How many times have you found yourself thinking that your life is not at all what you planned it to be? How many times have you lain awake in bed at night wondering why you are not where you want to be despite all of the right things you are doing?
The answer to your question lies within your habits. In the words of Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do.” By changing your habits you are able to automatically transform yourself and create a life you desire.
Not all habits need to be changed. How can you tell which habits serve you and which ones you need to drop? Take a look inside.
Here are three steps that can enhance your life!
1. Identify Your Habits
Let’s say that you have noticed yourself steadily gaining weight each month. It is safe to assume that it could be due to an unhealthy eating habit you have developed or lack of exercise. Instead of choosing to ignore the problem or refusing to step on your scale, you can simply acknowledge its existence. Identify the routine that holds you captive and no longer benefits you. This is the first and most crucial step.
It seems easy, doesn’t it? However, studies on behavioral analysis show that 60% of the time, the average adult is more likely to look the other way and pretend the issue does not exist.
Denial is one of the most common behavioral problems among us for the simple fact that we do not like facing our problems. We are creatures who crave stability rather than change. It is so much easier to pretend something isn’t there than to dive deep and get to the root of the issue.
There are no habits that are too big or small to recognize and adjust. All it takes to begin the journey is to accept the existence of the habit or addiction. Instead of being another number in this alarming statistic of denial, read step number two!
2. Identify the Pattern of the Habit
The pattern of the habit is often referred to as the “cue” which is triggered through the stimulus you receive in your environment. Identifying the cues not only helps you locate what triggers your habits but enables you to replace them with better ones.
Lucky for you, psychologists have now broken it down to the following:
Place – Where you are when the routine occurs.
Timeframe – When does the routine occur?
Emotion – How do you feel when the routine occurs?
Mindset – What is your mindset?
Environment – Who are you with?
Activity – What were you doing right before it occurred?
To complete this step you need to consider what the reward is every time this cue becomes a routine.
-Is the reward worth continuing the routine?
-Is the reward really the one your mind thinks it is?
For example, every time you take a break from the computer you eat some cookies. Is it to satisfy hunger or simply to pass the time during your break?
Now that this is done, nothing can stop you!
You are ready to break free of your habits once and for all! Now, on to the third step.
3. Break Free and Turn Your Life Around
Now that you have identified your habits and the patterns in which they occur, you are finally able to break free from them! All it takes now is a little planning. According to psychologists, setting a specific time, place and a way of action sets you up for success.
Returning to the example of food, knowing you eat two cookies every time you take a computer break is a habit. You know they are the reason you have been gaining weight.
Congratulations! You have just completed the first two steps.
How can you break this routine? Prepare fruit salads ahead of time so you have easy access to them when you are on your break and craving something sweet. Another plan could be going for a walk or getting fresh air to give you other forms of uplifting satisfaction.
To sum this up:
-Find the habit you need to change.
-Figure out when and how it occurs.
-Create a plan on how to break it and stick to it.
Understanding how your habit works has now given you the power to change it and improve your life. Remember not to be too hard on yourself, for there will be times that you might stumble along the way.
The important thing is to keep trying to create positive new routines. This will keep you motivated and will have a ripple effect of benefits throughout your entire life.
The human mind has a tendency to put blame on bad habits for our laziness or failures.
You have the power within you to make the changes you desire.
Stop placing blame where it does not belong and take responsibility for your health and happiness today!
If you enjoyed reading about changing your habits, remember this is just one of many ways to ‘bend’ reality, tap into powers beyond your conscious existence… and connect with your infinite self.
Become familiar with simples ways to give your life a new optimistic turn.