Last week, did you ask yourself this question: “What’s one NEW rule I’m going to use right now to create positive change in my every day?” Perhaps you feel questions like this are a luxury that will have to wait until you can answer more pressing ones: questions like, “What’s one thing I can do right now to get everyone to this Christmas program tonight (without excess traffic, homework or dinner drama)?” Or “What in the world was my boss thinking when he scheduled another meeting right in the middle of two other important meetings?”
I get it. But instead of waiting to feel ready for a big subject like “positive change,” consider changing the rules a bit and start changing them before you feel ready. Here’s one that creates positive change right now: Stop following rules that don’t work for the Real You.
NEW RULE: Ditch or Modify Rules that Don’t Work
I know . . . blatantly obvious, right? But we usually don’t feel we have the time or perspective to examine whether something is really working. If you missed last week’s post, it’s worth thinking more about WHY some rules you use in your life are worth challenging. It’s definitely a Hard Thing Worth Doing (#HTWD). The rules we are talking about are those habits you seem to repeat, those standards you use when making decisions and those guides you follow routinely.
Sometimes, we don’t even recognize that it’s a rule we are following. Even if your rule has been “I don’t follow the rules,” that’s still a rule you are using that affects how you live your every day.
Are the rules you are using REALLY working for you?
How do I know if I’m using a rule that doesn’t work?
Here’s a short way to test your rules. If your answer to any of these questions is “Not really” or “I don’t know,” then they are officially candidates for the chopping block. Or they may need re-working.
Does this rule fit the “Real You”?
In other words, when you use it, does it feel like a natural expression of how you like to make decisions? Does it align with the standards you’ve set for your own personal conduct?
Do you see evidence of this rule’s positive effects on yourself or others?
When the data rolls in and the analysis is complete, what’s the real outcome from using this rule? Is it propelling you toward your goals or hindering you from accomplishing them? Does it help you create healthy relationships or does it create a wake of damage you then have to fix?
Is this a rule you’d feel good about others adopting?
If it’s not a rule that you would feel proud to teach your kids or others that follow your lead, it might be time to upgrade.
Create positive change BEFORE you feel ready .
Feeling ready to address a big subject like “positive change” may leave you waiting for a long time. Most of us never feel 100% ready to make moves that feel big. But taking a hard look at the rules you use both consciously and, sometimes, unconsciously is a major start. And it’s something you can still do IN YOUR PAJAMAS! You don’t have to dress for success yet. Just start thinking about it while you have some momentum.
In review: STOP FOLLOWING RULES THAT DON’T WORK FOR THE REAL YOU.
For any habit (or rule) you’ve picked up along your road to success, ask the questions I’ve outlined above. And please . . . make sure the “Real You” is on board with them. If you’re not sure what the Real You thinks, this tool is the right place to begin:
Here’s to your success in ditching rules that don’t work! And stay tuned next week for more Rule-Challenging Q&A.