick to your commitment and reach your goals faster and more effectively. Before you jump into applying our framework you must design your personal commitment to making a behaviour change rather than simply stating a goal.

Once you have a draft of the above statement you can now jump into applying the following steps in the simple ABC framework.

A is for Assess – By assess we mean really explore if the commitment statement is seen as necessary by not only yourself but your inner circle of trusted advisors, which could be your spouse, your family, your co-workers, your physician who would be familiar of your current behaviours/ situation. Assess is a necessary step because it keeps you out of the trap of thinking that you are accomplishing something new in case your current behaviours are already in line with your newly formed “commitment statement”; You may have to make tweaks to your statement at this stage but you must finalize your statement before moving on to the next stage B;

B is for Broadcast –  By Broadcast we want you to make this statement transparent to the world! Yes, there is no point keeping it a secret, if you want to make a change publicly commit to making the change and allow everyone to help you stick to your commitment. For your commitment to be most effective, you must document, sign and publicly display it so everyone can help ensure you follow through on your commitment statement. You may also choose to develop a visual display of checkmarks or stickers on your calendar/ white board for everyday you are successful in sticking to your commitment statement. The act of giving yourself a sticker or a checkmark will give you the feeling of success and as you know, success begets success; Making your commitment visual and updating it on a regular basis, is a fantastic change management strategy that has been proven to work over and over. Broadcast also helps create a safe space for your inner circle to remind you of your commitment when they notice you wavering. This is another effective way to make a change stick.

C is for Check – Since the commitment statement is a behaviour change i.e. a strategy you have chosen to achieve a particular goal, it is important for you to check in and see if you are tracking towards the goal you’ve decided to make the commitment statement for. So for example after 30 days of eating no processed foods and keeping my diet to 70% meat and vegetables, I would have expected to lose 5 lbs, if this did not happen, I need to check for other factors preventing me from achieving my goal and go back to the assess stage and check in with my physician etc. with the information available to see if I need to make a different behaviour change.

The above framework is designed to be applied at an individual and behavioural level, excellence is not an accident but a series of good habits or behaviours we execute consistently. I would love to hear your opinions and ideas on behaviour changes you may have successfully made and which strategies helped you achieve success.

PACE can help you achieve your New Year’s Resolutions or help you continue your journey to excellence with our 2017 training sessions and workshops or FREE upcoming Case Study Webinar