Depend on Yourself
The PressPlay Lifestyle is a series phases with tools that can be used to design your best self – even when you feel like your worst self. You can find a summary of here. The first step of the lifestyle is Discover, you can learn more about discovery here. The second step is Design, you can learn more about design here. The third step is Develop, you can learn more about develop here. The fourth step is Dry Run, you can learn more about it here. The fifth step is Distribute, you can learn more here. Now we are moving on to the last step in the process – Depend.
Depend on Yourself
Change work is hard. We have done a ton of work to try to find out who you want to be and then took steps to get you there. Now you are that person – at least for that one skill or the one role that you are working on. Yet, this is the part where most of us fall down. We do our new habit for 28 days and we think that we have it licked. We forget that it took 20, 30, 40, even 50 years to form the old self in the first place. So we need to put in place a few things to make success inevitable.
What is making success inevitable? We, let’s say one of the things you were working on was being consistent with your daily workouts. You did some deep discovery and found that you really wanted to be fit so you could do a lot of other things. Maybe during the Dry Run phase you did some workouts at home, some at the gym, or some at a Kickboxing club that you really like. You were able to get into a nice rhythm, you liked how it made you feel, and you are sure that you made this new habit stick. Okay, so how do you continue to make sure the new habit sticks?
One tactic is to make it inevitable. So, if you found that you really liked doing your workouts at the gym, then make sure part of your new routines are putting your gym clothes in your bag at night. The whole idea is to habit link things that you are already doing consistently to be triggers for you to keep doing the new habit consistently. This habit changing will help you know you can depend on yourself to follow through. You will start to do things without thinking anymore, not because this new habit is necessarily ingrained, but because the habits that you surround it with are.
The real goal of the Depend step is create a sustainable and maintainable new lifestyle and capability. Part of doing that is wrapping it around things that are already working – even if that is just linking it to brushing your teeth in the morning or linking it to your shower routine. The key is to connect it to things you already do without thinking.
The Admire Skill
You might think this is silly, but learning to admire your accomplishments is a skill and it is important. Do you like being told you did a great job by your boss, your spouse, your friend, maybe someone your are inspired by? If yes, then think about how good it would feel if you started telling yourself that you are doing a great job.
Look, not everyone is going to notice that you started going to the gym every day. People important to you might not notice that you made a really small tweak to your life that is going to make a huge impact on your lifestyle. So we have to take time to look in the mirror and tell that person they did a good job. We have to learn to stroke our own egos, so when there are no fans in the bathroom, we still remember to floss.
It is hard to keep doing things that you do not feel appreciated for. For example, the dishes just seem to get done by our family. Our kids only notice when there are no dishes left. They do not thank their father or I for them getting done, they only complain when they are not. Now apply this to going to the gym, or whatever your change has been. You have to be your own cheerleader here. You have to appreciate yourself, otherwise you will begin to resent the new habit for taking away time or energy or things you had time to do before.
Start Doing the Work
There is a process in ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) Therapy called “maintenance”. During this process, the children in therapy are given tasks to complete that they have already mastered and they are continually rewarded for doing so. The reason is simple, while we might learn something, we often fill our heads with new knowledge. We have to be reminded of things, even the things we know. And second, we have to be rewarded for remembering. Otherwise, we forget the things we know since they are considered insignificant to our subconscious.
I encourage you to create a habit linking your new skill to old ones that are pretty engrained. Then I encourage you to literally look in the mirror when you remember to do the new thing and say out loud, nice job. Try to smile when you do it. It will make you want to smile for real. If nothing else, the silliness of it all will make you smile and your day will start off fun.
Looking forward to hearing from you on if you found this helpful. The next step, you guessed it, is to start from the beginning. Discover the next thing you want to see in your life and work the process. Consider linking the new thing to this one – because you will be very focused on learning the new habit, this one will be linked to those that are already working, and you can give yourself a healthy dose of inevitable success.