It’s that time of the year when we make our resolutions. And then most of the time fail to do the work to change. Because, face it, changing is hard. If it were easy to change we wouldn’t have to make resolutions, we’d wake up, decide to change and do it.
I wish change were that easy. According to Chip Heath and Dan Heath, it can be easier if you tap into a few keys that make changing easier. They explore these ideas in their book Switch. I’m going to spend my Monday’s in January following up on the ideas in the book and hopefully give people a little boost in making the necessary changes in their lives to keep their 2012 goals.
To simplify and begin, we all have two parts of our brain when we make our choices.
We have the rational side who wants us to change and get up every morning to exercise before we sit down and write two thousand words of the next great novel, and then head in and put in our best day of work ever. Heath’s call this the Rider part of our brain.
We have the emotional side who hits the snooze button six more times and pulls the blanket up a little higher because it’s cold out and decide we’ll write later, because our writing isn’t that good anyway. The Heath’s call this the Elephant part of our brain, a good term since if we were sitting on an Elephant and it didn’t want to listen, it would just run us over, which is what our emotional side often does.
I love Switch because it’s universal, it can be stretched or shrunk to apply to any situation and any size. It can work on a personal level and also for big corporations (one of the stories in the books is how one guy made some spending changes within the US government).