One Behavior At A Time

Added on by Arturo Gutierrez.

I have a few behaviors I'd like to change, enhance, or otherwise adopt completely this coming year. Being fully aware that behavioral change is not only difficult but often characterized as doable through anecdotal approaches (30 day challenge, etc), I've come to realize that for me, writing out a plan, and methodically thinking through each step, each day, is the most effective way to accomplish a goal, one goal at a time.


A lot of what I learned about behavioral change I picked up at IE Business School in a course taught by Lee Newman. Today, writing for Forbes, Professor Lee Newman provided some sound advice on accomplishing behavioral change at work. Great read, especially his thoughts on making it social and creating risk. 

 Summiting Grand Teton this summer.

Summiting Grand Teton this summer.

Earlier this year in another Forbes article, the 21 day habit forming theory was challenged. In it I found value in some thoughts pieced together by Tom Bartow, an esteemed business coach, as he walks through his three phase model for habit adoption. I know, another anecdote, but of many models I've come across, some of the details here are worth noting.




In particular, in phase two of three, what he calls the fight through, he raises a question that should ultimately be thought through by anyone setting and working through goals; "...What will your life be like in five years if you do not start making changes?" In thinking this through, you can only answer this question if you are being completely honest and sincere about an outcome if change does not occur.


That view into a future state should work as a motivating factor to follow through with daily practice of change. A complement to a well thought out strategy. For some of my personal goals, one of which involves dunking a basketball again by January 15th!...which has really crept up on me, the time horizon should have obviosuly been moved up and accompanied by other variables in the ability to actually dunk a basketball, like:

  1. how many lbs should I lose?
  2. how should I modify my plyometric routine?
  3. how should I adjust my diet?

So I would add, that while you are thinking of what to envision in one, two, five years from now, also devise a strategy with a timeline; track your progress (many great apps out there, EverestSmart Goals, Goalsie), include an element of the social radar (involve friends, a gamification app, etc), and include all the variables in your plan that need to be aligned and working together in order to achieve that goal. 

I have two weeks to dunk... I'll provide an update :)


- arturo gutierrez