How many things do you do every day without even really thinking about it?
It’s so easy to walk up to the counter at the coffee shop and order a pastry to go with that highly sweetened coffee. Or, to flop onto the couch when you get home instead of taking a detour toward the rowing machine.
The power of habit can feel nearly unbreakable and it can feel incredibly hard to form better habits.
Our habits are patterns that provide comfort and familiarity.
But, I don’t have to tell you that not all of our habits are beneficial to us. Some of our habits leave us with problems like expanding debt or expanding waistlines.
Others can keep us in a holding pattern where we want to improve ourselves in many ways, but never get around to putting them into action because we’ve created bad habits.
Researchers who’ve looked at habits and patterns of behavior say that it can take 60 days or more to get rid of an old habit and get a new one to stick.
But, if you aren’t going at changing habits the right way, a bad habit can stick around longer than that …
If you want different results, you’re going to have to try different methods than you’ve used before.
Through my work with coaching and awareness counseling, I’ve learned a lot about what works.
The three stepping stones below are what you need to put yourself on the path to better habits and a happier, more fulfilling life.
1. Identify What is Holding You Back
The first step on the path is to make an inventory of the habits that are holding you back.
Be searching and specific.
Say you want to commit to getting a full night’s sleep every night. What’s keeping you from that now?
Is a late afternoon coffee habit interfering with your sleep? Are you gaining unwanted weight because you’re overeating? Are you having a hard time getting your eyes off the glowing screen of your phone when you should be unwinding instead? Are you not spending enough quality time with your significant other?
Figuring out what is causing the problem is a vital part of getting yourself to a workable solution.
Go ahead and make a list of the habits that have to go.
2. Use the Law of Replacement
You can’t completely remake yourself as a person in a single day. It just won’t take. You’ll get overwhelmed and then slip right back into the old patterns from before.
Instead, use the Law of Replacement to pick the ones that matter to you most. Choose which habits you will leave behind and what…