Adapt Your Tendencies to Meet Goals

Adapt Your Tendencies to Meet Goals

This short guide is designed to help you adapt your current behavioral tendencies to meet your goals.  As you’ve probably noticed already, some of your tendencies and habitual comfort zones sometimes involve behaviors that don’t always serve your interests.  When you’re aware of the choices and actions that are more productive in a particular situation, though, you can create better results. In turn, different behaviors may influence how others think of, respond to and support you.

To move forward, consider where you perch among the following ranges of tendencies below.  Do you gravitate toward one side or the other or land closer to the middle of a range? Notice they all have positive aspects that may be appropriate depending on the situation.  Feel free to add other tendencies or rephrase the bulleted examples below to better reflect your nature and behavior.

  •  Optimistic to Realistic
  • Modern to Traditional
  • Independent to Loyal
  • Long-term view to Current view
  • Adventure-oriented to Security-oriented
  • Self-confident to Modest

To decide how you could adjust a tendency to benefit from a particular situation, play with the following idea.  Let’s start with the optimistic to realistic range.  Imagine you are meeting a new group of people who could offer connections that are worthwhile for work search, dating, collaboration, or friendship.  If you tend toward being realistic, you may think it will just be another meet and greet with the usual superficial conversation.  With that assumption, mustering much enthusiasm could be difficult.

But if you are optimistic about the meet and greet situation, your energy level and charm quotient might spike.  Perhaps you’ll smile more readily. You’ll reach out to others and feel confident about moving from group to group rather than become disheartened by an initial bland response or brush off.  Optimism therefore can serve your goals for making connections, however you define them, in this or similar situations.

Now that you have clarified and added other tendencies to the bulleted examples above, use the questions below to help you develop additional ideas for moving along a continuum or range of tendencies to adjust situations to your goals.  Since the questions are general, imagine your responses in particular, worthwhile situations in your current life. Then, use your responses to describe a few concrete steps you can and will take within a manageable time frame.

Answer any of these questions that use your time, imagination, and thought well.

  1. How can a behavioral tendency be best used as you enter a worthwhile, possibly new situation?
  2. What adjustment in your approach would you make to elicit a better outcome?
  3. What one or two specific, immediate actions will best support your goals?

Now visualize how you would apply or practice appropriate behaviors in anticipation of a current situation.  If this process doesn’t work for you, try a role play with someone who’d enjoy such an exploration.  Preferably choose a person who could benefit from the experience as well.

Over time, you’ll become adept at adjusting your tendencies to fit varied situations.  No doubt you’ll be refreshed by and benefit from small adventures that occur as you stretch your tendencies in productive ways. Small leaps forward can feel exhilarating, as can transcending automatic behaviors.

Celebrate the effective stretches and leaps. Learn from any missteps.  Keep adjusting your tendencies in relevant situations to meet your goals, making sure you remain authentic and engaged.  Seek and create opportunities that promise growth and enjoyment.  Then you’ll likely become even more adept at adapting tendencies to meet goals.

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