Autumn Leaves, Mouthwash, and Rogaine
Ben Whiting, September 4, 2018
So it finally happened… two months ago the love of my life, my wife, told me I might want to consider using some kind of treatment for my thinning hair. She attempted this with kindness and warmth, but to my ego, it was ice cold. However, after the requisite journey through denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, I finally accepted what she said as the truth (that … and I took a photo of the top of my head with my iPhone). So I went off to CVS to purchase my first bottle of Rogaine. Then the real battle began.
I don’t know about you, but I’m the kind of person who gets really excited about something or really focused on a project and can forget to change clothes, shower, or even eat because I want to see the results. I knew Rogaine would be a struggle because the label says before you can expect to see results you have to use it twice daily for 120 days! Say what?!?!
I rocked week one – twice a day, no problem. Then, it happened. Weeks 2, 3 and on I started to lose momentum, forgetting here and there. Then I went on a vacation and forgot completely. Inevitably, I lost motivation to address the problem, even though the problem wasn’t getting solved.
Luckily Angie Morgan, one of my best friends and colleagues at Lead Star, gave me some guidance (pick up a free copy of her book here as our gift to you for reading this). She reminded me that one of the best ways to develop and commit to a habit is to piggyback on one you’ve already established. GAME. CHANGER.
Want to eat healthier? Eat the same portions, but substitute healthier ingredients into your recipes to cut calories. Want to be more productive at home? Get up and before you greet the day, get dressed in your finest professional attire like you’re going to work. With this in mind, I made my plan.
Simply put, I added treatments to an already existing habit I’ve been a little obsessive about since third grade – clean teeth. (In short, let’s just say for some reason, people feel very comfortable giving me feedback on hygiene.) From that point on, every time I rinsed with mouthwash I also applied my Rogaine.
With the fall season just around the corner, there’s no doubt you have important goals to accomplish and new habits that you’d like to kick off. It might not be thinning hair, but it could be something equally or more important to you. To do anything new – whether it’s personal or professional- you need a strategy to adopt a new behavior. Here are some thoughts on how to begin:
Learn areas in your life that could be improved
High-performing people regularly reflect on what’s working and what’s not. Then they come up with appropriate solutions. They also have people they trust that are willing to tell them the truth no matter how difficult (shout out to my wife!). Reach out to these people and prompt them to give you feedback on how you can get better. Then … be ready. Always reply with, “thank you,” versus being defensive. After all, you asked for their input. Don’t make them regret giving it to you.
Identify your good habits and strengths
This is fun. Pat yourself on the back and bask in what you do well. Don’t forget to write them down. Moments of appreciation allow you to realize that you can be successful in changing behaviors or adopting new ones.
Starting anything new can be intimidating. Sometimes you just don’t know how to start. Find ways to combine the great habits you already have with the ones you want to develop. You might come up with more than one solution. If that’s the case go with whichever is easiest.
Don’t take on too much too fast
People often over-estimate what they can do in a day, and underestimate what they can do in 3 minutes a day for a few months. Developing a new habit or routine is simple, but not always easy, and sometimes we forget to bring our Rogaine on vacation. If this happens to you remember you’re only human, forgive yourself, and try again. Also, feel free to drop me (or anyone at Team Lead Star) a line if you want some more encouragement or tips.
Since my realization about developing new habits, I haven’t missed a treatment yet. I’m optimistic in two more months I’ll have a hairline that rivals my dog’s … okay, maybe not Scooter’s, but you get the point. I wish you the same good fortune in your self-improvement endeavors.