Friday, April 29, 2016

Myddfai Reiki: 5 Unexpected Tricks for Replacing a Bad Habit with a Good One

5 Unexpected Tricks for Replacing a Bad Habit with a Good One

If you asked anyone how they managed to eliminate one of their old bad habits by replacing it with a good one, they might give you some vague answer like, “I just decided that I really wanted to do it,” or “I pushed myself.” While this may be true to them on the surface, it doesn’t give people like us any hints about what kind of mindset tricks they may have subconsciously used to do it.
Habit formation is an extremely personal endeavor, but there are some more specific ways you can increase your chances of success. In fact, some of the most effective tricks are pretty counterintuitive for most people. Here are just five you should consider.

Focus on a trigger rather than the habit itself.
If you want to eliminate your bad habit of plopping down on the couch after work to watch TV with a glass of wine in hand, you might say to yourself, “I’m going to start exercising for 30 minutes after work.” But focusing on the habitual change you want to make isn’t what’s going to get you to take action.
Instead, you need to establish a trigger point that gets you to take action. If you want to exercise after coming home from work, your trigger could be the point where you walk through your front door. Or it could be the point where you change out of your work clothes. So instead of simply telling yourself you’ll exercise after work, you can trigger yourself to take action by saying, ”As soon as I walk through my front door, I’m on my way to exercising.”

Take one extremely tiny action toward positive change.
 People often seek to change their habits because they want some sort of result. A focus on results means making changes substantial enough to start seeing progress in a reasonable amount of time, which is often uncomfortable to sustain day after day, week after week, and month after month. In fact, many of us greatly overestimate what we’re able to keep up with over the long run.
If you want to permanently replace a bad habit with a good one, aim to take one small action a day that only takes a few seconds or maybe a minute to complete. If it’s reading instead of watching TV, start with reading just one page of your book. If it’s flossing instead of ignoring your dental hygiene, start with just one tooth. You need to build the foundation of your habit first with a very small, impossible-to-not-do action first before trying to get real results.

Perceive difficult obstacles as valuable lessons.
Many of us have fixed mindsets, meaning we think we’re simply born with an unwavering level of talent, intelligence and other desirable traits needed for success. People with fixed mindsets see obstacles and their own mistakes as things that verify how capable or incapable they are of succeeding at something.
People with growth mindsets, on the other hand, see traits like talent and intelligence as things that can be developed over time through effort. If you have a fixed mindset, anything that gets in your way of performing your habit is likely to make you want to say “screw it” and quit. In contrast, people with growth mindsets recognize the hard stuff as things that will help them become better and develop more resilience.

Tell yourself you’re already a huge success.
The difference in wording may be subtle, but saying, “I want to successfully do [new habit],” is definitely not the same as saying, ”I am successful at doing [new habit].” By telling yourself what you want to do or what you want to become as if you’re already doing it or embodying it, you can reprogram your mind for success.
Your mind doesn’t care what’s real or fake in the moment, so even if you’re struggling to do a good job or feel confident in any new habit you’re trying to develop, your mind will start to believe you’re already a huge success if you just start talking to yourself as if you are. What you’re really doing here is simply using the power of positive affirmations to change your habits and make them stick.

Don’t get caught up in fantasizing.
Telling yourself you’re already successful can work, but that’s not always the case if it makes you get lost in fantasy land. One of the big reasons why visualization exercises don’t work so well for people who want to change is because they only visualize the positive outcome they want.
A UCLA study found that people who visualized themselves being involved in the process it takes to produce an outcome were more likely to stick with their new habits. To change your habits from bad to good, make sure you focus on the learning, the practicing, and the doing that will get you the results you’re looking for.

Habits can be tricky things to form and sustain, but with the above tips, you’ll be well ahead of everyone else struggling to simply force themselves to just do it.

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