Make your RESOLUTIONS a REALITY! (18 TopMind Tips)

This has been a really good year for me, my family and my business.

A big thanks to YOU and to everyone who has contributed to it. Especially my wife Lies, my parents, my friends, the TopMind Toppers (our Team) and certainly all our TopMinds (also known as ‘clients’).


Why has this year been a success?  

The main reason is that I have managed to design a couple of daily routines and turned them into habits (see some of these routines below). This positively impacted my business, my health, my relationships and various other areas of my work and private life.

How we can mould, shape and change the habits of individuals is what this blog is about. It is partly based on the book by Charles Duhigg, the Power of Habit. And you' ll find out that it is easier than you think!

These are the days for looking back, reflect, evaluate and plan ahead for the next year. At yearend it is again time to turn resolutions into reality! But this is not as easy as it seems to be.

More than 80% of all personal change initiatives and more than 70% of organizational change initiatives FAIL (Mc Kinsey/ HBR). 25% of all people give up within a week. It takes at least 70 days to instill a new habit in your life. University of Scranton research suggests that merely 8% of people achieve their New Year's goals. Realizing sustained change is very hard and for most it seems impossible. 

However some people succeed… HOW? 

What is the secret behind turning plans into tacit results? The secret is: TURNING an INTENTION into a HABIT. Habits are actions people initially decide to do deliberately and then keep doing subconsciously. Habits, scientists say, emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save on effort.

When a habit takes shape, the brain stops participating fully in decision making. It stops working hard. So unless you deliberately fight a habit or unless you find new routines, the pattern will unfold automatically. You can change your habits if you learn how habits operate. All habits can be described in a repetitive process of three stages:

  • A cue
  • A routine
  • A reward 

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A cue is a specific reminder that propels a person into a routine to reach the goal of a reward. 

So how can we instill this process for a new routine or replace a bad one? In our TopMind Training we use 3 equally important strategies in parallel to help turning intentions into reality: 

  • Repeat
  • Remind
  • Reward

Repeat

Habits, scientists say, emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save on effort. Left to its own devices, the brain will try to make almost any routine into habit, because habits allow our minds to ramp down more often. This effort-saving instinct is a huge advantage.

Repetition is the master of skill.
Aristotles

You can help the brain ingrain a habit by repeating a routine to develop the neurological pathways that sustain it. 

If you have kids you may recall how you helped them develop the habit of brushing their teeth... If you keeping supervising them, at the same time of the day, in a specific place and with the same routine, after a while they will recall the habit and even do it on their own. 

Developing a habit is just a matter of "frapper toujours". However, repeating a routine in our daily hectic lives consistently is not easy, because we tend to forget doing it. So we need something to have us...

Remind

So many of us have such an overloaded schedule and have to digest so much information and impulses that it is hard to stay on track on the issues you really consider important. So make sure you find a way to remind yourself frequently of the issues you want to turn into reality and stay on track...

Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.
Samuel Johnson

For example, If you want to start running each morning, it helps if you choose a simple reminder or cue (like leaving your running clothes next to your bed). 

Reward

What we see as a rewards differs from one person to another. Some experience a tap on the shoulder as a reward, some like to see a factual measured result as a reward. 

If there is no reward, there is no reason to run.
Bangambiki Habyarimana

To continue with the example, If you want to start running each morning, it’s also very helpful that you choose a clear reward (such as a midday treat).

The challenge here is to find a reward that fits your needs and sustains your efforts. Many of our clients like to measure the effect of something, which is the reason why we provide them with feedback every week or month. But just as many clients feel charged by a human contact and positive encouragement. That’s the reason why we personally support them briefly on a daily basis and somewhat longer monthly. 


At TopMind we developed a way to REPEAT, REMIND and REWARD...

... our clients to help them develop healthy habits. The effects and benefits are  positive, and we have a number of affordable programs available to help you in 2018.

This is how it works:

  1. In a one on one session by phone, an experienced psychologist will help you define a personal goal and personal plan of action.
  2. Together you will draft a list of track points, i.e. questions that indicate on what you want to work on.
  3. Per TrackPoint you set a clear target and specify a starting point.
  4. We contact you daily at a fixed time by phone, personally or by SMS (REPEAT). 
  5. We present the questions/ track points (REMIND), you answer and we collect your answers in a database.
  6. We let you know at the end of the week or month to what extent you have achieved what you intended to achieve (REWARD).
  7. Moreover, we arrange expert support (experienced psychologists), on a one on one basis as a form of reward and encouragement.  

See a explanatory video below.



And if you want to get some ideas about the habits you can develop in 2018, here are 18 to get you started... (better: start with one or two ;)

  1. Exercising for 15 minutes at low intensity first thing in the morning will kick-start your day
  2. Your work is practice. Give yourself 100% to the practice. 
  3. Simply give your client ten times the value they expect is the best form of marketing possible.
  4. If you’re not scared, you’re not growing. Discomfort and even pain is a reflection of growth.
  5. Fast a few times a week to reset your system and boost your vitality.
  6. Find a coach or mentor as all top performers in business and sports do. You are not the 0,1 % exception!  
  7. Rest is often the most productive thing you can do.
  8. Celebrate small wins and you’ll unleash a huge amount of momentum and positive energy (Robin Sharma).
  9. Taking a cold shower first thing in the morning will boost your health, focus and happiness. 
  10. Transform your fitness and you’ll transform your business.
  11. The person who chases two rabbits will catch neither (Confucius). Focus. Focus. Focus.
  12. Spend time in meditation daily. You are not able to do solid quality work if your brain is over stimulated (and it usually is!).
  13. To achieve the results only 5% of people achieve, have the discipline to do what only 5% of people are willing to do.
  14. Cheap is very expensive (Robin Sharma).
  15. Visualize your top 3 midterm goals each day for 3 minutes. If you can see it, hear it, smell it, feel it… you can do it.  
  16. Prepare your day and week by writing down your TOP 3 wishes. It will increase your focus and boost job-satisfaction.  
  17. End your day writing down 3 things  you are  grateful for. It will program your brain for success. 
  18. Finding 30 minutes to be still is the most productive thing you can do.   


To help you REMIND, REPEAT and REWARD your intended routines in 2018 we will launch a NEW YEARS 'Make your resolution a reality' offer. You will be able to choose from 3 variants matching your needs and budget. 

Hope this was of help again. And we will offer you some more. Watch our posts in the coming days!

On to a TopMind in 2018!

AJ

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