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By Shannon VanDeByl, Client Services Manager

September is the time to get back to routine, back to business and back to school.

What I love about this time of the year, is that it gives you the chance to develop new habits or routines.  It’s the opportunity for a fresh start, almost like starting the New Year.

This year, I am determined to get our 2 boys (ages 7 and 9) into the routine too.  They are getting older and I want them to develop skills and responsibility that will benefit them as they grow, in their personal and professional lives.

I admit, sometimes I can be an overachiever.  My ultimate goal was to pack healthy and fun lunches (not just sandwiches and processed foods), have clothes picked out, homework done after school and everything organized before going to bed each night.    Sounds simple and common sense right?  Just like in the sales world, I quickly found out that simple and common sense is not always common practice!

The night before the first day of school, we had our “lunch packing assembly line” ready to go.  Everyone was involved, I was chopping fresh veggies, one boy was packing grapes into a bag and the other was preparing wraps to eat.  I was pumped – for the whole first week, all of the new habits I wanted in place were done each night.

The next week however, was a different story.  I was still excited about this new fun activity to do as a family (getting Dad involved too), but the boys were quickly falling back into their old habits, and relying on me to get the job done.  Normally, I would allow this to happen but I’ve been challenged by Lisa to work on my leadership skills too, which got me thinking -how can I keep my team (husband and kids) excited and help them develop good habits?   Do we use checklists to keep us on track, and what is our reward each week?

As a leader in my family, I was getting frustrated.  This stuff isn’t hard and shouldn’t take long!  Why so much resistance?

Then I realized, I was trying to change too much at once, and I expected everyone else to operate like I do.  For the kids, this new routine isn’t high priority – playing is.   I needed to develop a strategy to make the changes, keep the excitement and lead my family to success.

I see this happen to some sales teams after training sessions as well.   Right after the training, everyone is excited to make changes, develop new habits and try new things.  These are all better for you in the long run, but it is soooo easy to lose ambition and slide back into your comfort zone after the initial excitement dies off.

As a leader (and everyone can be a leader when promoting positive change) – how can you help your yourself or your sales team to implement new (simple) changes, while keeping the excitement and helping you and your team earn straight A’s this term??