So, how are you doing on your New Year’s resolutions? Have you exercised like you promised yourself you would? Are you eating healthier, like you said you would? What about the other commitments you made; like being nicer to that really irritating person at work? Why is it so hard to make these changes that we know are good for us?
One of the reasons it is so difficult to change is that we are surrounded by triggers; “…stimulus that reshapes our thoughts and actions.” These triggers cause us to lose sight of the goals we set for ourselves. The candy on receptionists desk makes us forget that we are on a diet. If we didn’t sleep well, that becomes an excuse not to exercise. The release of the whole season of your favorite TV show on Netflix becomes the reason for not going to bed early and instead you stay up late which results in you being grumpy and non productive the whole next day. Our environment triggers us constantly and yet we are often totally unaware of those triggers at all.
Goldsmith knows what he is talking about. He has worked with many companies and their executives to help them change behaviours that were preventing them from getting ahead. This book is filled with stories from his experiences in helping people change their behaviour so that they become the people they want to be.
I found Goldsmith’s insights to be very helpful. It made me realize that I carry some of the belief triggers regarding change that are keeping me from making the changes that I say that I want to make. Belief triggers like: “Today is a special day” or “My change will be permanent and I will never need to worry again” which keep me from fully committing to making the changes I want to make and keep me from being vigilant. Additionally, the chapter entitled “We are Superior Planners and Inferior Doers” was very eye opening. Goldsmith reminds us that within each of us there is a bifurcated individual. We are partly a planner and partly a doer. In the morning when we wake up and plan the day ahead, we are the planner. We think about the day and make a plan and expect that our plan will be easily accomplished. But as the day progresses and we have to deal with an emergency, or realize that the person whose contribution is critical has not done their part, or the computer crashes, we begin to see the whole plan fall apart. By the end of the day the doer who is supposed to accomplish the plan has lost energy, motivation and self-discipline and the plan was not accomplished. Goldsmith has some great insights in how we can change this disconnect between the planner and the doer which I found very helpful.
Making changes in behaviour is hard! But with some insight, perseverance and some very good practical advice, Goldsmith gives us the tools to make it happen.
Brenda’s Rating: ****( 4 out of 5 Stars)
Recommend this book to: Keith, Sharon, Marian, Lauren and Ken
Book Study Worthy? Yes
Read in ebook format.