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Our aim is to inspire and motivate people using a variety of methods. The main purpose is to give people the confidence to realize their potential.

How to Make Lasting Changes

Creating behaviour that lasts – becoming the person you want to be.

This is a condensed summary of the active questions from the book Triggers, by Marshall Goldsmith, a good read with some great tips and helps.

‘Active questions trigger trying’

A behavioural trigger is any stimulus that impacts our behaviour. In this book, we examine the environmental and psychological triggers that can derail us at work and in life. As Marshall Goldsmith points out, our reactions don’t occur in a vacuum. They are usually the result of unappreciated triggers in our environment—the people and situations that lure us into behaving in a manner diametrically opposed to the colleague, partner, parent, or friend we imagine ourselves to be.

Active Questions

Daily self-monitoring can bring about meaningful and lasting change. Feedback ultimately triggers desirable behaviour. You can face the reality of your own behaviour and own effort every day through active questions. Trying not only changes our behaviour but how we interpret and react to that behaviour. It inspires change.

Did I do my best?

Daily questions to take responsibility for myself and to get better at anything:

(Answers on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best.)

  1. Did I do my best to set clear goals?
  2. Make progress toward goal achievement?
  3. Find meaning?
  4. Be happy?
  5. Build positive relationships?
  6. Be fully engaged?
  7. Learn something new? (Creating)
  8. Develop new material? (Creating)
  9. Preserve all client relationships?
  10. Be grateful for what you have? (Preserving)
  11. Avoid angry or destructive comments about others? (Eliminating)
  12. Forgive yourself and others for perceived mistakes? (Accepting)
  13. Avoid trying to prove you’re right when it’s not worth it? (Eliminating)
  14. Not wasting energy on what you cannot change? (Accepting)
  15. Exercise?
  16. Meditate?
  17. Get a good night’s sleep?
  18. Have a healthy diet?
  19. Say or do something nice for your partner?
  20. Say or do something nice for those you live with?

Go through your list of questions every day and rate yourself. This list keeps you focused on what matters to you and holds you responsible for your actions. The little things we work at to change every day will become big changes eventually. Being accountable to someone can be very helpful, like a friend, mentor or coach.

The list isn’t working if it isn’t changing along the way, I need to get better on some issues and find new ones to tackle along the way.

The first 6 questions are important for everyone. The next 8 questions revolve around cornerstone concepts in the wheel of change - creating, preserving, eliminating or accepting.

The wheel of change has 4 elements

Element 1 - Creating

The positive elements that we want to create in our future.

Element 2 - Preserving

The positive elements that we want to keep in our future.

Element 3 - Eliminating

The negative elements that we want to eliminate in the future.

Element 4 - Accepting

The negative elements that we need to just accept.

The rest of the questions is about family and health. The number of questions you set up for yourself is your choice. Your questions should reflect your objectives, they’re not there to impress anyone, it’s your list and your life. Consider this:

  1. Are these things important in my life?
  2. Will success in these things help me become the person I want to be?

If this is helpful to you, I would suggest you get the book.

Have a look at our Life Skills Courses which will assist you on your personal growth journey.

Madelein Wolfaardt Author

 Article by
Madelein Wolfaardt

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