Kind of like the Texas two-step, there are two fairly simple moves that will help you change your habits. In this world where we have so many choices and distractions, it’s especially important to keep it simple - and fun.
Do you want to be more approachable in your leadership role? Do you need to be more direct? Perhaps you need to stop being the White Knight and be more of a team player? Do you want to be more humorous, or professional, or nice?
Whatever the change, and whether you want to add a little jingle and a dance to it or not, you can change your behavior with these two steps.
The first step starts with asking yourself the “why” question:
Why do you want to change this behavior? How will it benefit you if you do? How will it hurt you if you don’t?
This step is the most important because if you don’t have a purpose for changing, you won’t make the change. Or at best, you’ll do it for a little while, to satisfy someone else perhaps (or a short-term, more surface need you have), but you’ll go right back to your old habits. This is where you need to shift your thoughts and beliefs. If you don’t have a meaningful reason for the change, don’t expect it to last.
For example, why would I want to be more approachable? For one, people will feel comfortable asking me the important questions if I'm approachable, rather than waste time trying to figure it out, or worse yet, procrastinating about things. It will ultimately save me time and build relationships and trust.
The second step is visualization. Visualize yourself performing the new behavior. Believe you can be the way you want to be.
This step is critical to move you in the right direction. It makes the impossible seem more possible. The image alone will help you take action in the right direction. The belief is the force that will drive you.
Can you image what you are like when you are more approachable? How do you look, feel, talk, connect? Visualize yourself more effective and efficient while exhibiting the look, feel and talk of being more approachable. With these two steps alone you’ll feel the shift immediately. You’ll see it happening instantaneously.
And hey, if you like the 2-step and want to take it two more steps, add in:
Practice, physically, moving the muscle. This creates momentum and makes it easier as you go. Things feel more familiar and your mind and body will be less likely to slip back to old habits.
Feedback, get other people’s perceptions. Building a network around you to support you while you are changing will help others see the new you and it allows them to act differently toward you. They may need help visualizing you a different way before they begin to believe and support your change.
Just like everything else in life, to make this change you have to actually take the steps. And similar to the Texas Two-Step, you can dance and have fun with it. Let us know what habit you’re going to change with the two-step!