These are the habits you want to avoid if you want to make a behavior change.
from Andie Weinman
Don’t eliminate a habit, just try adopting a new routine. Its difficult to change an ingrained behavior. Even for the most productive and disciplined among us, undoing something that has become an automatic part of who we are takes more than an overnight effort. Once we have made a change, we need to make other adjustments in our lives to ensure that we continue to maintain it. This is a whole different challenge. At its core, success in changing a behavior rarely occurs without a system. You must have the right framework in place.
Here are some habits we should stay away from:
1. Relying on will power;
Think about the last time you vowed to resist temptation. Like how many times you will glance at your phone during the day or no more 3pm chocolate fix. I do not think anyone can rely on will power alone (except maybe Joe). Think about what else you can change in your surroundings that will make it easier for you to perform this change on a daily basis.
For example, instead of the 3pm chocolate, reach for a herbal tea. Have it at your desk the same time you may be craving that afternoon chocolate fix.
2. Focusing on negative goals;
Sometimes it's not your process that let's you down, but the habit that you want to change in the first place. For starters, not eating chocolate to beat your afternoon slump is a harder goal than swapping out chocolate for a herbal tea. Keeping your attention on something new gives your habit system a chance to operate in your favor.
3. Using the same strategy in different circumstances;
Because we are creatures of habit it's natural to assume that when we do manage to adopt a desirable behavior, the same strategy will work when we want to make another behavior change. But that's not usually the case. Sometimes, the system that worked to get you to change one behavior, might not work for another.
Here's two Examples:
You may be in the habit of always rely on your gut when it comes to making an important decision. That may work when your business is small or just starting, but it may hinder your growth in later stages when you need to consider all the information and data rather than letting instinct override the facts.
If you want to stop checking your phone first thing in the morning you might need to start with another activity in its place. That is why so many of us tend to get up and workout in the morning. I never did until now. Joe and I are in the gym together every morning. Just like it says in all of our Preferred Tutorials... it takes 15 minuets and 21 days to make a habit stick.
4. Not forgiving yourself for slipping;
Of course, even the best laid plans fail. You may have been very successful in not looking at your phone first thing in the morning. Then a big project with a deadline lands in your lap and you find yourself in bed with your phone and laptop every night before you go to sleep. Or you were doing great on your diet but now you are so busy you succumb to eating greasy pizza. Life happens, but just remember to not beat yourself up. Just because you might have temporarily veered off course doesn’t mean you can’t start fresh the next day.
5. Discounting small progress;
Speaking of slip-ups, here is another habit we tend to fall into when trying to establish a behavioral change. We focus too much on the big goal and don't take the time to celebrate the small progress we make in the process. Remember your brain responds to rewards.
Let’s say your goal is to run 5 miles three times a week, and this week you run one mile on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Rather than focusing on how far you have come toward your goal, think about how you can reward yourself for the progress you’ve made. It does not have to be big or expensive, (depending on who we are talking to) it can be as simple as treating yourself to your favorite smoothie.
Last words I still remember – whatever you reward, it has to be more than just rewarding the activity itself to get you going and keep you going.
To all my Preferred Retailers, be kind to yourselves and remember we are an 888 number away!