Unfortunately, there is no miracle pill or magic wand that will change your whole life in one moment. You must realize that some habits you build from childhood, others a few years and changing them will also be a process. It’s a lot of effort, but one that pays off! Believe me, being aware makes it easier to act . Therefore, if you know how habits are formed and you really want to change something, the following tips should help you. Just reading them won’t change anything, but working with them will.
End of warning. I invite you to change your life for the better!
1. IDENTIFY THE HABITS YOU WANT TO CHANGE
It is very important to identify the habit and determine why you want to change it. That’s where we start! What do you want to change? Why do you want to do that? What’s bothering you? Is it ruining your personal life? Is it bad for your health?
Are you always late? Do you leave everything to the last minute? Do you eat too many sweets? Do you spend most of your free time in front of the TV? Each of us is different and must consider this with himself.
2. THINK ABOUT WHAT IS THE LEAD AND REWARD AND HOW YOU WILL REPLACE AN OLD HABITA
You have a very important task ahead of you! I have written about how a habit is formed, what a tip and reward is, and you can find it HERE .
Most habits have been around for so long that people no longer pay attention to the cues that trigger them. Therefore, you too may think that “it just happens”. Because yes, because that’s how I am, that’s how it’s always been. Well, it wasn’t always like that, and it’s not without reason. You need to consider why you are doing something, what or who is the “trigger”? Place? Mood? Person? Emotional state? What did you think before? It may be difficult at first, but you will quickly notice that a habit is not the activity itself, but also something that initiates it and the reward we expect.
What is the reward in your case? Feeling of relief, relaxation, stress relief, contentment?
If you identify the clue and the reward, congratulations, you’re halfway there! Charles Duhigg in The Power of Habit writes: ” If you take the same cue and deliver the same reward, you can modify a habit and change a habit. Almost any behavior can be changed if the cue and reward remain constant . It is this principle that helps to treat alcoholism, obesity, obsessive-compulsive disorder and hundreds of other destructive behaviors. And please don’t think that it won’t work… It won’t work on its own, of course. Nothing is done by itself … You will consciously do it! You will consciously work and change your old habit into a new one!
3. ESTABLISH A PLAN OF ACTION
Plan realistically You must take into account that some habits have been shaped in you for a long time and it is impossible to change all behaviors at once and preferably right away. It’s best to work on one habit at a time, if you feel like it’s no longer requiring effort, you can start planning to work on the next one. According to some sources, it takes at least 21 days to replace the old with a new one, others say 30 days, others that 3 months … You will feel when something ceases to be a problem for you. It seems to me that the time spent working on a habit can reflect the power of rooting the change in us.
Imagine what you will do when there are problems with the implementation of the set goal. Why is it important? Well, in 1992, a study was conducted in two hospitals in Scotland, in which 50 patients with an average age of 68 years after hip or knee replacement surgery took part. The key to recovery was the quick start of exercises and rehabilitation, so as not to immobilize the joint. All of them received a booklet with the course of rehabilitation, while half received additional cards with questions and instructions to write down very specific goals, such as going for a walk.
After 3 months, it turned out that patients who wrote down their goals started walking twice as fast as those who did not. They started sitting down and getting up from chairs three times faster, and they generally found it easier to do all household activities. It turned out, that the patients’ plans were built around tipping points, moments when they knew there might be the greatest temptation to give up on their goals. They imagined how they would overcome the most difficult moments.
Tell your surroundings that you want to change the habit, look for support!
Say openly that you want to change something. Sometimes saying something out loud and then repeating it every day has the power! Surround yourself with people who will support you in your decision and motivate you.
Monitor your progress and reward yourself.
It turns out that “small victories” have enormous power and exert a completely disproportionate impact to the achievements that go hand in hand with them. Therefore, if it seems to you that there are still no effects, then think about whether it really is? It may turn out that you do something less often, or, for example, you intended to get up earlier than before, but it is not 6 am, but e.g. 7 (2 hours earlier than before)? Maybe you don’t run marathons yet, but have you started going out for walks? Maybe you haven’t stopped smoking completely, but a pack of cigarettes lasts longer? Notice your progress! And reward them! You’ll be craving for more!
Be regular and don’t give up! We must remember that we do not create habits forever … When we stop regularly performing a new activity, it may turn out that we will return to old habits.