Anchoring Your Why?

It is interesting to note, that the Farm Safety Nova Scotia Mind the G.A.P. FARM-FARM-FARM campaign aligns with Dr Bill Howatt’s  process in readying ourselves for change and how that change may be anchored to become a habit.  Dr Howatt from Howatt HR says we have two brain centers, the Administrator Brian and the Caveman Brain.  The Administrator Brain involves our conscious decisions and actions while the Caveman Brain is built for survival, and may not always give us good advice.  In Mind the G.A.P., we speak to the Fast Brain and the Slow Brain.  The Fast Brain which is our reactive automatic thinking and the Slow Brain being our thoughtful reflective side.  Fast Brain like Caveman Brain can result in frequent errors and Slow Brain like Administrator Brain when used, will result in fewer errors.

We need to engage the Slow Brain or Administrator Brain to affect change.   This allows us to assess our readiness for change.  Our readiness for change can be blocked into three categories:  Red, Yellow and Green.

In order to anchor your motivation for change you need to be clear on your purpose.  We work from the outside of “what” to the middle of “how” to the inside of “why”.

  • “What” is quite easy to establish as it is the outcome you are looking for.
  • “How” is a bit more challenging as you need to figure out what you are going to do and establish a process, plan or strategy to get it done.
  • “Why” is the most difficult as it is hard to explain the purpose, cause or belief for change but once it is established, it can increase the likelihood of maintaining or “resetting” our motivation.

Long Term Motivation

There are two ways to anchor long term motivation.  First by defining your personal values and second, by establishing goals.

Your personal values are things that are important to you and define who you are as a person.  You can link your change to these values.

Steps to setting your personal values:

  1. Review a list of common values and write down the words that resonate with you
  2. Group like words together into larger categories (keep it to a maximum of 5 categories).
  3. Pick one word from the category that resonates the most with you.
  4. Pick one behaviour you are currently doing that demonstrates each value.
  5. Pick one behaviour you would like to do that aligns to your values.
  6. Keep yourself accountable.
    • Provide a list of 10 values to three people
    • Ask them to pick the 5 they feel best resembles you.

When establishing goals, ensure they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely (SMART).

Barriers in Motivation to Change

There are two main barriers that can decrease your motivation for change and interfere with the change itself, negative self-talk and the expectation to fail.

Negative Self-Talk

Expectation to Fail

When facing failure with a negative perception it can make the same goal seem less attainable, distort your perception, increase feelings of helplessness, performance anxiety, and create an unconscious “fear of failure”  “It isn’t a question of if you will fall off the wagon, but how quickly can you get back on.”

How to Anchor Your Why?

Forming a new habit requires a trigger, motivation and reward to sustain overtime.

Success factors:

  • Be clear what you will do.
  • Ensure you have competencies.
  • What is realistic for you.
  • What supports are available to you.
  • Make a social contract tell, others about your plan.
  • Be mindful of your personal resources (time, money).
  • Using small changes, and wins to create larger change.
  • Journal/log process important keep a record. When it is written it will get done.

As we establish our new normal post COVID-19, what changes will you make?  Why will you make the change?  What personal values will you use to instill the change?

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