The no-resolution approach to change

We’re one week into 2023. Feel any different than 2022?

Probably not.

If you want things to be different, it’s time to make some changes. 

And by changes, I don’t mean New Year’s resolutions that sound great but ultimately fail.

Because if you really want to change, you have to interrupt the autopilot that is subconsciously running your life. 

The best way to do this? Create personal “rules of engagement.”

When you create rules for yourself, you don’t have to rely on willpower or deal with mental gymnastics.

Instead, you can go into every situation confident you’ll behave the way you say you want to.

Sound good?

Here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Identify one behavior to change.

Take a look through the last few months of your calendar or journal. 

What were the situations where you behaved in a way that didn’t feel good?

For many of my founder clients, it’s procrastinating strategic tasks. Or rushing to the rescue when their team has a problem.

Step 2: Be honest with yourself.

Write down how you currently behave in each situation, with 100% honesty about what you’re thinking when you do it. 

For example:

“When there’s something important i should be working on, I rationalize not doing it because I don’t have a chunk of time. I check my email again so I can feel like I’m doing something.”

“When my team tells me they have a problem, I feel a burst of adrenaline and rush to come up with a solution.”

Step 3: Create a rule.

What behavior would you like to instill instead?

Come up with a rule — short and specific — for what you’ll do in those situations:

“15 minutes of strategic thinking is better than none.”

“Let the team be the hero.”

And from a recent tweet by Simone Stolzoff asking people for their personal rules:

“No screens upstairs” is unambiguous. Are you upstairs? Then you’re not looking at your phone or iPad.

Is it Friday evening? Then it’s time to stop working.

Step 4: Test and iterate.

Now, observe what happens when you put the rule in action. 

You probably won’t get it right the first time around.

Was it unrealistic? Too vague? 

Fine-tune and try again. 

Follow these steps and you’ll head into 2023 with more self-awareness and trust in yourself.

As one of my clients, an impact investor, said: “I love the outcome of my new ‘rules of engagement.’ They help me focus on who I want to be instead of focusing on what I have done in the past.”

When you’re ready to level up your leadership, here’s how I can help :

👉🏻 A cohort-based course that helps founders turbo-charge their leadership communication skills. Learn about Evolving Faster here

👉🏻 A 1:1 executive coaching engagement. Schedule a “Create Your Future” call to learn more here

Let’s work together to make your vision a reality. With a strategic game plan and some discipline, it’s simpler than you think.