I recently read an article that talked about how we can often focus too much on the destination, the goal, and not enough on the systems in place that will get us there.
I wish I could find the article. Nevertheless, it confirmed what I have been thinking about lately; how our environments, systems, and processes will either help us or prevent us from reaching our goals. Modifying our behavior is key, but it must be done within a system of processes that support sustained change.
For example, if we are having trouble getting to work on time, waking earlier may be the solution. Notice, I said may be. For this hypothetical, let’s assume that's one of the main issues. The problem is that you keep hitting snooze so you still wake up later than anticipated. You promise it will be different tomorrow, and it is.
The following morning you hit the snooze button only once, so that is better. The next day however, you slip back into old patterns and hit the snooze button multiple times and low and behold you're rushing out the door at the last minute, again. We all have been there at one time or another.
What if you tweaked your system by changing your processes? Instead of keeping your alarm by your bed, you put it close enough where you can hear it, but far away enough that you have to get up to turn it off. Once you're up, your up. In this case you changed the process of how you turn off your alarm.
This process is one part of a system that will support building a habit of not rushing out of the house in the mornings...at least pre-Covid-19.
So not only do we need an effective system, we need processes that support the system. According to research,
Processes are all the related activities (parts) inside the system that work together to make it function. ... Additionally, processes are a smaller part of the larger system. It's important that processes are effective at what they do so that the system can run efficiently.
The system is made of processes which all have tasks, which again all have processes; meaning HOW you complete the task.
Couple this with the task of laying out your clothes before going to bed. Layered with the habit of preparing your lunch the night before and add on planning what you will eat for breakfast to cut down decision making.
Taken together, this is an example of a system that supports your goal of getting to work on time. When we perpetually focus on tweaking our processes, the goals will take care of themselves.
What processes in your system do you need to tweak to get your desired results? Join me on Wednesday, December 14 for a FREE mini workshop on Tools & Tips to Make Habits Stick.
Cheering you on,