How to change habits – Antoinette Camilleri

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Each one of us is faced with the need to change something in our life, at one time or another. This could be to add a new, healthy or useful habit, or to stop a bad one.

Most people think, that to bring about change, you simply need to have a clear plan in your head and a will power. However, strong will is rarely enough, as habits are ingrained behaviour, which we may sometimes even do unconsciously. Also their may be unconscious needs these habits are fulfilling,

If will power was enough, we would all be skinny, healthy, and probably rich and happy.

Here are some ways, you can increase your likelihood, to succeed in changing a habit.

1. Become Aware

Observe and notice your behaviour, and/or thoughts, depending on what you want to change.

2. Take Baby Steps

Do not try to change everything at once, or more than one thing at a time. If possible, break up, big changes, in small steps. For example, if you wish to start eating a healthy diet, do not try to eat, only healthy food as from next Monday.

3. Be Easy on Yourself.

Take note of your successes and celebrate them. Be aware of any fallback, but do not waste time ruminating about them.

4. Use Mental Practice

Many of us underestimate the power of imagination.

5. Take All the Time You Need

There is an old standing believe, that it only takes 21 days to change a habit. New studies have mention 60 days or even a 100 days. I believe there is no standard number of days. First of all, not all habits can be practiced daily.  Some habits are more ingrained than others, and you may need to try different methods to instil the new habit.

6. Use Structures

Willpower is rarely enough. Put in simple structures, to support your intended change. Structures are techniques to remind you, and help you, do, or not do something.

7. Reward Yourself

Setting a reward system, will do wonders to ensure you are more motivated to practice your new habit more often, Give yourself small rewards for reaching smaller goals at first. Do not wait until you have fully mastered the new habit, this way each step will become easier.

8. Replacing a Bad Habit is More Effective Than Controlling It

In most cases, it is easier to embrace something new, than to stop an old habit. Trying to stop a bad habit, is very much like holding down a coiled spring. When you let it go, it will spring out even further away.

9. Changing Habits for a Definite Time, Rarely Works

Only embark on changes, you know you can keep for a lifetime. Do not plan to exercise three times a week, only until you lose weight.

Read Antoinette Camilleri views in the article here. 

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