You may have noticed that we as human beings have a limited ability to pay attention – you know, really be present – which is why we benefit from declaring publicly what we will pay attention to each year. What we pay attention to grows and thrives. This is what makes goal setting, declared intentions, and resolutions a sound strategy.
However, as a result of this inability to be present 100% of the time, we unconsciously design an environment to depend upon, which allows us to free up mental power and the ability to pay attention. To say it simply, we have an unconscious dependence on our environment to determine WHO we will be and WHAT we will do.
So, for real change to occur you MUST actively interrupt your current environment to see real growth and development in any area of your life or business. The loftier the goal, intention, or resolution, the larger the disruption must be.
- Declare your intention, goal, or resolution publicly.
- Do not make the mistake of thinking you will only initiate behavior change from within.
You have to change the environment, or in other words, structures and systems that support the attitude and behaviors – the status quo. Every way of being has an existing structure. Everything you do on a regular basis creates an environmental dependence. If you want to be another way you will have to tear down the structures that support the old way of being. If you want to build a new habit, you must figure out what environment would be conducive to that new behavior.
An example: Let us say that I wanted to change from being overweight and out of shape to being slender and athletic. I would have to change my schedule, what is in the refrigerator, how I shop, who I associate with, the clothes I wear, the books I read, and the shows I watch on television. All my systems (practices, patterns, policies and processes) would have to be evaluated for their ability to support my goal of slender and athletic.
Another example: I am a consultant who has been hired to identify why retention and productivity are so low. It doesn’t take long to identify the culture of hard work, sacrifice, and fear, conditions not conducive to retention and productivity. Some of the systems I will have to dismantle or change are e-mail outside of work hours, late afternoon or early evening meetings, what the managers do and say, how we acknowledge employees and what we acknowledge them for, communication lines, etc.
Again, when you are looking to create something new, or to change a condition or circumstance, you want to evaluate the environment that supports it and determine what needs to be dismantled and what needs to be put in place.
Time and time again I have had to reassure staff, our coaches, or clients that disruption is supposed to happen when people are in our programs. We are in the growth and development business for goodness sake … we take people way outside their area of comfort so they can explore a new possibility. The first thing clients notice when in our programs is that all their old ways of doing things are insufficient for growth. This can appear to be a bad thing until conscious environmental design begins to occur.
There are two pitfalls to avoid when looking at what or how to disrupt, and therefore grow:
- People in your life or business are the largest structure to dismantle, re-train or elicit support from. You cannot design an environment that is conducive to your growth without including others.
- Do not underestimate small environment changes. The simplest of changes can make all the difference. For example; you have a solid declared commitment to eat healthy yet you eat poorly at night and can’t seem to change. Each night you sit in front of the TV and eat whatever you want, while relaxing in your favorite chair. You might: rearrange the living room, move the TV, sit in a different chair, create a family dinner night where everyone sits in the dining room with TV off. Maybe you just get support from your family with never eating while watching TV? Even just one of the environment changes could be the difference.
For more support in having an unprecedented year, consider engaging in one or more of our upcoming programs:
- Inspired Goals Webinar on January 12, 2012 – Join us for an enlightening look at how to set goals that inspire, motivate and support your vision. Give yourself the time and space you need to create your goals this year. You have never done a course quite like this one. People who participate report breakthrough results all year long!
- Leading Change Program starting March 21, 2012 – Learn how to cope with your own fear and lead others through change. Understand self, manage self, understand others, and manage others.
- One-on-one coaching with one of our professional coaches – Our coaches help clients achieve measurable transformation in realizing their personal and professional goals.
I look forward to sharing this adventure with you!
Alicia Marie Fruin
People Biz, Inc. is a coaching and training company that helps clients to achieve measurable transformation in realizing their personal and professional goals. Owner Alicia Marie Fruin has since been coaching, training and helping business owners for over 12 years. Her years of experience as a professional coach, workshop leader and entrepreneur have allowed her to help individuals and businesses reach their optimal potential, improving productivity and increasing profits. More information on coaching and training services offered by People Biz, Inc. can be found online at www.peoplebizinc.com or by calling (512) 989-2230.