Sunday, January 2, 2011

5 Tips for Making New Year's Resolutions Work

The core of a New Year's resolution is changing something, right? Change is hard, whether it's yourself or your organization. But it's manageable -- that is, if you recognize that it's not the new behavior or outcome that's the problem, it's changing what got in the way of it in the past.

CEBI members who joined us on the Fall 2010 Executive Retreat in New Mexico had a look at a new book, Switch - How to Change Things When Change is Hard, by Chip and Dan Heath. Believe me, in almost every case, change is hard. They offer a straightforward 3-point framework (not 12 steps) by which to plan and execute a change in your organization (or your life). Briefly, those are:
  • Rational - Find things that are working, be specific about the behavior changes you want, and make the destination clear to everyone
  • Emotional - Find a feeling that makes the change worthwhile, and break the change down into achievable parts (reduce the size of the change)
  • Install Systems - Put business processes, systems, checklists, habit triggers and small "wins" in place to ensure compliance and cooperation
Of course, 3 bullet points don't do an entire book justice. The book is filled with ideas, suggestions and examples of accomplishing huge changes, one step at a time. I just received their newsletter, directly applying those ideas:  5 Tips for (Finally) Getting Your New Year's Resolutions Right. I hope it's useful to you on its own, and that it's intriguing enough to prompt you to pick up their book.

By the way, if you'd like to use this in your company, here's a CEBI PowerPoint Book Review, all ready to go (big file -- allow some time for it to open). 

Happy New Year and all the best in 2011 from CEBI!!

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Terry Weaver

Chief Executive Boards International

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