Bad Habits and How to Break Them
First off you have to decide whether a habit [or behaviour] that you engage in is actually bad.
Secondly I suppose you’d need to decide if you want to get rid of it.
Let’s assume for this discussion that smoking and over indulging in alcohol and food are bad habits.
Often we indulge in them because somehow we feel supported by them in certain contexts.
Frequently in social occasions, a puff of a cigarette seems to help us keep calm. It is in fact a prop that helps fill in the gaps say in conversation or gives us something to do so we don’t feel like a ‘jerk’ just standing around.
A drink will offer much the same, and a few more will ‘relax’ you and somehow you seem to be much better in conversation.
Food, or too much food, will really sneak up on you. It is so easy to just grab a snack in between activities. I have heard it called eating for nurture not nature.
We have taught ourselves to ignore our body’s signals. Obesity is becoming a global epidemic with associated health issues.
Whatever the habit or behaviour, you can change or eliminate them.
Investigative journalist Charles Duhigg writes in his book ‘The Power of Habit’, that all habits have three components; a cue [or trigger for a particular behavior], a routine [the behavior itself] and a reward [how your brain decides whether to remember a habit].
Scientists believe that the key to breaking bad habits is to break the cue-routine- reward cycle.
Duhigg offers a four step process which looks very similar to how I work as a coach.
1. Identify the routine
2. Experiment with rewards – let’s say switch an unhealthy snack with a piece of fruit.
3. Isolate the cue – there are five of them; location, time of day, emotional state, people around you and what happened before the behavior.
4. Have a plan.
In reality, none of the above is easy if you are ‘hooked’ on something.
In my mind you have to decide whether you want to keep the habit or not.
Then you need to look for the circumstances that ‘cause the habit’. Keep a log or journal on this [reference 3 above] and notice the patterns. What reward will you use to help?
Lastly your plan: As in all goal setting, getting from where you are to where you want to be can be a great big yawning gulf. However, a series of small easily achievable action steps do add up to closing that gap over time.
Each success with these small steps builds belief that, yes, you can change.
This is the essence of personal and self development.
I recall my giving up smoking. I had made many attempts to ‘cut down’ in order to eventually give up. This never worked. One day at a conference, we noticed a colleague from out of town was not smoking – he had been a heavy smoker as we all were back then.” Hey Kerry have you cut down?” We asked. “No” he replied, “I don’t smoke.”
Therein lay the clue to Kerry’s success. He had decided to stop smoking. He threw the cigarettes out of his car window and told himself – and others – “I don’t smoke.” Not I have quit or any acknowledgement of his having even been a smoker.
I tried this a few years later – when I was motivated enough to drop the habit. And it worked!
Now I don’t suggest that a cold turkey strategy such as this is easy or in fact will work for you, but it does demonstrate that it is possible to break the chains of addictive behaviours.
As the saying goes, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
For what it’s worth, I took up smoking at age 8 and quit when I was 35. So I had been ‘at it’ for quite a while.
Need any help with breaking your habits? Send me an email.
Aug 10 2012
Bad Habits and How to Break Them
Here’s an extract from Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich’ from the chapter on faith:
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost,
If you think you are outclassed, you are,
Life’s battles don’t always go
Hill’s poem epitomises his belief that we can become what we think about.
Anthony Robbins is one of the great motivators and change creators of modern times. I have incuded a brief clip that demonstrates how getting clear will help anyone take the action they need to move forward in their life.
Oct 03 2011
Something to ponder.
I was reminded today that often we get stuck in a situation and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to make any headway.
There is a technique that can be used to great effect to help anyone – including you – overcome most if not all difficulties.
And best of all, you can lean and apply this technique yourself!
It is called EFT [Emotional Freedom Technique].
Dr. Mercola [Dr. Mercola.com], describes EFT as ‘a form of psychological acupressure…’ and ‘This combination of tapping the energy meridians and voicing positive affirmation works to clear the ‘short – circuit’ the emotional block from your body’s bio energy system….’
Medical Doctors, therapists and life coaches can use EFT to great effect – it appears to be harmelss and people do make breakthoughs not only in mental health areas such as depression, but with behavioural issues such as procrastination or even use it for giving up smoking, weight loss, fear of public speaking for example or for phobias.
Of course you can use EFT as a ‘maintenance tool’ – one that will help keep you at your best even when you are happy and content – your natural state anyway.
Many of you may also be familiar with Louise Hay’s work with affirmations [ You Can Heal Your Life and many other books]. Well EFT is a bit like giving affirmations a helping hand.
It could be described as the ideal personal development tool!
If you would like a little coaching around removing some of the blocks [ emotional or otherwise] that are holding you back from living the life you know you deserve, then I invite you to check it out for yourself or email me.
Here’s to your success!
