Do you Drive your Car the Way You Live your Life?
Can I ask you a personal question?
How would you honestly describe your behavior behind the wheel?
Are you a courteous driver? Do you obey the speed limit? Do you pass in the left lane only, use your turn signal, and refrain from unnecessarily using your horn?
To be honest with you, years ago, I was a nasty driver. I drove way too fast, was often discourteous to other drivers, and on occasion, even said a few choice words about other drivers who somehow annoyed me.
Over time, my behavior has completely changed. Admittedly, I had to make a conscious choice to change it. And if you suspect your behavior behind the wheel needs a tune-up, you, too, can make changes, by just following these simple steps:
First, you need an awareness that you need to change. By reading this article this far, you probably have already achieved a level of awareness.
Next, take some concrete steps to help you change your behavior. In my case, I did two things. First, I bought a very recognizable car - a red and white Mini Cooper. I knew that if I misbehaved on the road, inevitably, someone I knew would see me doing something I would rather not be seen doing!
Then, I put a bumper sticker on my brand new Mini that said, "Don't be fooled by my car, my treasure is in heaven." Once that bumper sticker was there for the world to see, I certainly did not want to demonstrate poor behavior in front of a single driver. Truly, it kept my behavior in check more than you would probably believe.
In my work as a behavior-change coach for corporate executives, and as author of "Marriage On and Off the Rocks: Intimate Stories of Marriages that Made It and Others that Didn't," I have found that this simple formula of recognizing the need for change, coupled with a few concrete steps to help us make the change, can be truly effective. I have seen people change their demeanor, their attitude, their way of interacting with others, and their behavior. If they can make significant changes like that, I can certainly stick to my good driving behavior. And so can you!
Researchers claim it takes 21 days to change a habit. I don't know how many days it took for me to change my driving behavior, but it definitely and markedly has changed. If you desire to change your behavior, think about methods or reminders that would support you in your effort to change. Maybe a bumper sticker will do it, maybe a rubber band around your wrist, maybe an inspirational quote taped to your steering wheel.
Take one minute right now to think how you can change, or perhaps contemplate it the next time you are in your car. Think about the steps you are going to take, and then take some kind of concrete action - before you get interrupted by that annoyingly slow senior-citizen driver in front of you, the one you want to scream at and pass illegally on the right!
About Chris Posti
Like a speedy car, Chris Posti is a woman always on the go. Through her consulting business, Posti & Associates (www.postiinc.com), Chris has been providing executive coaching, outplacement, and human resources consulting services for nearly 20 years. Chris is also a newspaper columnist and a former talk radio show host. She recently published a book, "Marriage On and Off the Rocks: Intimate Stories of Marriages that Made It and Others that Didn't" (www.marriageonandofftherocks.com), now available on Amazon.com. The book, just like her consulting work, helps people understand simple but profound truths about what they need to change in order to have successful marriages and relationships.