Thursday, August 29, 2013

Breaking Habits, and the power of a group of strong women.

A client from my 745 downtown class, Clay, told me about this book a couple of months ago. After reading half of it I organized a goal setting meeting with the LIFT girls. They had to read it! It made such perfect sense on why we do what we do, and if we wanted to change it we can.

The book talk about the power of habits. The outcome of something makes us happy, that something, is what we probably have a goal of doing, or a goal of changing. For instance: running. We cue ourselves by putting our shoes on, the routine is to go run, the reward is us being happy, elated, a certain "high", less stressed or something that we are just feeling better about.

This cue-routine-reward cycle can translate into anything in your life. 

In the book, it talks about how Starbucks taught their baristas to handle stress from screaming patrons, long lines, and fights about if the coffee was right or not. They went into stores and saw that employees had no idea how to handle this kind of stress, often seeing baristas tearing up from the stress of people being outright raging assholes over skim milk lattes. Starbucks taught their employees how to handle moments of high stress by giving them willpower habit loops. The employees were given books with different possible situations that could happen in a store, and then blank paper to write out all of the things you should be doing to handle the situation. The cue is an insane person wanting skim milk, the routine is the LATTE method ( Listen, acknowledge  take action, thank) and the then the reward is a less stressful situation for the employee and the customer is happy.

Bad habits. The reward: you want to feel happy, what makes me happy? A cigarette. So the cue is " Ill have a cigarette, that makes me feel good, and you grab it and put it in your hands. Routine: you smoke it. Reward: the very short lived feeling of happiness. Obviously this is not a cycle most people want to stay in. The cue and the reward are ALWAYS the same. What you have to do is change the routine:

I offer goal setting as part of the LIFT program. I met the ladies over six weeks ago for our initial goal setting. We picked out some reward cycles that we wanted to change. Most importantly we wrote down cycles that would help them achieve their goals. In five weeks from tomorrow we will re visit and see the results!

I challenge you guys to analyze your day. What do you do every day that you wonder "why do I do that?" If its something you want to change, I suggest you pick up this book and figure out how to do it. 

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