Tips for Habit Change
The following is a list of tips that can help you to change the unproductive habit that you have decided to target. Be careful of labelling the habit as "bad" because you run the risk of punishing yourself for the habit.
Instead try and recognise that at the time of acquiring that habit, if you'd known differently you would have made a different choice. In other words, treat yourself kindly and be happy that you are now a wiser person. You have made a decision to change, you are now looking toward the future and not the past, and you need to be patient with yourself throughout the change process.
Beating yourself up for "wrong" choices made in the past will not aid you now in becoming a "better" person. Whether the habit you seek to change is as serious as getting off alcohol, or off drugs, or quitting smoking, or perhaps it could be as simple as .no longer swearing when you're under pressure - excessive self-chastisement will be counter-productive to the change process
Some of the following tips will appeal to you, perhaps others won’t – but all of these methods have worked at least for somebody somewhere and have proven effective
1. Change just one habit at a time.
This is an extremely important. point. Habit change is difficult enough with just one habit. If you attempt to change more than one habit at a time, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Keep it simple, allow yourself to focus, and give yourself the best chance for success. By the way, this is why New Year’s resolutions often fail to eventuate, because many people try to tackle more than one change at a time.
2. Start small.
The smaller the better for habit change, because habit change is difficult, and trying to take on too much is a recipe for disappointment. Want to exercise? Start with just 5-10 minutes. Want to wake up earlier? Try just 10 minutes earlier for now. In other words, bite-size chunks that can be easily digested, rather than a big mouthful of change too quickly
3. Set yourself a 21-day challenge.
Experience suggests that it takes about 21 days to change a habit, provided that you are focused and consistent. The exact number of days will vary from person to person and habit to habit. But you begin by setting yourself the challenge: then sticking with it every day for 21 days. And make sure you let others know about the progress you are making
4. Write it down.
Just saying you’re going to change the habit is not enough of a commitment. You need to actually write it down, on paper. Write down what you are going to start doing differently.
5. Make a habit change plan.
While you’re writing, also write down a plan. This will ensure that you have prepared yourself properly. Include in the plan your reasons (motivations) for changing, the obstacles you may encounter, the triggers to watch out for, and support people who can encourage you to persevere with the change process
6. Know your motivations, and be sure they’re strong.
It is important you write down clearly in your plan the reasons driving the habit change. You have to be very clear why you’re doing this, and the positive benefits of doing it need to be clear in your head. If you’re just doing it for vanity, while that can be a good motivator, it’s not usually enough to fuel perseverance during stormy weather. We need something stronger – whether it is for the happiness of ourselves, or for those who are dear to us – get your reasons clear!
- Change your thoughts to change your future
In this short clip, Jack Canfield (author of "Chicken Soup for the Soul) speaks about the importance of changing your thinking in order to change what's going on in your life.
The habit some people seek to change has to do with emotional over-eating. In this short clip, the speaker advocates that to change such a habit requires a willingness to surface the underlying emotion, so that it can be processed and ultimately released ...