What are the small rewards and celebrations that will keep you motivated? When you reward the behavioral changes, the long term results will show up. For example, let’s say you’re working towards improving your health. The behaviors you’ll want to reward may include eating less and eating better; a mix of exercise including strength, stretching and cardio exercise. If you can celebrate progress with small rewards, you’ll reinforce the good behaviors. Can you think of some you might use to your benefit? What are some personal or social rewards you could put in place? Think small, think now.
The final source of influence relates to your environment. What are you doing to reinforce and support the behaviors that will bring you what you want? Are you able to keep things close and convenient that support you? Are you distancing yourself from those things that tempt you? You can put up cues that help you stay on track. Are you using tools to help you track and stay aware of what you’re doing? Are you structuring good choices as a default in your life?
Retooling your space, creating systems, and using tools and routines to help you stay on track, are all useful. Examples for weight loss might be removing unhealthy food choices from your environment. Or using tools to track your food intake and exercise. Do you have a regular fitness routine? If you’re working on your financial health, maybe you want to save more and spend less. Setting up automatic deposits and paying your savings account first is a common first step for supporting that behavior. Are you tracking everything? Are you completing a weekly financial check-in? Maybe you’re using a tool like Quicken to help you track and manage your budgets. (If I'd used my automated tools while travelling this week, my Monday Morning Minute would have been sent out on time!)
As you experiment with reinforcing the new behaviors, you can continue to adjust and modify as you learn to address obstacles, challenges and excuses that move you off track. When you consciously use all six sources of influence to help you create change, you're truly investing in yourself!