It’s New Year’s. You’re just starting to create some new habits based on reflections that you had from last year.


If you’re like many people, those habits will last a couple of weeks.


Why is that?


Habit formation is extremely difficult. – Our brains are designed and wired for helping to reduce complexity. Anything that’s not critical information for us gets dismissed and our brains go into autopilot.


Things that are extremely unnatural for our brain are reflection questions:

What are my goals?How did that last thing that I did work out?How am I working with other people?How am I progressing on what I want to do?


All of these things are unnatural for us in our brains.


It’s why we see a big uptake in journals, reflections, and reviews – especially near the end of the year. It’s a built in timeframe for us to stop and pause and reflect.


However, if we’re only doing that once a year, we’re doing ourselves a disservice.


These are important and vital questions for us to consider, and they really help drive where we’re going in the future.


So, let’s apply that to an organizational or a product context.


How often are these questions asked? Too often we go just by default.


One of the things I talk about when I teach classes on Scrum is that Scrum is a habit formation framework: it helps create a mechanism and a framing to have these questions more frequently.


Scrum is going to say at least once a month.


All of the events and mechanisms of Scrum act as safety nets so that we’re having these critical conversations about goals, about our progress, and about how we’re working together more frequently because our brains are not designed to naturally have these conversations.


So leverage Scrum or any other collection of practices that are helpful to start creating unnatural habits.


And not just that – habits that stick that you don’t give up on after a couple of weeks.



Image from Charles Duhigg’s “The Power of Habit”



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