Break A Habit
We all have at least one habit we want to change. It’s possible to disrupt a pattern and brake a habit. Begin by understanding all you can about your habit.
“To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did; I ought to know because I’ve done it a thousand times.” ― Mark Twain
1. WHAT IS THE HABIT YOU WANT TO BREAK?
Example: “My language needs to improve. I use foul language and swear and want to stop.”
2. WHEN DO YOU PERFORM THIS HABIT?
Example: “When I stub my toe or things don’t go the way I want.”
(There may be more to this habit than is obvious. If you are constantly frustrated, ask yourself why and what you can do to eliminate the frustration. You may need to work on your anger and could benefit from anger and stress management classes.)
3. WHY DO YOU WANT TO STOP?
Example: “I know I should sound more polite.”
(This is a “should” answer. It’s not enough reason for you to change. It’s based on your perception of what others think, not a true reason for you to change.)
“I want to be a better example to my children.”
(Since this reason is your own, you will succeed.)
4. WHAT ARE YOUR SURROUNDINGS? CONSIDER PEOPLE, TIME OF DAY, MENTAL ATTITUDE, AND OTHER PERTINANT FACTORS.
Example: “Most often when I’m alone, but words slip out when I’m around my children.”
(There may be a pattern based on your environment. Consider if your environment is influencing your habit. If you control your language in one situation, you can control it in all situations, if you really want to).
5. WITH WHAT HABIT DO YOU WANT IT REPLACED?
Example: “I want to use a more benign term like shucks or fiddlesticks or confound it.”
(It is essential to replace a habit. You cannot simply stop a habit.)
6. THE NEXT STEP IS TO IMPLEMENT THE NEW HABIT.
Begin by rehearsing the new habit. See yourself on a tight schedule and looking at the gas gauge. You know that you will need to stop for gas and you don’t have time. You feel frustrated. What comes out of your mouth? Practice your new habit. The more you practice, the easier it will be to change your habit.
“Habits are first cobwebs, then cables.” ― Spanish proverb
7. NOW USE YOUR NEW HABIT.
When first starting a new habit, you have to condition your mind. This takes energy and puts you outside your comfort zone. As it becomes more natural for you, it will take less effort on your part.
8. DON’T BE DISCOURAGED.
When you first begin, you will fall back. Stop and reuse your new habit. It will become second nature. Change only one habit at a time. Each habit takes at least twenty-one successive days to become natural.
Stopping and starting a new habit creates confusion in your brain and takes longer to develop the habit. Stopping and starting reinforces stopping instead of maintaining the habit you want to develop and makes creating a new habit very difficult.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
- What habit are you going to attack first?
- Why do you want to break this habit?
- What habit will you replace it with?
- When will you begin?
[box type=”bio”] Betty Eddy is a published author and member of the Netiv community. Her work as a life coach has given her unique insight into self help. In her book “Untying the Knots of Life” she deals with concepts which guides the reader though self discovery. [/box]