Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Plan Your Work and Work Your Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Have you ever had the experience of rummaging through your desk and coming across a paper that you wrote several months or even years ago where you wrote down things you intended to do? I have. I'm embarrassed to say that many of the items on the list were never even attempted.

Here's another stumper. . . Do you know what chocolate chip cookies have to do with the above question? No? Then read (or listen) on. . .

Our next podcast is with Steve Levinson, Ph.D., who along with Pete Greider, M.Ed., has written a book called Following Through: A Revolutionary New Model for Finishing Whatever You Start. In it, Levinson explains why humans are so poor at follow-through and what we should do about it. As he explains it, we have two separate systems in our brain. Our intelligent guidance system says, "I should lose weight and exercise more, so I am going to stop snacking after dinner and go on a strict diet."  But then a family member bakes some fresh cookies and with the smell wafting from the kitchen the primitive guidance system says, "Oh my God those cookies smell great. Well, just a few won't hurt and can start my diet tomorrow." As Levinson explains, "We are not hardwired to do the things our intelligent guidance system tells us to do.

Listening to the interview, you can tell that Levinson is absolutely passionate about the topic. In the medical field alone, poor follow-through is costing our nation billions to treat medical crises that could be mitigated or avoided if people simply took their medication and followed through on their doctors guidance.

Here are three points from the interview that you can use right now to improve follow-through:
  • Limit the number of items that you commit to and make certain you can complete them.
  • Never make a commitment unless you fully intend to complete it.
  • Never make a commitment without developing a follow-through strategy.
On the third item, Levinson says that making a commitment without a follow-through strategy is like saying you're going to get up at 5AM tomorrow without setting your alarm. 

Please enjoy the interview and share it on Facebook, Twitter, chocolatechipcookie.com. 

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