Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Triggered Action = Sustainable Change

As a change advocate, I have my share of quitting programs and slacking off. There have been periods when I just don't want to go to the gym anymore. Sometimes I just have to drink soda. I have tried the vegetarian diet too many times. And, those are just the health-related examples.

If you've read the post on Committing to Change (http://bit.ly/commit2change) you'll see the different ways you can start a change in your behavior. It can be as easy and comfortable as trying it out once up to the most difficult commitment of a lifetime. The Trigger method will help you continue your behavior.

STEP 1: Determine the behavior you want or don't want.
STEP 2: Figure out its type from the Spectrum of Behavior Change.
STEP 3: List down the times, events & contexts that trigger the negative behavior.
STEP 4: List down the times, events & contexts that trigger the positive behavior.
STEP 5: Reinforce the positive triggers by seeking support from people who care.
STEP 6: Imagine your actions from the perspective of the Happy Hex.

Time Triggers: These are periodic moments in your life. They could be hourly, daily, a number of times in a day, a week, a month. They could also be seasonal.

Event Triggers: These conditions are controlled by activities that you do at any time. For example, when I am driving, I decided long ago that I will not shout or fight with the people outside, after a swim in a public pool I decide to always take a shower, or after every time I go to the toilet I need to wash my hands.

Context Triggers: These may be specific locations. Every time I'm with the boss, I will be assertive and share my creative ideas. These could also be individuals or groups I am with on a regular basis. For instance, if I'm in school I make it a point to speak in complete sentences.

A biochemist-monk speaks about the Habits of Happiness.

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