How has your day been so far?
Did it start with getting up, taking a shower, then brushing your teeth or a similar routine?
It’s been a while since the New Year celebrations and what about the resolutions? Did you make any? Have you stuck to them? Or like many, returned back to the comfort zone called old habits.
The one thing we can be sure of is, us Human Beings are creatures of habit.
Here is an example: just think back, right now, to when you were a child. Can you remember how much brainpower and concentration you had to use the first time you learned to ride a bike?
In the beginning you may have had someone holding on to the back of your saddle whilst you wobbled along. Then after a while, with continued practice, it became so much easier.
Let’s face it, as we go through life we form several different habits.
Some of them serve us well.
However, a lot of the habits we form, can actually hold us back from doing exactly what we would really like to do instead.
So why does this happen?
Can we prevent them from holding us back?
Yes, we can !
Below is a diagram called the habit loop according to Charles Duhigg.
This process within our brains is a three-step loop. First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and the sub-conscious part of our mind sorts which habit to use. Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future. Over time, this loop… becomes automatic.
The cue and reward become intertwined until a powerful sense of anticipation and craving emerges. The really good news is that if you want to start creating good habits, there is help available.
Clearly Identify Your Bad or Unproductive Habits. The most important thing is that you really think about the future consequences of your bad habits.
1. For example: Someone who is overweight and habitually likes over eating all the unhealthy foods saying “one more chocolate bar won’t hurt”. Then, 20 years in to their future due to obesity they have a heart attack. Being careful now, when you examine your bad habits could potentially save your life. When we eat, the brain’s reward system tells us to feel good by activating dopamine in the nucleus acumen's. Food is a natural primary reward since it is so crucial for our survival. We become motivated to eat and to survive.
2. Set new habits. Think about how to motivate yourself, visualize all of the benefits and the rewards you would get from creating your new habits. What action can you put in place to ensure the success of your new habits?
3. Create a plan of action. Start by maybe taking steps to create your action plan can really help you turn a visual into reality, set targets and make them as detailed as you can. Remember, this new habit needs to serve you well in the future.
We all like to do things that make us feel good and changing bad habits for good ones is all part of the process. This releases dopamine, the feel good chemical in the brain.
So how do we go about putting a plan of action together to get the best results?
Have you ever heard of the phrase “don’t think of a pink elephant” ?
Well, what did you think of?
Most of you will have thought of a pink elephant.
Now imagine if that pink elephant was a bad habit.
However, if I told you to think of large man with a long white beard, wearing a red outfit with a black belt and boots, who had 7 reindeer's as his trusty steads, What would you conger up in your mind? would you still be thinking of the pink elephant? Bad habits are a lot like the pink elephant, they can be made to disappear.
Changing your daily routine will activate your mind to go with the new habit, Soon this will become a natural thought pattern to you. Start a diary to check on how well your progress is going.
You don’t even have to do it alone. You could seek external help to make the process easier.
Hypnotherapy is another way that can assist you in quickly breaking those bad habits (such as Smoking, Overeating or any other habit that is not serving you well).
Hypnotherapy is one of the most natural forms of treatment in existence.
Why not start today, it could change your life forever.
Remember the pink elephant?