Here’s a short clip that I highly recommend.
This is a short post.
I recently wrote in my latest newsletter about the need to be conscious of your attitude toward change. I used the analogy of the automotive industry and how it changed [ it had to in order to survive], and how successful people persevere with their dream until they succeed.
My question to you is what initiatives are you doing right now for your own personal growth that ensures you continue on a path toward excellence in all aspects of your life.
For those of you who choose not to get stuck in somebody else’s economy [ the 'recession], have no doubt thought that ‘heck, I can create my own economy’ and are beginning to enjoy the fruits of that thinking. Maybe they talked to a Life Coach.
I get enquiries all the time from folks who are just not clear as to the direction they want to take. And as a Life Coach here in Auckland, I am able to help people from all over the world take the path toward a better future.
How often do you long for some peace and quiet?
If only everyone would just leave you alone so you be by yourself and catch your breath – just for one minute!
You ‘go within’ that’s how.
‘What do you mean?’ I hear you ask.
How would you feel if you could access that peace and tranquillity and yet still be in the midst of your [often hectic] daily life?
Is it possible – even just a little bit – that you don’t need to go on holiday or sit on a rock in some isolated place to experience this highly desirable state?
I say ‘yes, most definitely it is possible!’
Why don’t you take the time to remind yourself of all the stress you place on yourself [and family or friends], not to mention your holiday so you can finally relax and take it easy?
I bet you have said more than once – ‘I was just starting to wind down and enjoy myself when it was time to return home’.
Packing up, catching a plane, the hotel service was lousy, the campground was great but we had the noisiest family next to us. you know all the stories and yet you repeat this year after year.
You never know what you will get when travelling somewhere else and so ‘getting away from it all’ is more like replacing my daily hectic life with another version of it!
I suppose you will have some record of your travels, some photos and other memories. So what.
Then there is the added stress of returning to your normal routine and whatever you do for a job.
Why not learn to be at peace in this environment?
That way you get to enjoy your holiday – if in fact you actually ‘need’ one in quite the same way again!
This might be the most important thing you can do for your own personal development.
I invite you to contact me to learn how.
May 23 2010
A friend emailed me a link to a video that got me thinking.
I could say it is all about your attitude. Or your outlook on life.
I’ll let you watch the video below and then answer the question: “How do I see the world?”
Your response will give you insights that you can use, perhaps with the help of a coach, for your own self growth and personal development.
Oct 08 2009
On Saturday night David The Tuamaninator Tua beat Shane The Mountain Man Cameron a few seconds into the second round of an eagerly awaited heavy weight boxing match. Some will say the job was done before the end of the first round!
We witnessed a brief glimpse of incredible punching power and domination[from Tua] over his opponent. This surprised me as I reckon Cameron is a much better fighter than he was allowed to show on the night.
Both boxers had trained very hard to be in excellent condition for this fight.
‘If I lose because I didn’t give it my best………’ David Tua
What was the difference.? Why was one fighter so dominant. I am no boxing expert, but I am sure this was not a mismatch, not a fight just for ‘show’. The difference might come down to belief. Both contenders of course talked up their chances, both told us they would be the winner. Given that both fighters were in very very good condition and both had developed strategies to offset the other’s strengths and weaknesses, how is it that on the night the winner seemed to make victory look almost too easy?
I am sure you have seen this at other sporting events. Often the superior team somehow lets the other seemingly weaker team beat them. This has happened with the All Blacks and the Silver Ferns this year.
Both teams have played well below their potential game after game only to rise like a Phoenix from the ashes and put on a display that is truly inspiring and won convincingly.
It is like they have woken up from a state of hibernation, too late for the series win though!
Life is like this too!
Deep down you know you have the talent and the ability to excel to achieve outstanding results but you don’t. Why is that?
Maybe you do not believe.
Maybe you have lost focus.
A useful tool that helps is to ‘remember a time when……..‘ you did succeed, you felt great, anything was possible. Getting in touch with your feelings, how you felt at that time is a great way to get back on the horse and ride to success. This is one of the self development secrets to getting what you want. To becoming all that you can be.
Just like the super sports stars and teams your chances of success are as much a mental exercise as anything else [assuming of course you have done the physical preparation!].
Being a member of a top sports team is as much an exercise in personal development as an individual who aspires to be, do, and have more success and happiness in his or her life.
Shane Cameron has said he will be back. He is disappointed, who wouldn’t be?
Next time Shane will do whatever it takes to ensure that he does not lose.
So will you.
Remember the Zen saying: ‘Knock down seven times, get up eight!
P.S. The annual Bathurst 1000 motor race is on this weekend. There will be approximately 29 teams attempting to redress their bitter disappointments from last year! They will be prepared. What will be the difference between the winning team and the rest?