By Anubhav Srivastava ( Register for his Workshop – Build Super Confidence For Super Success!)
How To Change Your Habits For Good? Most of us have certain bad habits we wish to kick out of our lives. Or we want to adopt certain good habits that we are not following already. But how do you change your habits in an effective way permanently? Well this article is about that. Here are 6 tips that will help you change your habits for good.
1) Make Small Changes
If you are out of shape and hardly walk, you cannot become a marathon runner overnight. Most people give up on trying to change their bad habit because they expect instant success. If they can hardly meditate for a minute, they suddenly want to be able to meditate for hours. If they smoke several packs of cigarettes a day, they want to become a non smoker without cravings in one week. This is almost impossible to achieve. Take baby steps. Make small changes if you can’t handle the big ones. Overtime it will add up. And the big audacious goals that you seem so difficult to achieve today will eventually become a reality.
2) Tell others you are going to do it
Now if the habit you wish to possess is a total opposite to the kind of life you have been leading or too difficult a goal in general, chances are not everyone will take you seriously. Some may support you but the vast majority will doubt you and the key is to use the same to your advantage. There has perhaps been no better trigger to drive change than humiliation or when people tell you that you can’t do something. TAKE that to heart and use it to fuel the determination to prove them wrong. And on days when you feel like slacking off a bit, remember what they said and get back to work!
3) Don’t aim for perfection, aim to do your best.
Your journey to adopting the new habit will not be perfect, you are going to face a lot of failures and setbacks inevitably. Sometimes, you may still not be able to embrace the good habit completely even after months of trying. It’s ok, at least you have still made solid progress and are way better than how you were in the past! Only aiming for perfection sets you up for failure every time because perfection is not possible and when you dont achieve what you set out to do, you give up. In the process you even let go of the amazing positive progress you had made along the way and slip back into old harmful routines. First, understand it is okay to be imperfect and you just need to do your best Secondly, understand that having a setback means, that you previously MADE progress. If progress was possible in the past, it is possible in the future. Dust off the failure, get back up and move forward again. Do not mistakes temporary setbacks for permanent failure. Failure is only permanent when you choose not to get back up at all!
4) Be well rested.
Our brains tend to make the worst choices when sleep deprived. When are sleep deprived, it’s harder to do anything, especially kicking a bad habit because the bad habits make us feel better. When you are not well rested, it is incredibly tough to take on new challenges because they tend to create stress, even if they are healthy in the long run. On the other hand negative habits often let you “relax” when super tired. But in the long run, they only hurt you more. The good habits are those oats you dont want to eat today but are healthy for you in the long run and the bad habits is that one cigarette that will make you feel immediately relaxed but will kill you in the long run.
Making the right choices is far tougher when fatigued. Thus ensure you get adequate sleep. When you have slept well, you are more alert and relaxed and thus in a far better position to make the right choices.
5) Keep your stress levels low
Similar to how being well rested affects your state of mind and can impact the choices you make, the same is true for your stress levels. People who are highly stressed are far more likely to make bad choices because the bad choices make you feel better instantly. Thus it makes giving up bad habits and adopting good ones far more difficult. Furthermore, when you go through periods of intense stress you may again pick up the bad habit you quit a long time ago, because it is far tougher for your brain during those periods to resist such activities. This is why so many ex smokers start smoking again during periods of intense stress. Stress can wreak havoc in your life in more ways than one, it can lead to you picking up addictions or relapsing on the ones you have given up. It can also lead to actual physical problems such as heart disease and diabetes. Therefore keeping the levels low is crucial to maintaining health habits. You can learn how to lower stress in this detailed article
6) Have a solid reason as to WHY you want to make the change.
The reason why a lot of people are unable to change habits permanently is because their motivation fizzles out. And the reason why it fizzles out is because the motivation was not strong enough to begin with. You need a very strong “why” to change. The reason why so many new year resolutions fail is because most people take up new year resolutions as some sort of a trend, because everyone else seems to be doing it. So those new year resolutions are more because of a herd mentality, rather a genuine, burning desire to change things.
And when your “why” is so weak, no wonder your motivation will be weak and fizzle out in a few days. Before giving up an old habit or adopting a new one, ask yourself . What will happen to your life if you do not change? And what will happen to your life if you do make a permanent change. Finally, ask yourself, for whom you are doing this
If you are a smoker, imagine the things that could happen if you do not change. For the record, having some sort of cancer that is directly related to smoking or heart disease is a very real possibility.
Then imagine for whom you are doing this. when things are done for yourself or for people very close to you, the motivations are much stronger. Imagine what your family, your children or loved ones will feel if you were to become sick and die an early death because of your habits. Imagine if your spouse is left without a husband or wife. Imagine if your children are left without father or mother before they even grow up properly. Is such a situation acceptable to you? If not then change!
Finally imagine a life where you do change and where you get to grow old enough to see your children become well settled in their careers and be a companion to your spouse for the longest time possible. Imagine a life where you are leading an as healthy and happy life as you possibly can. And know that it is possible! Make that your why. Make that the reason to keep pushing on when you want to give up. Because good things never come easy!
I hope this article is of benefit to you. As I always say, reading is one thing but only sustained implementation is what will lead a sustained change in your life. So figure out your WHY, focus on it every time when things look tough, incorporate all the other tips mentioned in this article and commit to making a change. You will not regret it!
About the Author
Anubhav Srivastava is an author, speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields. It has been seen by over 1 Million People on Youtube. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Rediff.com, Leicester Mercury and many others.
For one on one consulting or a motivational workshop at your organization please email firstname.lastname@example.org . If you would like to write a guest blog post on Anubhavsrivastava.com you contact me on the same email address.
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