5 Steps To Change Any Habit
If you want to change any habit, change the actions that produce the habit. Within this article you will learn the most powerful 5 step system I have ever seen to change any habit plus 2 key bonuses that add rocket power to your efforts.
Consider the following definition: Success is a progressive realization of worthwhile personal goals. This definition is critical to your end goal because it says some rather spectacular things. It says:
1. Success is a journey and not a destination. This means in its simplest terms you cannot fail as long as you do not quit. 2. It also says that goals must be worthwhile and personal. They cannot be someone else's goals like those of your boss, parents, or even your spouse. They must be yours and they must be of value to you.
Close scrutiny of this definition also leads to the conclusion that success is a developing attitude of achieving goals. But what is an attitude? An attitude is the way we think or feel about a subject, which then causes us to act in a certain way about it.
Therefore, we act and react in relation to our thought patterns that we have developed about the subject. So an attitude is caused when we think about something the same way over and over until it becomes automatic. The resulting action in response to the thought also becomes automatic. Change the habit of thought and you change the attitude. Change the attitude and you change the resulting action.
Specific Steps Of The Process
But how do you change the attitude, habit of thought and resulting action? That's where goal setting comes into play. Here is the greatest 5 step system I have ever seen geared towards changing habits.
1. Write down specifically what you are trying to do and by when. The subconscious cannot act on some nebulous 'someday' anymore than it can work on an unrealistic objective it knows it can't achieve. Therefore, it must have a concrete time frame, it must be written down, and it must be specific and realistic. For example, wanting 'more money ' is not the same as '10% increase over last year by October first.'
2. What are the obstacles? List everything that is stopping you. What are your inadequacies? What do you need to get there that you don't already have? What is it that's blocking you? Why aren't you already there?
3. Write a plan to overcome each obstacle. List your action steps 1... 2... 3... etc. for each obstacle from above. Be as specific as possible. What will it take to get you past the obstacle that is blocking you from what you want?
4. List the benefits to you. There is no such thing as something for nothing. You must replace a thought process and resulting action with a new thought process that will produce a desired result. There must be a benefit derived of sufficient value and meaning to you alone to be worth the effort necessary to do this and to overcome the resistance to change.
Please Note: There is a truth about human nature that we often do not like to face up to. Because something is meaningful to our spouse, child, boss, or anyone else regardless of his or her importance, it is normally insufficient to move us to action. It must, in fact, be important within the self. When this importance is discovered or developed, change occurs and it can be dramatic.
5. Is it worth it? This question must be answered very carefully and honestly. If the answer is yes, do it and DO IT NOW! However, if the answer is no, if the benefit derived cannot muster the desire to overcome the obstacle, you have three choices:
a. Change the goal thereby reducing the obstacle;
b. and/or increase the benefit to make it more meaningful.
c. Drop the entire issue and get on with your life without feeling guilty. The amount of time we waste feeling guilty is a tragedy of human existence. Get on with your life with other goals and don't look back.
If you stumble or fall off your goal, that's okay. Remember: Success is an ongoing journey, not a destination. The only time you fail is when you quit or never get up after falling down.
Nothing can propel your efforts as much or guarantee the outcome of your efforts as well as the two concepts Affirmations and Visualization.
Affirmations are positive statements of fact as you intend them to be. Because affirmations are 'statements of fact', affirmations must be written in the present tense.
The subconscious can only operate in the present, never the future. Affirmations must be repeated over and over until they are internalized and become fact. Write affirmations down! Post them everywhere! Most importantly read your affirmations many many times per day until they are internalized.
Some affirmation examples are:
1. I am debt free.
2. I operate on a cash only basis. 3. If I can't afford to pay for it in cash, I can't afford it. [Note - The last statement above borders on a negative statement. Be very cautious before using negative reinforcement.]
If you doubt the power of this process, ask yourself how many times you have successfully employed negative affirmations. When was the last time you heard or maybe even said, 'This will never work'. Then when it didn't work, you heard or said 'See, I told you.' The point had become fact. Hate and prejudice are great examples of negative affirmation.
1. Why are elephants tied with a lightweight chain that they could easily break? Its simple. As a baby, they had a very heavy chain on their foot from which they could not break loose. As they grew older, they did not forget. What were we taught as children with repeated exposure? What do we teach our children?
2. A barracuda in a water tank was separated from minnows by clear plastic. The barracuda initially kept crashing into the clear plastic. Scientists learned, however, that after repeated failures the clear plastic could be removed and the barracuda kept swimming in its own area.
It had limitations implanted to the point of ignoring its basic nature. What limits do we put on ourselves or allow others to do for us?
How many times do you have to repeat an affirmation? Whatever it takes to get the job done. If it takes 10 billion times, what difference does it make if it's important. And if it is not important enough, why are you considering it?
Visualization is seeing the object of your desire with your mind's eye. But visualizations is more than that if you want it to be. The more detailed and focused your visualization, the faster the transformation will occur.
1. What color is it? How does it feel to the touch or within yourself when you are in possession? Can you smell it, can you taste it, and can you hear it?
2. Proper visualization involves as many senses as possible... do it with fervor. Imagine every detail and possibility. The more the detail, the greater the focus, the more fervent you are, the more often you apply visualization. These will determine how fast it will occur.
3. There is a second benefit to visualization. By detailed visualization you can often foresee a flaw to be corrected or a way to plan for a shortcoming that you may well have never seen until it was too late. This simple benefit can pay perhaps the biggest dividend of all.
Now act on it.
About the author:
Mike has been an Internet Guide/Writer in the field of Credit/Debt Management for over 10 years. His site was awarded Best Of Net by Forbes Publication from 2000 to 2005 with site visitation doubling to over 500,000 average views per month in the last year.
He has also offered debt elimination seminars to businesses and community colleges for the last 9 years. learncreditmanagement.com