Our eldest son is due to sit his A-Levels next summer. He’s previously crammed for his exams, but that approach is proving less successful over time. As a result, I’m trying to help him to create a daily routine of learning. For example, he’s starting to spend 10-minutes a day reading a newspaper article.

Elsewhere, I’ve been coaching a director of a business who feels that he’s not in charge of his time. As a result, he’s not delivering on his priorities well enough. We’ve looked at his calendar and found that he’s spending too much time on low level work that could – and should – be done by others. One solution he’s working on is to ‘triage’ his work each morning and delegate the less important stuff.

Both of them found these new behaviours easy for the first two or three days. But then other stuff got in the way and they stopped doing it. The problem was that these new behaviours hadn’t yet become a habit.

The solution to help turn new behaviours into habits is to also create a support system. For my son, I print out an article each day and place it on his desk. For my coaching client, his PA now prompts his triage activity so that he doesn’t forget.

New behaviours require structure and support if they’re going to become habits. What new behaviours are you trying to develop? And what support do you have to turn them into a habit?


Off The Record: Hard Habit To Break by Chicago


Being without you is all a big mistake
Instead of getting any easier,
It’s the hardest thing to take
I’m addicted to you
You’re a hard habit to break


© Stuart Cross 2019. All rights reserved.