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Replacing Bad Habits

CB063487Replacing old habits

Habits are resistant to change. Replacing them takes time, commitment and dedication.

A lifestyle becomes a habit. When we are no longer satisfied with how we live, it’s time to question what we are doing.

We not only need to know what isn’t working, we need to know why and what new habits can replace them that will give us a greater reward.

We resist change because there is both a comfort level and a payoff to remain where we are. Putting a new habit in place takes hard work and courage and we’ll often rationalize why it is just too difficult to change.

Make that commitment

When you have identified the areas that require new habits pick one and put together a plan of action. A plan of action will address the following:

  • Identify what habits aren’t working and why
  • Determine what new habit is required to replace it
  • Name the obstacles that might interfere with your reaching your goal (include self-sabotage)
  • Work on one habit goal at a time
  • Mark a starting date on your calendar
  • Make a commitment. Put it into a statement that you repeat every day. In that statement include why you are making this commitment. This is important because it will continue to motivate you. Write it down, sign it and carry with you wherever you go.
  • Some habits take longer to put in place. For example, changing diet or exercise habits. At first it will be uncomfortable and will take determination to stick to the goal. Reward yourself every day with something that is meaningful and pleasant to you.
  • Be consistent. Set a time and follow through dutifully and unfailingly. If you miss one day, start over again the next. Any plan of action can break down. It doesn’t mean you abandon your goal.
  • Use positive reinforcement. One of the most powerful rewards you can give yourself is recognizing and praising yourself. Remind yourself that you are succeeding.
  • Put in place a support system. Either with a friend or in a support group with similar goals, this is a powerful motivation to continue when it just seems like too much work.

Long term motivation is always a challenge. Pick up the challenge. Keep reminding yourself you are on a journey to success. You determine the goals – and you can succeed.

Marlene Anderson

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