Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Strategies for eliminating an undesirable habit

Seems like breaking an old undesirable habit is insurmountable because once you are comfortable with it, changing or eliminating it can be very frightening and extremely uncomfortable.. The problem with a habit is that the origination of it is probably not known to the person who created it. Therefore the strong need to perform activities or thoughts over and over just seems to come out from nowhere. 

For a long time a habit had a negative connotation and were connected to negative or damaging stuff like addictions. Yet habits can be good, healthy, positive and achievable. Especially since humans are instinctively creators of habit.

What is a habit?

A habit is literally just a thought or action that you practice over and over that eventually become automatic. A habit is those things, actions, emotions or thoughts that you do without thinking. Habits can be good or bad, healthy or unhealthy.

I‘m a big fan of paying attention to habits, both habitual behavior and thoughts. Some habits are intentional to live smoother and happier in life. However some habits aren't even in your consciousness. Most of your habits are generated from your subconscious mind.

Most limiting behaviors or self-defeating thoughts that keep you miserable about yourself and life are generated by one or more of your subconscious habits. Thoughts drive decisions and decisions strongly influence behaviors, emotions and reactions. Practice an action, a thought or feeling often enough and it will become a habit. Over time it will become embedded in the subconscious and rule your life.

For instance, if you constantly entertain anxious and worry thoughts about not having enough happiness, you'll create behaviors based on those fears. You'll push people away that could bring you happiness and draw people toward you that criticize or judge you.

Let me ask you three questions about your habits

Habits can interfere with you gaining more success, inner peace or happiness. So take a moment right now and answer these questions honestly for the benefit of yourself.

        1. Which of your habits suck up your time and energy?
        2. Which habits do you have that do not serve you positively?
        3. Why do I continue a habit that affects your life in negative
             way and does not serve you emotionally, mentally or 

 If you didn't answer the questions, you probably have a habit of procrastination and you put off change or are afraid to form powerful new habits.

Here are some habits which can stop you from achieving what you want:

Checking email too many times a day
Watching almost every video or reading every post sent to you on Facebook
Reading or searching for articles that you feel would answer your problems, but don’t
Ruminating over and over about what you could have done in the past
Constantly focusing on disappointments
Mentally attempting to fix what went wrong in your past
Responding to anxious or stressful situations that have not happened yet
Thinking why you can't get what you want all the time
Worrying about the wrongs done to you or what happened to you in your past

Mindset Shift

Now shift your mindset and become more mindful of your habits. 

Think of habits you can create that would serve you now and you could start today. There is no time like the moment to start to change old habits into new healthy habits. Stop spending your time ruminating about "what you can’t do" and start putting new positive behaviors, emotions or thoughts into action. The more you put something into action the greater skill level you acquire, the more confidence you will attain.

One benefit of creating a positive habit is that habituation takes less energy and can be embedded into your subconscious mind in 7 days. At first you have to be very conscious of your new action and doing the new thing everyday. Repetition is the key to to habit formation.

Here are some healthy habit strategies that would support development:

Take a daily 20-minute walks to clear my head before practicing the new behavior, emotion or thought you want to install

Believe that you have the answers for you in you

Be mindful of the moment and enjoy 

Meditate for 5 minutes a day to reduce the chatter in your head and practicing purposeful breathing sometime after you have practiced your new behavior, emotion or thought you want to install

Set intentions for your day within the first hour you're awake

Exercise or go to the gym at least 3 times a week

Create specific goals in all areas of your life. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable and time lined

Create and write out a weekly schedule to keep you on track and accountable

Listening to a calming or uplifting music CD to reduce the judgmental sounds of your inner critic and it negative influences it generally has on you

Limit your time on electronic devices during the day

Be good to yourself by rewarding yourself once a day even if it is only a positive thought about you

Pat yourself on the back for just the effort you are taking in the right direction.

Notice and acknowledge what you are doing right

Celebrate all successes not matter how small the changes

Commit to doing whatever it takes to do the task in the first 30 days

Also in forming and installing your new habits you can break them down into small or big habits. Your mindset and personal beliefs will dictate what is best for you in the moment. 

I like to create small and big habits when I want to increase my success of intended change. Why? The small habits keep me grounded by practicing over and over again on a daily basis in 30 days. The small habits create change quickly and are easy to accomplish. For instance forming a habit of walking I hour every day. First start with beginning of walking, say five minutes. If you focus on walking a full hour in the beginning it can be overwhelming. Walk for five minutes for a couple of weeks until it becomes firmly installed as a behavior. In the next couple of weeks expand to 30 minutes. Finally lengthen your walk to one hour. The last step should be no problem because the walk has become a habit. Start small and build into a bigger habit.

The big habits help me to have something to shoot for going forward in a longer time period. The big habits create change slower but tend to be more motivating. Big habits are powerful for me because they enhance term committed to producing a new habit. This strategy isn't ideal for everyone.

Understand that initially installing a habit is not energy free. It will cost you. To form a new habit will cost you awareness, commitment, effort, responsibility.

I have discovered the more I practice anything the quicker I achieve and the faster adapt the action as mine. Another benefit is through repetitiveness the more confidence I develop with that activity. The other thing that is important is not to expect to do the habit perfectly. Expecting perfection is the killer of creating, developing or forming anything new. Expecting perfection will cause you to abandon your efforts quicker than anything else you will encounter.

Finally ask yourself:
What in your life gives you extreme joy and fulfillment?
What healthy habit would you replace an old one with that would radically change my life?

Short-term program to help you form healthy habits quicker

You have probably heard that it takes 30 days of repeating an action or thought before it becomes a habit. Well that is the truth. You can change way you think and behave in just one month. Free you need to know the secret. The secret is that all your thoughts and actions are influenced and generated by how your mind is coded. The 30 Day Life Changing Challenge can unlock your code and help you to achieve a whole new way of thinking and behaving. Change your code in just one month and be a new you.

Go to and click on the 30 Day Challenge and find out what the program can do for you. FREE Mini Challenge