You don’t have to be a flea!

We all have some – or many – unhealthy habits that we have tried to kick.  Perhaps with some we have been successful and others not so much.  And for those that we have been struggling with often we settle for acceptance.

Like the fleas in this video we become trapped in a pattern of behaviour that is not only difficult to break, even when a solution (or escape) is presented to us.  This not only applies to poor personal health habits but to harmful organizational habits as well.  And much like the fleas these patterns can spread to the entire group.

With all the information available to us today on the dangers of unhealthy behaviour and more importantly the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, why is it still so difficult to change?  In a recent article from Harvard Health Publications “Why it’s hard to change unhealthy behavior – and why you should keep trying”  one of the main hurdles to healthy lifestyle changes is that they are all too often motivated by guilt, fear or regret.  While experts who study behaviour agree that in order to achieve long lasting and meaningful change, self-motivation and positive thinking are the keys to success.

Studies have also shown that one of the many limiting factors to change is the nature of our goals.  A specific goal such as ‘I will walk 20 minutes every day’ is far more likely to be reached than the ambiguous ‘I will get more exercise’.  But don’t give yourself too many goals all at once or you may become overwhelmed and fail to achieve any of them.

Our Kingbridge Insight this week is an extrapolation of changing unhealthy behaviours to changing workplace mindset.  If we are not mindful of our behavioural habits we run the risk of falling into the ‘this is the way it has always been done’ trap – and it is contagious.  So ask yourself, does your behaviour encourage or stifle creativity and innovation?  How can you work towards changing or improving those behaviours?