Since my last post, I wanted to elaborate more on the essentials of habits and how they are really the key to everlasting change.
I can tell you that the #1 reason people fail at reaching goals is they don’t realize the power of habits and how to change them.
After all, that’s what goal setting is all about – something you want to change. To change, a person must change in the patterns or habits that will create a certain result they are seeking.
Humans really are creatures of habit. Having habits helps our brains get a rest. Think about all of the little things you do every day. Such as: when you pull out of the garage, you automatically close the garage door or when you come into the house at the end of the day, you may hang your keys up and toss your purse on the table, etc.
So, if you want to make your life easier change the habits surrounding it so you don’t have to continue to rely on will power. Although the first few weeks of habit change may be difficult, once it’s changed it becomes “just what you do” – automatically.
Here’s what you need to know about habits and why this is so important:
Here are a few simple steps in the process of changing those nasty bad habits into good ones:
Step 1: Observe and pay attention to what your triggers are. Take a good look at yourself and what happens when a habit you want to let go of is triggered.
This may take some time as your triggers show themselves but others will be obvious.
Step 2: Figure out what that reward is that you’re seeking. Is it an emotional escape? Do you want some kind of reward or treat for the tough day you’ve had? I know it’s hard to look at ourselves and get into our emotions but I encourage you not to skip this part – this is essential in finding a replacement for the habit. Finding a replacement that gives you the same reward is essential.
Note: When wanting to replace a “bad” habit, with something “good” you will simply be filling in your good habit into the habit loop. If it doesn’t fulfill a similar reward, it may be more difficult to plug in.
Note: When wanting to start a new “good” habit, it’s best to attach it to something you’re already doing. (Example: if you want to start flossing your teeth, do it immediately after you’ve brushed them).
Step 3: Brainstorm all the ways you can get a similar reward. There are no right or wrong answers her – just simply what action could be replacing in that habit loop for the same or similar reward specific to YOU.
The Key for this to work is to replace 1 habit for something else. If you simply white knuckle your way through this – or just simply try not to replace the habit with anything else– you won’t get there.
You see, what you’re doing here is writing over those pathways you’ve already got in the brain and you must put something else there – you can’t just leave it blank.
This is one of the biggest reasons people fail at changing their habits – they simply try not to do it instead of putting a new action there.
Of course, you don’t want to replace smoking with eating – you want to put a new habit in place that will support you.
Step #4: Choosing 1 of the above items in your brainstorm and just simply doing it. It’s important to choose just 1 so that it becomes a habit. If you’re trying to plug in different things or don’t have a plan, overwhelm will creep in because you hadn’t decided and trying to choose in the heat of the moment is WAY too slippery and you’ll fall into what’s comfortable. Being confused is the perfect venue for the self-sabotage muscle to manipulate the situation and bring you back to where you feel safe – which is the old pattern in this case bingeing. And amazingly enough – this may seem sensible at the time. This internal argument will go through your head about how you were perfectly comfortable and happy before you tried to better yourself. Yea – just so you know that’s self-sabotage talking and it’s a load of B.S. It’s important to know that so you can move past that voice.
Now – this process is easier said than done. Especially if you’ve been doing something specific for a long time & you have a very loud self-sabotage voice. For some of you, it’s going to take you a week or two to even see your patterns and what your triggers are. And that’s ok. You didn’t develop this habit immediately, we’re not going to cure it in a moment but you will be able to make great strides by using this process.
I promise if you’re diligent about this, your habits will be forever changed.
I would love to hear from you! Is there a habit you're struggling with? Do you have a great success you would like to share?
Of course, I’m here to help! I am a lifesltyle and business coach and am on a mission to help women step into their personal power through wellness. You can reach me here - firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheers to Your Health!
Hello, I'm Shari.