Create rituals that become habits.
The above photo is one I use in talks about goal setting. The quote is from an article is on the HBR Blog Network today by one of the good guys, Tony Schwartz.
Schwartz addresses that routines and rituals, specifically energy rituals – “highly specific behaviors or regimes that you do at the same time every day” help counter the effects of ego depletion. Ego depletion is “the idea that self-control and other mental processes that require focused conscious effort rely on energy that can be used up.” (click here for more information and descriptions of two experiments that illustrate the effects).
I also like Jonathan Haidt’s description from the “Happiness Hypotheses” (also discussed in Chip and Dan Heath’s Switch). He compares the mind to an elephant and rider. The elephant part of the mind is the one that runs on natural instinct and desire, and unoconstrained lumbers along the easiest path. The rider has the job of directing the elephant to go where he wants. Yet the elephant is far larger than the rider so as the rider expends effort he gets tired.
Yup, change is hard. Fascinating stuff.
See on blogs.hbr.org