What’s the habit that is holding you back? What do you keep doing that you know is not good or productive? Over Eating? Procrastinating? Not getting out of bed? Moaning constantly? Always late? Flying off the handle? Leaving a work deadline until the last minute?
It’s surprising how as adults, we know right from wrong, we know what’s serving us for our greater good and what isn’t, yet with many of us continue to hold the hand of a bad habit or two to the detriment of ourselves……….
I’ve worked with a number of clients over the past year who have presented “removal of bad habits” as one of their goals in their coaching sessions and every time I’ve worked with a client who has a bad habit, we’ve managed to removed it.
Now bear in mind, I’m not a Therapist, Psychologist, Hypnotist or Magician, so I’ve not helped my client eradicate these bad habits through any type of extensive therapy or voodoo magic!!
I’ve used a common-sense approach and I would like to share this with you now.
Simply go through the questions below and hopefully by the end you will be moving in the right direction to be able to remove your bad habit.
Caveat – my 7 step approach is for bad habits, NOT for an addiction. As a Coach, I don’t hold the qualifications or additional techniques to assist with addiction help. For this you will need to consult with an appropriate therapist.
Step 1 – Acknowledgement
Yes, I know I always say this, but it’s true… 90% of the battle is accepting that you have a bad habit and being aware of it.
So, sit down and have some quiet time and be ruthlessly honest with yourself; what are your bad habits?
Ask a friend or family member to help you if you’re brave enough!
Step 2 – Trigger Happy
Now ask yourself “what triggers my bad habit?”
Let’s take not getting out of bed in the morning, analyse this scenario. What exactly is stopping you from getting out of bed when you hear your alarm go off? What is the point when you turn over and think “sod it, I’m going back to sleep?”. Do you know why you do this? How is this affecting your life?
Step 3 – Say It Out Loud or Write It Down
Say out loud what your bad habit is:
“I can’t get out of bed on time in the morning.”
“I love to sleep and lazy I suppose.”
How is this affecting your life?
“My day is rushed from the moment I get out of bed and I’m always late for work.”
This exercise is almost childlike, but when you repeat out loud what your bad habit is and how it’s negatively effecting your life, you realise how pathetic you sound!!
Step 4 – Identify the Benefits for Breaking the Bad Habit
Same as above, say out loud or write down the answers to the following:
“What will happen if you get out of bed earlier? What will you achieve?”
“What will be the result?”
“What benefits does this bring to your life?”
Step 5 – Good Habit Replacement
So, by now you’ve rationalised that your bad habit is silly, needs to go and be replaced with a good habit.
So, I want you to think about the bad habit, that trigger point time when you decide to turn over in bed and go back to sleep…
What can you do that’s going to MOTIVATE you to NOT do it??
Is it buying new gym clothes and trainers that are already laid out ready for you to jump into? Is it buying a nice new meditation app to listen to downstairs in a nice new chair first thing? Is it buying a new fancy alarm clock? Is it arranging to meet a friend at the gym for a morning class? Is it buying a new blender to make a healthy morning smoothie? Or is it simply you have to grit your teeth and make yourself get out of bed for a few weeks?
Regardless, decide NOW what your strategy is going to be:
“I’m going to set two alarm clocks. One 20 minutes earlier than normal to give me a bit of snooze time and then one downstairs at the correct time and just make myself get out of bed. My reward will be 20 minutes meditation.”
Step 6 – Tell Someone
A super-duper coaching trick is to make yourself accountable to someone. Tell them what bad habit you’re going to kick (notice my language here – not that you “want” to kick or “will try” to kick NO, “you’re going to kick” ), tell them how and when you’re going to start. Ask them to check in with you every week or something.
This is powerful because if you’re accountable to someone you’re more likely to do it.
Step 7 – 90 Days
Regardless of how you replace the bad habit with a good habit, I need you to STOP yourself from doing your bad habit for 90 days. Yes 90 days…. Give yourself a challenge and on a set date, draw a line under your bad habit and decide that you’re going to stop partaking in it.
I can almost guarantee after 90 days your bad habit will have disappeared……
Sound too hard? When I mention this exercise to clients they are nervous that it won’t work, it sounds too hard!! I assure you it’s not.
As with anything, the hard part is STARTING!
So, get your diary out NOW. Decide when you’re going to lose your bad habit, identify a good habit replacement and START!
I hope this helped you.
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