All of us at one time or another wanted to change a habit. It is possible to change habits but yes, it takes time and patience. Most habits change in about 4-8 weeks but don’t put a time or date on it, it just adds pressure. Here are some tips on how to change a habit.
1. Know the habit needs to be changed. This has a lot to do with self-awareness. Be aware of what habits you want to change. Once you are aware then you can start making changes.
2. How will I change the habit? Will you substitute negative behaviors/actions for more positive ones. Example: Instead of biting nails, you will chew gum. Substitution is a way to help change a negative behavior/action. Do you need to change your thought process. Everytime you have a negative/irrational thought replace it with a realistic/positive thought. Again, you need to be self-aware of your negative actions/behaviors and thoughts for this to work.
3. Want – the most important part. For any changes to occur, you need to want to make the changes. You need to want to change for YOU!! You can find motivation from others like your family, spouse, etc but it still needs to come from within.
Changing a habit can be painful and scary but the rewards are always greater. Also, remember that the pain and fear are temporary. It will pass. You are not a victim and have complete control over your life. CHOOSE to make the change.
We become happy during the change because we feel a sense of accomplishment which motivates us to continue. We feel the journey of change is a reward. We are always learning through the changes while taking risks that makes us happy.
Make sure to include positive reinforcement during your habit change. Reward and praise yourself. Example: When you are on a diet and lose ten pounds, you buy yourself a new shirt. It’s the same thing – reward and praise yourself. Use self-talk, tell yourself what a great job you are doing.
What changes will you make?