Some love it, others fear it, while a good many try to avoid it. I am talking about the almighty C – change. Nothing stays the same, growth is natural and yet we may find ourselves willingly or not so willingly doing a habit that is not yielding the best results or in our best interest. So why do we stay stuck? I could go on with all kinds of neuroscience babble but suffice it to say habits are housed in our subconscious. Once they are formed, our subconscious works the blueprint so to speak without checking in with our executive frontal cortex portion of our brain to make sure this is indeed for the greater good. So how do we go about changing or creating a new habit? There are three key considerations:
YOU – the first thing is to change yourself. We all do what we do to feel good and/or feel good about ourselves. We tell ourselves numerous little white lies like that extra piece of cake really isn’t that bad or no-one could be expected to go out for a walk in this weather. You get the idea. Changing the “story” you tell yourself is critical. From “the extra piece of cake is ok” to “I choose to put healthy food in my body and stop eating when I am full”.
YOUR CONNECTIONS – they call it the change/change back phenomena. Often times when you change the people in your life want you to change back essentially so you will be more like them which in turn makes them feel good about themselves. Consider the people in your life and the change you are embarking on. Will they be supporters or saboteurs? Surround yourself with supporters and steer clear of saboteurs.
YOUR SURROUNDINGS – we all have certain environments that help or hinder us. What works and doesn’t work for you? Are there certain places that trigger specific behaviours or negative emotions? Do they get you back into that same old bad habit before you know it? Turn up your self-awareness barometer and note how specific places impact your changes.
Changing a habit can be hard. In this case, giving it time is critical. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Your brain and body need to be rewired and get comfortable with this new way of being. So commit to making one small change or change of habit, celebrate your success, and once it is hardwired take on another small one. Before you know it you will be on your way and living la dolce vita – the sweet life!