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25 Aug

How to steer away from old tracks


Date: 2010-08-25 10:35 Comments: 0 st

When you decide to improve your personal structure in some way, by starting to work with new tools, by from now on planning your time differently or even simply stop doing something you have done before, it is easy to slip back into old habits, into a rut.

??Your new approach works brilliantly for a while, but suddenly comes one of those days when everything is turned upside down. ??It has happened to me and it happens to most people I have met.

Don’t fall into the trap of despair

When this happens, it’s easy to think:

“I am lousy. Now I slipped into the hole again. I’m hopeless. That structure thing seems to work for others but not for me. It is no use in trying.”

??
But, to think like this isn’t particularly productive. You give up, you feel depressed and it’s with heavy steps you go to work the next morning.??Instead, think like this:

“Whoops! Everything just fell apart. Just have to start all over again, but maybe I need to make a few adjustments first.”

We want the best for ourselves

As I see it, we have a whole lot of universal human needs that we try to meet and fulfill to feel happy and satisfied in our lives. Some I spontaneously come to think of are:

  • Love
  • Security
  • Inspiration
  • Joy
  • Pleasure
  • Nutrition
  • Variation
  • Challenge
  • Community
  • Freedom
  • ... and many more.

If we do something else than we intend to, we did not do it because we are lazy, bad or evil deep down, but because we were trying to satisfy one of our needs.?? So, think about what need you were trying to meet by doing what you did (when you chose the old track instead of the new one).

Have it both ways

Are you able to adjust your new way of working so that you can meet that need, and at the same time do things in the new way you have chosen to work in??? For example, you do it differently than you have decided because it feels easier or perhaps because you’re used to doing it that way. Can you make it just as easy to work with the new way by:

  • Tagging or marking the boxes overly explicit, so that you don’t have to hesitate?
  • Create a letter template so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel again and again?
  • Move those things to a place you pass often anyways, so you do not have to remember to take a detour to be able to do it the new way?
  • Make a checklist so you can check off each step, and so that you do not have to recall what to do and in what order every time?
  • Move or remove things to make it more complicated to do it the old way rather than in the new?

Make it easy to do the “right” thing

Remember, if you slip back into a rut; change the external conditions so the easiest thing to do is to do it the new way.

  • Fill the old, beaten track
  • Get wider tires, so that they don’t fit in the old tracks
  • Make the new ruts deeper, so you have difficulty getting out

How do you do it?

How do you act to get out of the old wheel tracks that you no longer want to drive and be stuck in?

Please leave a comment below.

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