Change by Orange Modus Operandi

As the first days of the new year unfold some of our best plans and intentions for a fresh start may be already unraveling.

You’re not alone.

Old routines and habits slither in despite the best of intentions. Like you I have experienced set-backs and distractions in trying to make changes. I also have had success in making some positive shifts.

What did I do differently?

It has to do with my favourite colour orange.  (Sorry Jill!) I follow a process that I have coined the Orange Modus Operandi or OMO.

Here’s is a summary of the process:
O  Observe what’s going on
R  Record what you experience
A  Assess the patterns
N Note more than one goal
G  Gather information
E  Express your success

In the next few posts I’ll explain just how my personal OMO has helped me make some shifts in several areas of my life. Today I’ll start with the most challenging habit needed for change and that is to Observe.



“We have forgotten how to observe.
Instead of observing we do things
according to patterns.”   Andrei Tarkovsky


Why is it so difficult to observe? Multitasking and busyness are valued and admirable traits that our peers and our leaders extol even though brain research does not support multitasking as an advantage. “For the brain to function optimally, it needs its full beam of attention on one activity at a time” (Ellen G. Goldman). However we have built a distraction economy that stimulates our egos with ‘hits’ ‘likes’ ‘feeds’ and ‘tweets’ causing us to self-evict from the regenerative practice of stillness and silence.

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 2.06.35 PM

The act of observation is unattractive.
Observation is not always quantifiable and does not produce immediate results but it is the first humble step in identifying patterns, behaviours, and influences.

Reclaiming the practice of observation may be disheartening or it may even feel oppressive. Despite the discomfort, I encourage you to press on.

The act of observation takes more courage than we realize.

So what happens when we practise observation?

We Think  We think about and reflect on what is going on around us and reconsider the obvious.

We Relate  We re-examine relationships in what we see.

We Recognize Patterns  We observe patterns in behaviours, feelings, responses, choices and interactions.

We Listen  We stop multitasking. We remain still and listen not only to what is going on around us and with people, but we listen with our gut – our instincts.

We Ask Questions
  We ask questions we think are important. We expect resistance from those who object to our questions and we wonder about the deeper issues that cause the disconnect when our questions are asked.

In the next post I’ll discuss the next step, Record. I’ll show you some tools that work for me in recording patterns, ideas and questions in order to achieve a desired change.

How about you?

What do you do to participate in observation?

What challenges do you face when you try to just observe?

I would be interested in your comments.

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