The secret to making good choices more often

Monday, December 19, 2016

Fold your laundry! Do the dishes! Why do you always leave your toys on the floor??

A few years ago, I received a book called The Gift of Feedback from my mentor and friend, Heather Miranda. Prior to receiving this book, I had a serious conversation with a supervisor regarding my tendency to be late. At the time, I did not see the feedback about my tardiness as a gift. It felt more like a punch in the gut!

 

What happens if you criticize or offer constructive feedback to someone? Likely, they get defensive and tell you why you’re wrong. Or they start making excuses to explain or defend their behavior.

 

Sometimes, especially during the holidays, (aka the season of sugar) we make decisions that we think are bad or wrong. The “bad food” does not perfectly follow our diet or we may have overeaten the good stuff. For example, a friend of mine went to a holiday party last week and decided not to eat any sweets, but after being persuaded by coworkers she ate a few bites of dessert. The next day, my friend checked her weight at the gym and instantly felt terrible because of the number on the scale. She attributed the weight gain to the 3 bites of dessert she ate the day before. Inside, she was highly critical of herself and the story in her mind focused on the “mistake” that she made.

 

As discovered by the world-famous psychologist, B. F. Skinner, animals learn more rapidly when rewarded for good behavior versus being punished for bad behavior. Studies show this concept applies to us humans too. Some parents may agree they are more likely to get their kids to do chores or homework when praised versus being nagged or threatened.

 

Food for thought:

If we know criticizing doesn’t work why do we keep doing it ourselves…? As my lovely business partner, Kristen, says: Would those comments in your head be the same thing you’d say to your best friend or mother? 

 

What are 3 accomplishments you are proud of from the past year?

  1. _____________________________________________
  2. _____________________________________________
  3. _____________________________________________

 

What are 3 choices that you’re proud of from the last week?

  1. _____________________________________________
  2. _____________________________________________
  3. _____________________________________________

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