"What kind of habits support you?"
"What kind of habits bring you temporary joy?"
"What habits hinder you to have a healthy, happy and successful life?"
These are the questions I ask my clients when they come to me how to break "bad" habits like - smoking, spending, sugar treats, getting angry easily, not being patient at work...
We clear the habit of thought underlying the behavior in a Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) session, and I share with my clients ways how to have control over their impulses and how to suppress them.
Breakthrough Your Habits in 30 Days
1. Monitor the habit for a week. Make note of the times you're likely to engage in the habit. Maybe you only smoke around certain friends. Perhaps you bite your nails when you're stressed or bored. At any rate, identify under which circumstances your habit is most likely to rear its ugly head.
2. Find out why. Your habit is satisfying some need. You're gaining a benefit or you wouldn't be exhibiting the behavior at all. Figuring out the positive aspects of your habit will help you understand it. Once you understand it, you can begin to change it.
3. Develop a substitute behavior. Find a more acceptable alternative that satisfies the same need that was being met by the old habit. So if your habit helps you to deal with stress, what are some healthy alternatives? Yoga? Other exercise? Deep breathing? Meditating? Singing? Watching a comedy? Calling a friend?
- What could you do instead that isn't harmful? Better yet, what could you do instead that would be healthy for you?
- Start substituting the new habit for the old. It will take a fair amount of attention at first, but begin intentionally substituting the new behavior each time you would automatically use the old behavior. It's likely to be challenging, but with a positive focus, you can do it.
4. Measure your progress. Keep track of how many times you engage in the old habit and how many times you engage in the new habit. Progress can be difficult to determine without measurement; if you don't know where you are, how will you know if you're moving forward or backward? By measuring your progress, you accomplish two things:
- You get feedback so you know how successful you are.
- You have the added motivation of seeing your progress.
5. Be patient. Take one step at a time. Complete perfection is unreasonable, but a little perfection can work wonders. Don't be upset when the inevitable slip occurs while you're breaking your old habit. Just examine the situation dispassionately and determine a better solution for the next time. You still gain a lot by decreasing the frequency of the bad habit.
- A good idea is to focus on having one perfect day today. The idea of one day without the habit may seem quite reasonable - and doable - to you. A string of perfect days is a lot easier than trying to be perfect for an extended period.
- For tough habits, a perfect hour might work better for your short-term goal.
Now that you're armed with a process, you can start eliminating that bad habit today. In 30 days, the new, healthier habit should be a part of your routine without requiring as much conscious effort. Changing to more positive habits can be challenging, but you gain a wonderful feeling of accomplishment when you do so.
Silke Glaab (aka SilkCelia) is a psychologist (MA) who helps executives, entrepreneurs and experts to be more resilient to stress and dramatically improve their thinking and feeling so that they enhance their performance and leave a legacy in their companies, their lives and the world.
Silk uses rapid transformation therapy to help clients to transform the roots of a presented issue within minutes while using neuroscience to boost brain power and emotional intelligence to create mindful behavior and decision making in all areas of life.
Silk holds a master degree in psychology and has worked for over 20 years as a trainer, consultant and counselor in divers industries in Germany, Kenya, and Dubai. She is personally trained by the celebrity hypnotherapist Marisa Peer and the neuroscientist Prof. Dr. Kennedy.