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Value Creation Blog

Habits Are Hard To Change

Posted by Josh Patrick

Habits Are Hard To Change.jpgI bet you’ve had a time in your life where you wish that you did things in a different way.  You tried to make a change, but you found that you just couldn’t.  There was this annoying thing that got in your way.  That annoying thing……..it’s called a habit.

Too often you just give up when you figure it’s a habit getting in the way.  Instead why don’t you try some of the following to see if you can change what you do.

My fight with quitting cigarette smoking.

In my twenties I was a chimney.  I would smoke about three packs of cigarettes per day.  Then, I met my wife to be.  She made it very clear to me that she wasn’t going to marry me if I was still smoking.

That was a problem for me.  You see, I had tried to quit smoking several times before.  Each time I tried, I failed.  If you’ve tried to quit smoking you might know what I’m talking about.  The problem for me was I would try to go cold turkey.

It got to be a joke with my friends.  Once I tried replacing cigarettes with mints.  The only problem I had was you couldn’t tell there was any difference in my behavior.  The way I treated the mints I was eating was the same way I treated cigarettes.  It was pretty funny to those who were watching and pretty frustrating to me.

Then, I finally got it.  I made small changes.  The small changes I made slowly but surely made me realize how disgusting cigarette smoking was.  I ended up grossing myself out and eventually I just stopped smoking.  And, it took almost no effort.

Have you ever had an experience where you were able to change a habit and it felt effortless?  I bet it came from small changes.

Small changes often end up with big wins.

Here’s the deal.  If you want to change a habit, start with something small.  Don’t for a big win, just go for something that you can easily do.  When that easy thing becomes a new habit, go for another small win.  Before you know it, you’ll have made the changes you want and a new habit will have taken the place of your old habits.

Forget trying to make the change with brute force.

You could very easily be thinking that I’m crazy and the only way to change a habit is through the power of self-control and brute force.  You have to force yourself to make a change.

If you’re like me when I tried to quit smoking the only thing that’s going to happen when you attempt using brute force is a fabulous failure.  Using brute force will only have one outcome for you……you’ll get frustrated.  Do yourself a favor and learn about small changes that seem like their too small to have any effect.  You’ll be surprised at what happens.  Before long, your old behaviors will be in the rear view mirror and the new behaviors you want will have become your new reality.

You can’t order yourself to change.

Just saying you want to change is an OK first step.  At the same time, it’s not going to get you much of a result.  Instead, understanding that you want to replace your behavior with something better is a first step.  You also are going to have to take action if you really want to make the change you want real.

Just remember, it’s not great big giant steps.  Its little steps where you change your focus.  You not only have to change what you do; you have to change how you think about that change.  Small steps will help your brain make the changes you want.  Big changes make your brain short circuit and before you know it you’re back to doing the things you don’t want to be doing.

You’ll need small wins along the way.

I’m probably sounding a bit redundant.  I’ve already said it’s small changes and I need to keep saying this because your brain is probably saying no, I want to make the change right now.  If you do this, there is only one thing that’s going to happen.  You’ll be frustrated and give up.

Give it a try.  Start small, make one change that seems so easy anyone can do it.  If you keep doing this, you’ll be surprised how fast and easily you give up your old behavior and start all of the new things you want to do.

Why don’t you click here and let me know what you think about how you’re going to change your habits?  I’m really curious about what you think.

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Topics: life changes, transitions, changin habits

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