How to Keep Your Plans Simple — and Doable!

The best laid plans do go awry, but the simplest among them more often do not.

This is especially true when it comes to behavior.  If you’re reading this, chances are there is some behavior you're looking to change, either in your small being or yourself.

The best way to start is to take the simplest, most incremental step. Just one. Keep it simple and please, please do not overthink it.

You see, complexity is the biggest roadblock to making change happen. When you keep it simple, anything and everything is possible. 

But the prevailing impulse is to make things complicated, right?

I saw this when presenting a professional development workshop a few weeks ago. There was a room full of teachers, almost all of whom had classrooms with challenging behavior they wanted to modify.

I suggested that they keep track of the behavior as their first step to creating change. Then I challenged them to decide how they would do that.

One woman in the front row raised her hand, eager to answer. Her plan was to buy a new three-ring binder, add dividers with each child’s name and a piece of paper in between. She’d diligently write the top three behaviors she is facing with each student and take daily notes. She imagined she’d clear off a section of her desk just for this binder and use different colored pens to track particular behaviors.

Wow! That’s an impressive plan!

Then I asked, “When do you plan on buying the binder and dividers?”

She sighed and said, “Probably not until the weekend.” This was four or five days away. 

My next question, “Do you think that in four days something else will become a priority?”

This is when she started to falter. “Probably,” she responded.

I offered a simplified version: She could use the notebook that she had on her lap and, without elaborate clearing, put it on a particular place on her desk. She could use this notebook to track the details of behavior for two (only two!) children in her class.

A light came into her eyes, she sat a touch taller, and said, “That would be great! I can start tomorrow.”

When you keep things simple and take one small step at a time, seemingly insurmountable challenges become solvable and the work to overcome them gets done!

The best laid behavior plans are the ones that are simple enough to start right now. (Click to Tweet) 

Insight Into Action!

Parents: What is one very small, very simple step you can take to improve one behavior in your small being?

Teachers: What is one behavior you would like to change in one student in your classroom? What is one step you can take to do that?


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