Moving beyond lockdown, forming new habits and behaviours to support moving forwards

As restrictions lift locally and around the world, how do we move forwards and create new ways of operating? Although restrictions are being lifted, the behaviours that we have adopted over the last few months have become habits that may slow us down as we aim to shape our future and move forwards.

We have become accustomed to small social bubbles and operating in our local neighbourhoods. Whilst still respecting social distancing how do we begin to expand our horizons and behaviours to support the changes? We may feel safe in our bubbles, a fear of expanding our circles and resistance to doing things differently. It has been several months since the beginning of lockdown, operating from home, it’s time to move beyond our established lockdown routines and behaviours.

We may be ready to take a break, recharge and replenish our reserves. Whether that be with day trips, staycations or travel abroad. Taking a break from our routines will provide a great opportunity to reflect on how we would like to shape our future moving forwards and make a break between the old and the new.

Once we have reflected and decided what we want to move towards, we then need to change behaviours and form new habits to support these changes. From a work perspective, you may be considering returning to the office after the summer. Beginning to meet colleagues and clients face to face in the office, over a coffee, lunch or dinner. Whatever we decide to do to create our new future, how do we form new behaviours and habits to support these changes?

Tips for changing behaviours and forming new habits

Identify exactly what you would like to change and set small goals to do something specific differently. For example, if you want to read daily, then set a small and achievable goal of reading one page per day. Once you start your new behaviour it will normally expand and increase over time.

Make change easier by removing barriers, for example if you want to start the day with a run, leave your running kit and trainers by the door the night before.

Gain the support of people in your network by telling them exactly what you plan to do differently and making a commitment, or even better inviting them to do it with you, so that they can support you and hold you to account.

Attach your new habit to something you already do, for example if you drink coffee every morning you may connect your new habit of daily goal setting to do over your morning coffee.

Ask yourself why you want to change? The answer to this question will help you get down to your real motivations for change and reminding yourself of your motivation will help you stick to your new habit.

Accept that you will have some relapses, it’s part of the behavioural change process, don’t beat yourself up, pick yourself up and get back to forming your new habit.

Recommended reading — Atomic Habits by James Clear

Praesta Partners LLP is a team of experienced senior executives offering bespoke executive coaching & consulting services to boards and professionals worldwide.

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