Free Coaching Exercise: “Creating Implementation Intentions”

January 4, 2016 by Sandra Mashihi

This free exercise, and dozens of others, were created for our book, Clueless: Coaching People Who Just Don’t Get It. You can learn more about Clueless by visiting our site or you can buy it from today.

Purpose of Exercise: There is a difference between goal intentions and implementation intentions. Using the worksheet, you will be able to create actionable implementation intentions to enhance your skills and behaviors.

How to Administer and Use this Exercise to Facilitate Behavior Change:  

How many times have you been excited to make a behavioral change (e.g. diet, eating/exercise, lifestyle), but early into the process begin to slip back to your old habit.

In a 2012 study, Leadership IQ, a leadership training and research company, studied 4,182 workers from 397 organizations to see what kind of goal-setting processes actually help employees achieve great things. They discovered that people’s goals are not particularly helpful. In fact, their survey found that only 15% of employees strongly agree that their goals helped the employees achieve great things.

When people create goals, they usually create a set of activities and tasks in order to achieve those goals. For example, someone may have a goal to stay calm in anxiety producing situations. Conversely, an implementation intention would identify the trigger (e.g.”If my heart begins to race”) that precedes the desired behavior (e.g.”breathing technique”), as well as the reward (e.g. “I will focus on how relaxed I begin to feel”) that follow it.

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