I love my wife, she is a genius. I should provide some explanation!

We have four children, each wonderful in their own way and each bringing their own little learning opportunities. However, most recently, our middle son’s behaviour has been closer to “pushing the boundaries” than our household norm. I believe that is how the experts phrase it. He is four years old now, but still lives out some characteristics of a two year. Apparently I can do the same from time to time, especially after a major computer failure. Anyway, my wife’s brilliant solution to this problem, after our traditional methods failed, inspired something that I might use on myself and those that I advise from time to time.

The method requires a stop-clock with a buzzer or other form of alarm/timer and a whistle. She sets the timer (actually starting with 10 minute intervals, although 30 minute intervals would do just fine). Once the alarm goes of, at the end of the time interval, our son had to account for his behaviour. Was it ‘on track’ or was he off course? If he was on track for the whole time period, he picked a reward. If he was off track, he reflected on how he could change – that was his own choice! The clock was reset and the next time period started and the process repeated. And the whistle? Well, if I or my wife noticed him VERY off track, we would blow the whistle. The changed his habits and created a whole new set of beviours. I have a brand new child in my house!

So, how does this help you work out what needs doing and do it? Very simply, it is a great way to make sure you are keeping yourself on track and keeping the two halves joined: is what you are doing what needs doing? Are you on track? Check yourself? Set a timer and review how you are doing at each time interval. This creates transitions and makes you reflect. And the whistle? Get good at blowing the whistle on yourself. Perhaps you even want to give a friend or co-worker a ‘whistle’ – have them hold you to account on how you are doing. It creates a powerful motivator to do what needs doing!

What works for you? Leave your comments!