It will be easier to launch your 2024 change journey AFTER you build your RAFT (working draft)

Have you preloaded your own operating instructions for 2024?

One core element of establishing a new set of habits is having (a) formula(s) you can use as a launch pad to get you to take your your first few steps as well as as a recovery plan to get you back on track after you have (inevitably eventually) been thrown off course.

七転八起 – After you begin pursuing something purposeful, you inevitably encounter moments when all hell breaks loose and it is natural and probably even necessary to fall or jump off the wagon while you get things back in order. After that, it is natural to wander around in the wilderness for a while because you have lost touch with the experience of pursuing that purpose. Luckily, if you THEN get back on the wagon and restart your journey, your commitment to that purpose often becomes even more resilient.

When Andrea Konuma and I were brought in to help a large Tokyo IT firm build a culture that consciously integrated well-being with performance, we provided the employees with a schematic we called RAFT (routines, anchors, frames and triggers). RAFT is a pre-designed launch pad to help you start developing new habits and/or get back up and start working on the habit again when circumstances distract you from those habits.

Recently, I added ENGAGE to the RAFT formula to produce a variation called AFTER (ANCHOR – FRAME – TRIGGER – ROUTINIZE – ENGAGE) This variation places ANCHORS on the front end. This works better for me because I seem to need to clarify my sense of purpose before I start on the other steps.

ANCHORING helps us remember WHY we want to do something.

FRAMING helps us look at things from a useful perspective.

TRIGGERING helps us induce mental and physical states associated with the right actions.

ENGAGING is the process of creating the mental momentum to act.

ROUTINIZING is making conscious choices to schedule new actions to ensure we repeat an action enough times to create muscle memory around it.

Some people may prefer to use the nominal forms (ANCHORS, FRAMES, etc.), while others may prefer the verbal forms (ANCHOR/ANCHORING, FRAME/FRAMING, etc).

My sense is that these details should be decided by each individual, but I believe that some combination of the elements will be useful for almost anyone trying to initiate a change requiring new behavior.

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