28. Repeat till it sticks

Time and again I’ve learned that there is no way for me to apply what I’ve learned immediately. Be it a lesson from a book, a new inspiration or an advice I received. I would act on my newfound knowledge with great enthusiasm at the start. But only to fall back to my old routine few days after.

Putting something new in place takes time. You can’t expect to know something and see your life changes instantly. It takes an incredible amount of grit and hard work to turn information into a sustainable action.

That’s why I’m practicing the art of repetition. I re-read the book the moment I finish. I write down the same lesson in my weekly reflection. I try to make only one change at a time.

This applies in the work context. If you are trying to build a new process or propose an idea, never expect your team to get it the first time you tell them. With the day-to-day stuff they are already so occupied with, it’s only normal for them to fall off track with your request. So always over-communicate. Expect changes to happen gradually. Patiently remind and guide them back right on track.

So the next time you try to practice something new, expect yourself to stumble. Don’t assume things to work out by themselves. Anticipate setbacks. Create an accountability system. Keep doing, reminding, revising. And don’t stop until it sticks.