Exercises in Behavior Modification (from my blog at www.robertdavidhays.com)

We are all creatures of habit. You may have goals that you would like to accomplish, and by definition, a goal is something that you would like to have or do that isn’t currently a part of your reality. So what needs to change in order to bridge the gap from point A to point B?

For me, I would like to lose 30 pounds, improve my sales performance, and get better at the guitar. So, how do I do that?

First, I probably need to be more specific. Thirty pounds would be great, but it’s likely more productive to have some achievable target markers, otherwise it seems pretty daunting. It also helps to have a deadline and multiple benchmarks along the way.

For example:

1. Lose 30 lbs becomes - Lose three pounds per week for the next ten weeks

2. Improve my sales performance becomes – Increase ‘x’ number of units sold over prior month

3. Get better at the guitar becomes – Learn one new song per month for the next three months

Next I’ll identify the activities required to accomplish these items.

1. Lose three pounds per week for the next ten weeks

-Daily run and weights for 30 minutes each

-Adjust my diet down to 2000 calories per day

2. Increase ‘x’ number of units sold over prior month

-3 hours per week of product training for the next 60 days

-Interview three reps who have successfully increased sales in this category by end of month

-Identify prospective clients, proportionate to closing ratio versus desired sales

3. Learn one new song per month for the next three months

-Select songs

-1 hour practice, three times per week

Now, if you’re anything like me, life already feels awfully darn busy. And for three lousy goals I’m supposed to find an extra ten to fifteen hours? The only way to make these things happen is to schedule them into the calendar like any other appointment.

So, here’s how it plays out for me on a weekly basis.









Run and Exercise

Run and Exercise

Run and Exercise

Run and Exercise

Run and Exercise


Client meetings

Client meetings

Client meetings

Client meetings

Client meetings

Run and Exercise

Run and Exercise


Product Training

Product Training

Product Training

1 Hour Guitar

1 Hour Guitar

1 Hour Guitar

There are additional appointments and calendar inputs to make this all really work.

For my diet regimen, I’m not disciplined enough to make the right decisions every day while I’m out working my tail off in the territory. So, I also input into my Outlook Calendar an eating guide for breakfast, lunch, dinner and appropriate snacks like celery or carrot sticks. That way, I can make my lunch the evening before, or at least have some guidelines if I have to pick up something on the fly. The snacks help me avoid getting too hungry and overeating as well as the notorious stop at 7-11 for soda and a candy bar.

To increase my sales growth, I’ve identified that I need to not only study, but identify my prospects and interview another rep that has been successful. So, I will schedule an appointment for this week to handle these tasks. For instance, Monday at 10am I will spend 30 minutes researching reps to speak with and reach out to schedule a time to conduct a conference call. I will do the same for identifying my target clients. I have a decent idea off the top of my head from having interacted with these individuals on other projects or routine visits, but I will schedule from 8am to 9am on Tuesday to mine through my contact manager for the key identifiers for that particular category, and call to schedule appointments for sales presentations.

In order to become a guitar hero (in my own mind anyway), I’ve got to first identify which songs I am going to learn. So, for the first Thursday that I have scheduled to practice, I will probably spend some time sifting through iTunes and determine what I’m working on and then find the corresponding music. I’ll also create a playlist of these songs so that I can listen to them repeatedly in the car while I’m navigating between appointments during the workday.

So this gives you some tangible insight into how I set myself up for success. With a guided process and manageable benchmarks you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

What are your goals for the next six months? Do you have a plan to get the ball rolling?

Share your thoughts here, and let’s keep each other accountable!

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Comment by Susan Damron on August 2, 2010 at 10:57am
Crawl, walk, run...great reminder Rob, Thanks
Comment by Mary Yakas on July 9, 2010 at 10:59am
Terrific post Rob!

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