Part I: Changing My Cha-Cha Behavior
Suddenly I realized what my executive coaching clients go through when I try to help them change a behavior. I tell them it takes a least three months before it forms a habit that is integrated into their life.
For me I was all too real as my wife and I were taking ballroom dance lessons. Now we love to dance, and have both had dance training in our backgrounds, so we weren’t new to the dance floor.
But the instructor started with something that I thought I was going to know— but didn’t. I had learned to cha-cha in a very simplistic American way and had done it that way ever since I was a young man.
This instructor, however wanted us to learn the continental way. That started a little differently, and no matter how I tried, I kept wanting todo it the old way. I did finally get and we then learned some fancy additions to the cha-cha step.
So, all is good. Except the next week I forgot the step all over again. I struggled until I finally got it and then picked up on what to do. It still bothered me that I didn’t remember it, though. At the end of this lesson, I asked her if I could videotape the step so that I would remember it. The video did help before the next lesson, but I still had to remind myself to do it the new way and not the old way.
I once again realized that it truly does take three months before something new you learn becomes a new behavior.
QUESTIONS ABOUT CHANGINGYOUR BEHAVIORS
1. Are you trying to practice a new behavior?
2. Do you get it the first time, or does it take practice?
3. Once you learn it do you check up on yourself occasionally so that you haven’t reverted back to the old way?
4. Do you regularly assess how you do what you do and change things up when you should?