To initiating change (i.e. taking the first step) in itself is quite difficult to accomplish in the first place. However, initiating change without a suitable strategy to sustain a change management project, will result in ineffective (&unproductive) change behaviours, actions and activities.
Once a change project is properly demarcated, a reliable SWOT-analysis conducted and objectives & a goal identified, its is now the time to put an accountable and realistic Monitoring Cycle in place. The purpose of a Monitoring cycle is to…
- monitor objectives obtained and goal progress made.
- evaluate whether change actions or activities are productive or unproductive for the change goal identified.
- reward yourself, when you are still on the “right track“.
- correct or change actions and activities, if and when derailed in your efforts or as it might be necessary.
To initiate and use a reliable monitoring cycle to monitor, steer or direct a change management project, the following key aspects should – at least – from part of such a monitoring cycle…
[wptabs type=”accordion” style=”wpui-light” mode=”horizontal”][wptabtitle] Set a definite project start date[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]You should determine a date when you will start implementing your change project. It’s important to take this date seriously, so having an “official countdown” process, will kind of help you to remain on track on your way to the “starting line“. Having a definite change start date creates motivation, energy and excitement for initiating your change project. Your aim is to dramatically improve the quality of your life, so you should be (or at least feel) enthusiastic about the start date and the “official countdown” might help you to build spirit and a “I can not wait to start” attitude.[/wptabcontent][wptabtitle] Set a realistic monitoring routine[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]Please do not overemphasis “change perfection“, because most people have a destructive change mind-set of… One mistake equals FAILURE! Nobody is perfect. When you establish an objective (or goal) of “never again“, it leaves you with no wiggle-space when you cave into the temptation of taking the action you’re trying to change. Trust me, we all slip from time to time, so focusing on perfection is not the way to maintain a change project. Often when people have a “100% perfect objective or goal”, they sooner or later develop a “what the hell” attitude, specially when they stumble or make a mistake. WHY? Because they’ve already broken their “never again rule“. So they – subconsciously – frequently decide that since they’ve already done it once, they might as well go on a binge.[/wptabcontent][wptabtitle] Prepare yourself to counteract derailing triggers[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]When you are implementing a change project, it is inevitable that you will be confronted with derailing triggers. Remember, we ain’t “perfect“, and when you are unexpectedly confronted with derailing triggers, and you don’t have some kind of a counteractive measure already in place, you could be easily “overpowered“, suffer a major set-back, get stuck and experience defeat.[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle] Reward your successes[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]Sabotage programs that you want to tweak, adapt, change or get rid of, often stems from a desire to get some kind of subconscious reward (i.e. payoff). Therefore, it’s important to experiment with various rewards options to “fill the vacuum” left behind, when you no longer “execute” the sabotage program. Identify a number of different reward strategies that you can implement whenever you achieve success.[/wptabcontent][wptabtitle] Accommodate the “Hot-Cold Rhythm”[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]”All plans are great until the first shots are fired.” – An old military expression. Every change project strategy looks perfect on paper, but they rarely work “that perfect” when you are confronted with reality. You might do well for awhile, but it’s hard to stick to your new intent, if your life is full of stresses, conflicts and all kinds of derailing triggers. Be aware of the fact that on some days, change activities will work out well (i.e you are hot), but on other days, nothing seems to work (i.e you are cold). Be aware and prepared for this kind of up and down emotions, else you might find yourself discouraged and give up on the change project altogether, if you experience one of your “cold” days. [/wptabcontent][wptabtitle] Avoid punishing yourself[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]Adjust your change actions or activities according to what goes wrong within context and either adapt your actions (when ineffective) or reward yourself (when effective). Please do not punish yourself, because a carrot-stick self-motivation technique, does little else than merely translates into guilt in the long term . The main idea is to give energy to what you want to accomplish or achieve, rather than what you want to “fight“. Punishment is fighting the “perpetrator heads-on“, and by doing so, you give it power and make it “stronger“, which makes it less manageable in the end. Besides, being rewarded for success, is energizing and preferred by plenty people, over being punished for failure.[/wptabcontent][wptabtitle] Build a support network[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]Making a commitment to yourself (to deal with or address change) is only half the battle. Honestly, you cannot make a lasting change on your own and you need to build a support network of people who will help you follow through with your change project. The people, included in your support network, can either “make or break” how successful you are in the end. Therefore, carefully select the individuals that you would like to include as part of your support network, because they are “there” to help and assist you when you feel tempted to backslide, are discouraged, experience some weakness, are dispirited, stressed out or depressed (i.e. individuals that can “cheer you on”, when you need it the most).[/wptabcontent][wptabtitle] Monitor your project strategy daily[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]Managing a change project is like obtaining any other long-term goal. Basically you need daily commitments, reminders and affirmations to successfully stick with the change project. Set aside at least 15 minutes every single day (e.g. between 05:30 to 05:45) to review and monitor you objectives. Go over all your goals and reaffirm your commitment to make a lasting change in your life. And yes… it also include weekends & public holidays, you are most welcome to change the time of day, but you still have to spend you 15 minutes.[/wptabcontent][wptabtitle] Set a project end date[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]Whereas a project start date can be regarded as being “cast in stone“, a change project end date should be seen as a target date only. With a change management project, it is quite easy to “predict” when you will start. But, due to many variables and possible influences, you can merely roughly estimate, how long it might take to successfully conclude your change project. However, to embark on a change project, without some kind of “cut-off” date, you can easily end-up “running” the same “old” change project for the rest of your life. Any and all change projects require an end date, because without a target date, objectives to obtain, goals to achieve and an attitude of “let’s see what happens“, nothing will be accomplished and you will merely run around in circles.[/wptabcontent] [/wptabs]