By Dr. Harry Tennant


by Harry Tennant
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Entries with keyword: change
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Friday, September 9, 2011

Can you can change anything?

The book Change Anything: The new science of personal success by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler brings together ideas and prescriptions for change. The premise is that expecting to change yourself in significant ways based on will power alone is likely to fail. Successful change is not a matter of will power but is based on a collection of skills. And the good news is, the skills can be developed.

Six sources of influence and what to do about them

Motivation Ability

Connect with goals at crucial moments

Visit your default future if you don't change

Motivate yourself with vivid stories

Link desired behaviors to your values

Make it a game

Create a personal motivation statement

Change involves learning new skills

Start with a skill scan

Employ deliberate practice

Will is a skill, not a character trait...develop it through deliberate practice


Turn accomplices of your bad habits into friends helping you change

Know who perpetuates your bad habits (accomplices) and who helps you change (friends)

Redefine "normal"

Get a coach

Hold a transformation conversation to turn an accomplice into a coach or fan

Add new friends

Distance yourself from the unwilling


Link short-term rewards and punishments to the new habits you're trying to form

Use carrots and the threat of losing carrots

Use incentives in moderation

Reward small wins

Change your environment to help you focus on goals

Build fences: things you will not do, places you will not go

Keep good things close and convenient and bad things distant and difficult

Use visual cues

Make desired behavior the default behavior

Use tools such as computers, calendars, your phone, a change log and others to keep your goals in mind

"Those who marshal the six sources of influence are  ten times more likely to succeed than those who don't."
Turn bad days into good data
I like their approach of viewing yourself as a subject of study rather than as someone who shall be judged based on behavior. We all stumble along the way. The point is to learn from the mistakes and move on. That's how you change a bad day into good data.
You may look at this table and think, I know all that stuff. Nothing new here. But here's the point: knowing it doesn't help much. They key is to develop and apply the skills. There are lots of forces in our lives enticing us to our undesirable behaviors. It takes serious effort to counteract those and make change happen. The more of these skills that support change you can bring to bear simultaneously, the greater the likelihood of successful change.

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Keywords: change

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