New month. New beginning. New mindset. New focus. New start. New intensions. New results. I know last week I talked about how to how to successfully set and achieve new goals in 2020 so I guess the next step is to get rid of the old and bring in the new!
Huge shoutout to my friends over at Inc. for their amazing expertise in ditching bad habits and formulating a list of things that are necessary to bring good energy and positive results.
We all hang onto a few bad habits like security blankets. They feel so good, especially when we are stressed out or bored. We all know we should be doing things differently. Science proves that our brain is wired to repeatedly engage in bad behavior, even when we know it can be harmful. How do we move from what we know we should be doing to actually doing it? The most important aspect of breaking a bad habit is to replace it with something else. It’s not enough to stop what you are doing. By merely trying to stop a behavior, you are left with a void, and the question of “what do I do now?”
- Train yourself to focus on the negative aspects of your bad habit. We continue with bad habits because they provide some type of psychological comfort, even when we know they are detrimental in the long run.
Create a physical list of the negative consequences of your habit and place it in places where you usually practice your habit. Refer to it when you are about to engage.
- Focus on one habit at a time to reduce the risk of failure. Often when we want to make a change, we go all in. We must remember that reaching rock-bottom to the point of knowing we need to change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a long time to hit bottom. We can’t climb out overnight.
- Find an accountability partner. When we know we are doing a check-in, we are more likely to remain committed to change. This could be a friend or family member. Select someone that is fully behind your change, and can support you in a positive way.
You may have to select someone beyond your inner circle, because those closest to you may be engaging in the same habits. By selecting someone that already lives the lifestyle you want to adapt, you will have more success and support.
- Visualize your success. Envision who you are without your negative habit weighing you down. How are you enjoying your time? What are you able to do that you can’t do right now? Who are you spending time with? How will the improved version of yourself be able to move closer to your larger goals?
- Remove triggers. What causes you to reach for your bad habit? By knowing our triggers, we can either find healthier ways to deal with the triggers, or we can make changes to avoid them in the first place.
Until next time…