Last week I put out a message on my recent surgery and I heard back from many people. Thanks for the support! All continues to be well 🙂

However, I had a call with a coaching client on Wednesday and, unbeknownst to me, he’d had the same surgery a few years ago.

He said:

“I’ve got to be honest with you, you’re only halfway there. Your work is just getting started.”

(hehe…thanks a lot, John!)

What he meant – and what I’ve noticed – is that surgery is just the starting point. I’ve been breathing predominantly through my mouth for so long that I actually have to consciously retrain myself to breathe a different way.

It sounds weird, but it’s true. And it makes me think of behavior change and why it’s so difficult.

The whole reason we adopt habits / patterns / routines is once they’re established, they require less energy to sustain.

And we will continue to perform habits absent of whether they’re better or correct…but because they’re ingrained.

Sometimes when I’m speaking, I’ll get asked the question, “how long does it take to form a habit?”

Who the heck knows? It’s a difficult thing to quantify.

In a nutshell, it only really boils down to two factors:

The degree of change you’re seeking and your motivation to make it happen.

In my case, the degree of change is high. It’s changing the mechanics of an involuntary process that I’ve been doing for years. And we breathe every single second of our lives.

But my motivation is also high. I understand the benefits and the physiology behind nose breathing and it’s something I’m driven to do.

Because of this, I have a good chance of success.

We’re all trying to create good habits. Ones the serve us as we serve others. And good questions for you to ask as you do this are:

How big of a change is this from what I’m currently doing and how motivated am I to do it?

Large or small, the answer to these questions must align. It produces four potential outcomes:

High degree of change + high motivation = Success (bigger, harder to sustain)

High degree of change + low motivation = Inconsistency, Giving Up

Low degree of change + high motivation = Success (but capable of more)

Low degree of change + low motivation = Success (smaller, easier to sustain)

This is why I typically recommend smaller changes. Not because I’m trying to hold anyone back, but because it doesn’t require such a truckload of dedication and motivation. It’s more sustainable.

So, that’s your food for thought. Are you trying to make a behavior change? Achieve or accomplish something this year?

If so, where does it fall in the four potential outcomes?

Keep Outperforming,