How to change behavior in three steps
Thankfully, as a species and as individuals, we know that humans adapt to environmental stimuli.
Behavior changes when we (1) modify the cues (e.g. positive or negative triggers), then
(2) we change the routine (e.g. gestalt, patterns) and
(3) we include regular rewards (e.g. self-care, executive coaching and consulting)
As an example, when you (1) place a white placement at a table, and sit down to eat no more than three times a day (cue), and (2) use a 5” diameter plate that has a smaller serving size than most American restaurants, and refuse to snack (routine), then (3) your reward will be weight loss or weight management.
Same with any behavior change.
Imagine that you are stuck in an undesirable habit, and that you “know you need” some behavior change. For instance, imagine that you desire to build resilience.
Resilience can be defined as “the capacity to adapt successfully in the presence of risk and adversity.”
As a second example, when you pause for 5 seconds before saying or doing your response (cue), using a physical trigger or new activity to anchor the new routine, such as using one hand to pull on each finger of your other hand (routine), then your reward may be guidance from your prefrontal cortex that informs you to reply in some career-enhancing manner. You adapt successfully and build more resilience. Get the idea?
Individual behavior changes faster when others reward us. Find a coach or an accountability partner. You do not need to hire an executive coach or consultant to practice behavior change.