The following is a post by Leona Rehm that was originally published in her business blog. Leona is a business coach at Simply Effective Coaching, LLC., offering real solutions for real problems. She is a graduated of Bethel College in St. Paul, MN, and The Academy for Coach Training in Bellevue, WA.

Mahatma Gandhi is quoted as saying, “Action expresses priorities”   Do you agree?

When I first read this quote I inferred one meaning. However, today as I write I realize there’s more. I see that our actions come from our priorities – but today it dawned on me our actions reveal our priorities. So, what follows is that a change in our priorities will have a direct impact on our actions.

Consider the process of changing a “bad” habit. Most of us will cling to the habit until the painful consequences of that habit override the comfort of not changing. Our priorities change and the bad habit goes away – almost overnight.

I had a client who was chronically late to everything. She had a “good excuse” every time until she realized that her lack of punctuality was affecting her reputation among her peers and clients. Suddenly, as if by the wave of a magic wand she was no longer late. As we talked about the change she mentioned that very little was more important to her than the good opinion of those she worked with and those she serviced. Call it peer pressure or accountability,when the pain of being considered rude and inconsiderate by her peers was greater than what she perceived to be her many important tasks, her tardiness stopped.

Got a habit that’s getting in the way? Ask yourself three short questions:

1) what’s the pay off for not changing – what’s really most important?

2) what’s the pay off for changing – what’s more important?

3) what’s the cost of not changing

When the pain (cost) of not changing is bigger than the pay off for not changing – the habit will change, not necessarily effortlessly, not necessarily overnight, but the bigger the distance you make between the pain and the pay off the sooner it will happen.

It’s really all about changing your priorities. And our actions reveal our real priorities.

Your thoughts?

Not sure about your priorities now? Check out this coaching exercise