We tend to walk the path of least resistance. The power of habit, applies to everyone.
Being constantly on a move and rushing doing countless things a day is certainly exhausting. And we all need to adapt to that dynamic everyday life nowadays. We all know what it is like. It consumes a lot of our energy and focus. But are we using them as efficient as possible? It is possibly hard to say “yes” to this question, but you are not alone. It’s a human nature to stick with our already existing habits.
Lets say you make a SMART goal towards something. Getting started requires action and effort. But more importantly it requires time for the process. In order to get from where are you right now to where you want to go, you need to change your habits. Why?Chances are that the person, who is already where you want to go has a different set of habits. A famous quote that supports that vision is from uncle Ben “With the big powers comes the big responsibility”.
Walking the path of change yourself, you will encounter a daily obstacles. obstacles for our current behaviour. Imagine, is your future self going to tackle the same issue, the same way you do in the moment? Perhaps the answer is no, well let’s get to action.
They are many self-improvement books out there in for giving you the right roadmap for changing your habits, improving your self etc. Yet my goal here is to motivate you to act on your own, because I need it as well. This is the way to make myself accountable for my words. And acountablity is a great tip to make you do something unpleasant. Your friends might be your best option. Another good tip is the “5sec rule”, described in the book by Mel Robins. Simply count backwards 5,4,3,2,1 Go! and take action. Nothing happens for us, that’s why we need to develop the spirit and the person who can get it. I imagine it like a computer game in which you develop a hero. Simply on level 1 you can’t kill a boss of higher level of yours. Which level are you aiming for?
Speaking about habits and behavior change there is an important note here. A key to understand is that “bad habits” or habits in general are not being deleted! They are being replaced. There is nothing like a void, empty slot in your habit set waiting for the a new one to be developed. It is simply need to be substitute with another one.
A bad habit tends to be harder to break and easy to adopt. On the other hand, a proficient habit is easy to break and harder to adopt. That is the price.
3 Steps for substituting an old habit with a new one
A simple way to make that transition from an existing habit to adopting a new one:
- Identify existing habits – outline the most you can around the one you are trying to substitute. Use time frame, circumstances, peer pressure and etc.
- Pick a marker habit – this is going to be a habit that you are comfortable with. It’s purpose is to make you take action on the new one. It has to be immediately before or after the one you are adopting.
- Trigger – your marker habit is also your trigger. A call to action!
These are the steps that will help you take action. And only action itself will erase the already existing neural pathways of your old habit. Replacement takes time and a lot of effort, mostly emotional not physical. Keep your head up by enjoying the action, after all you are changing with each step.
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