This week marks the end of summer and return to school for millions of students and parents around the world. Summer seems to go so quickly; time passes by and before you know it another summer is over! Can we bear to admit that another summer has come and gone? As we all know, the seasons will continue to change, and with that change comes the realisation that life will be much more busy in the coming months.
In preparation for this, it may be a good thing to consider critical habits that will make life more manageable. Critical habits are small changes to your current situation that will have a much larger effect. Everyone is familiar with New Year’s resolutions, but how about a new list of Back to School Habits?
In 2009 PSYBlog released a post entitled, “How Long to Form a Habit.” The research showed that there was a curved relationship between practice and automaticity. Which is to say, after you practise a new habit for a certain length of time, it will be as much of a habit as it will ever become. This study stated that the plateau occurred after 66 days of practising a new habit. If you begin your new habits today, think of what goals you will be able to accomplish in the coming months!
The key to sticking with a new habit is to have a goal. In Agile terms, this is called Agile Goal Setting (AGS). It involves tailoring your goal to what is important to your current situation. The purpose of AGS is to create goals that fit into your lifestyle. The goals that you create for yourself need to be integrated into your lifestyle without overwhelming you. When Agile goals are broken down, these tiny outcomes lead to significant impacts in your life. AGS immediately highlights how the goal will help you in making decisions that directly affect your current situation. Building critical habits will make small changes to the status quo, in a way that allows you to reach your goal. Building on each lower level of habit, will create a solid foundation that works towards longer term goals.
For example: Your Agile goal is to improve your overall health. In order to make a significant change to your health you must change your diet, drink more water, and exercise more frequently. All of these changes are small but will have a significant impact over time. These new habits: diet, exercise, and water intake are critical to the success of your agile goal.
Combining Agile Goal Setting and the building of critical habits in a project management environment, allows each stage of a project to be consolidated and embedded before the next level is reached. It is important to recognise each accomplishment you make. It is not easy for an organisation to change routines! Reward yourself and embrace change with flexibility and adaptability.