Two more techniques for developing a successful habit

The title of an old movie I watched on TV yesterday reminded me of the “if-then” technique for developing a successful habit for success: “If it’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium” is about an English tour guide who takes groups of Americans on whirlwind 18 day sightseeing tours of Europe. Therefore, if it’s a Tuesday, then  his group would be in Belgium.

What does the movie have to do with developing a habit for success? You can apply the if-then technique to your job or job search whenever you feel stuck.

How to use the if-then technique for developing successful habits

Let’s pretend making telephone calls is the part of your work that’s become stuck. You’d rather have a tooth pulled than make those daily calls. You can develop a new habit for success—making calls—by selecting a time each day for telephoning. Then apply the “If-then” technique by saying to yourself, “if it’s ten, then I’ll make phone calls.”.

What if a colleague or an incoming phone call interrupts your calls? Your mantra becomes, “if the interruption halts, then I’ll return to the calls.”

Another method for developing a successful habit is called “The Anchoring Technique”

Let’s also pretend that you’ve become stuck with the networking piece of your job search because you hate to ask people you know for help. A new successful habit can be developed to overcome your reluctance to making networking calls by anchoring them to the ones you’re already making at ten in the morning. Then your self-talk becomes, “after I finish making routine calls, I’ll add a few calls from my networking list.

The key word here is “few.” When you make a low level of commitment to the habit you wish to establish, you can’t fail by committing to just two or three calls. Okay, just one will do nicely in the beginning. As you can see, you’ve anchored the habit you wish to establish to one you’ve already built.

If you enjoy working on techniques for either your job search or sales pitches, you should check out this link for “The Best Sales Techniques,” a previous post on

RANDY PLACE is a career coach and author of “Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach.” The book is about how to find jobs and manage your career while coping with the hassles of it all. Check it out on

Copyright ©2017 by Ransom (Randy) Place

About the Author

Randy Place
RANDY PLACE is a job finding coach, author, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of For 23 years, he helped over a thousand downsized employees at JPMorganChase find jobs. He also coached executives at CBS, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding, communications skills, and sales strategies An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on job finding and sales training nationwide. His nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations in the US. Randy is the author of “Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach” and writes about career topics on His articles about job finding have appeared in the Wall Street Journal’s National Business Employment Weekly. A former sales executive at NBC, broadcast journalist, and commercials spokesperson, Randy holds a Bachelor’s in Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master’s in Journalism from NYU.

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