The Top Scientific Reason Why Successful People Succeed In Breaking Habits
If I asked Dr. B.J. Fogg, behavior scientist and author, what he recommends if I want to change a habit, he would tell me “there’s only one way to radically change your behavior: radically change your environment”.
This is because we, as humans, are unaware that our environment, the people we surround ourselves with, the places we go, and the daily activities we naturally do, all affect our habits.
Have you ever wondered why people that eat with chopsticks are so thin yet eat rice all day long!!? Well, have you ever had someone tell you if you eat off of a smaller plate, you will eat less? Or if you eat with a smaller spoon, you won’t eat as much? (Just typing these words make me want to eat with chopsticks for the rest of my life, however, I am not sure how soup would stay on the chopsticks!!)
The point is that you are supposed get in a habit of only eating what you have to work with.
Okay, Okay, back to me being serious…here is one example of the behavior vs environment concept.
For those that smoke cigarettes and want to quit but just can’t seem to kick the bad, disgusting, unhealthy habit, consider this… if you changed some of your daily routines, do you think you would have as many opportunities to smoke? Maybe instead of going outside on your break, you go to the breakroom. Oh, CRAP! I know, I know, what you are thinking. Yes, that means you will have to make conversation with new people!! It’s okay. I understand that willpower is an extremely delicate issue so why not remove yourself from the situation so it becomes harder for you to smoke?
This goes with any situation.
Science has shown that replacing a bad habit with a good habit works much more efficiently than JUST QUITTING COLD TURKEY. This is because our minds are wired to know that the bad habit can provide an immediate reward or pleasure. Research has shown that by substituting a new behavioral pattern in place of the old, success is higher in kicking those old habits.
So, kick those old habits to the curb!!
Self-control is an extremely difficult battle to overcome. Why not try fighting self-control while it’s blind?
What do I mean by that? …
Habits are psychological involving cognitive behavioral methods. We bite our nails, tap our toes, pick up our phone and scroll thru our email before we even get out of bed. Change your circumstance before your mind has the power to take over.
Didn’t mom ever put hot sauce on your fingers when you bit your nails? Or why don’t you throw out the caffeinated coffee in the house and buy decaf. You will want coffee when you wake up, correct? Well, decaf is all you have. GET USED TO IT.
Learn a relaxation technique to manage the stress of tapping your toes. There are MANY ONLINE. I know that you have heard over and over to plug in your cell phone on the other side of the room.
By doing these small things, your self-control is blind.
While this all may sound logical, you may be shaking your head at me because you are a procrastinator. My greatest option for you is to USE A CALENDAR. Lay a system out AND USE IT. Maybe even reward yourself at the end of the week if you stayed on track!
As for those who beat yourself up because you have failed over and over in the past, you have to break old habits by changing your environment!! Feeling guilting is the least productive emotion. To me, guilt will only keep me from moving forward. Don’t beat yourself up over something you are unable to control.
Remember to remind yourself, “I am only human”. “I am going to fail from time to time but I love who I am”.
So, here is your chance:
- Write reinforcement notes to support your memory.
- Give yourself breaks because you are not perfect.
- Reward yourself by completing your goals (BECAUSE YOU DESERVE IT)!!
- Fight self-control while it is blind and all you have in the house is decaf coffee.
- If you want to replace a bad habit with a new habit, consciously and intentionally decide and enforce replacing one habit with another, AND FOR GOODNESS SAKE USE REPETITION!
- And last, why not confide in a friend. He or she may like to travel on a similar journey.
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