What is it about habits? The ones we want to introduce (i.e. the good habits) into our lives we can’t seem to embed and find difficult to introduce, and the ones we don’t want to adopt (i.e. the bad habits), we seem to find no problem keeping them and which are unable to shake off!!
Why? Murphy’s Law? Or is there a strategy we can use?
You might find some of the tips below helpful to use to lose those bad habits and adopt those good habits.
Firstly, let’s look at what a habit is. The meaning of the word is ‘a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up’.
As I mentioned earlier, ‘hard to give up’, which explains why we are unable to drop our bad habits. ‘settled or regular tendency or practice’ explains why good habits are so hard to introduce, adopt and embed – because we need to make ourselves do them for at least a six-week period for it to become a habit that will stay with us in the hope it will eventually become our ‘new norm’.
Step 1: Developing a process – Introducing new habits means we have to continually apply ourselves on a daily basis with integrated positive reinforcement, incentives, rewards so we have an emotional benefit afterwards. We can also look at bolting on our new habit or action on the back of something we do every single day, giving us the prompt to do this new habit next.
Step 2: Developing a positive attitude – We must want to change even if we know we must change. Without wanting to it’s unlikely the new habit will be adopted. If we are doing something because we’ve been told to or know we must ‘because’, isn’t enough to say we have a positive attitude. We must be open to change, saying I can, and I will change rather than I might, or I should.
Step 3: Developing an understanding – By developing new knowledge of how we work, what makes us tick, what are the likely barriers and obstacles that may prevent us will help us look at what we need to do to manage ‘us’ the best way we can. Finding or determining our ‘why’ is a good start i.e. why do we want to change; this provides us with our incentive which in turn helps develop a positive attitude.
Step 4: Practice – Practice – Practice – Like anything else, practice makes perfect, however, getting ourselves off to a good start is a great beginning. If we keep practicing good things and developing those good habits, we start seeing the benefits which make us feel good. If you feel this is too hard on your own, then consider engaging a Personal Life Coach who can help you develop and embed these habits and provide you with strategies to change the way you do things permanently.
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