The New Year 2022 is not yet old, so resolutions are still fresh. (Even though I posted this article at the beginning of 2021, it still seems relevant to me). So, have you also made any at the turn of the year? To live healthier, to exercise more, to reduce stress, to finally set up the web shop, to have more staff meetings, to make the organisation more agile, and, and, and. How many of your past resolutions have you actually put into practice? In other words, did you really decide to tackle and implement a change, or did you just make it up as you went along? A resolution alone is not a decision to actually take practical action.
Intention or decision?
The decision to give up smoking was made from the outside. My husband, my boyfriend at the time, said: “If you want to be my girlfriend, you have to give up smoking.” That gave me a lot of motivation to persevere through the cessation phase. The kindergarten opening hours used to be another external trigger that made it easier for me to decide to leave the workplace on time, but when I started my own business, I had to make decisions more and more on my own. And then one day during my morning exercises, it suddenly became clear to me what it takes:
What is your purpose?
A clear idea of the goal to be achieved – so why am I doing this at all? In this case, because I want to maintain my mobility even at an older age and, in addition to this thought, I also have an inner image of myself as an old woman who can still put on her own stockings without any problems.
- What is the goal you want to achieve?
- Do you have a picture of your why?
Do the rattle test
Then I asked myself the question: “Do I really want to do this? And Is it so important to me that I will spend 30min every day on it?” Before I said “yes”, I put the subject: regular gymnastics on something of a rattle test: How will I deal with it if things don’t work out? When I don’t feel like it? What do I do when I go on business trips or holidays? What do I do when I’m ill? Etc. And for each situation I have developed a little inner film of how it will be when I implement my resolution to remain flexible under these circumstances and in which situations I will not do so. I also looked at the necessary conditions, such as do I really need a gym mat? What to do if there is not much space? What if I get to bed late? etc. What framework conditions does your goal achievement need? For example, do you want to work regularly on a concept paper/strategy like one of my coaching clients? How much time on which days do you want to dedicate to this topic? Does the topic have a clear start and end date or is it valid until further notice? What consequences need to be taken into account, i.e. do you need to communicate with your family, in your home office or with your colleagues, do you need to book a working space, do you need to put important documents in a fixed place, etc.?
The contract with yourself
After my scenarios were clear to me, I made a kind of inner contract with myself on the subject of regular gymnastics, named a clear start date and began in 2011. Since then, I have enjoyed keeping my contract with few exceptions.
What would your contract on your issue look like in concrete terms? It can also help to put it in writing and work on it until you can say: “I will stand by this contract with myself and keep it”.
The most important prerequisite for successful self-organisation is therefore the actual, clear decision made, the contract with yourself: “from today on I will… “and to describe what follows as concretely as possible.
This all becomes even more challenging and complex, of course, when it is not just about me alone, but about a team commitment or even about changing the organisational culture. This also depends first on clear decisions and agreements, on the real “yes” of those involved to the agreed topic. The process itself remains the same.
Have a good start
Yours, Harriet Kretschmar