Sunday

Learn to Change and Reshape Your Habits

Learn to change and reshape your habits for the better by following these steps…
  • Identify the routines you follow – look at your CUEs, ROUTINEs & REWARDs.
  • Experiment with different rewards – isolate what you are actually craving when you do something habitually – alternatives - look for a better, safer, healthier reward.
  • Isolate the CUE that triggers your habit – what it is that signals that it’s time to do that thing.
  • Develop a new plan – what you will do differently the next time that CUE arises.
"First, there is a cue , a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine , which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward , which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future."
66 Days To Change Your Life

Scientists say it only takes 66 days to change your life, If you’re strong enough.
There’s no denying that we are, indeed, creatures of habit. Our minds and bodies are dependent on stimulants, actions and patterns that come to define who we are. Our habits are our security blankets, enveloping us in their consistent presence and comfort of familiarity.

We do them unconsciously, sticking fingers and cigarettes in our mouths and cracking our knuckles only to find that we can’t remember when this habit began.

According to Charles Duhigg, author of "The Power of Habit," habits are not born, but created. Every bad, good or insignificant habit starts with a psychological pattern called a "habit loop."

Duhigg reported to NPR, the "habit loop" is a three-part process.

The first step is the trigger that tells your brain to let a certain behavior unfold.

The second step is the behavior itself, or the routine it creates.

The third step is the reward, or "something that your brain likes that helps it remember the ‘habit loop’ in the future."

Once we’ve formed habits, they are hard to break because, many times, we forget we’re doing them. Because of the habit loop, we are able to do other things without thinking about our habit.

We will be working on something else while simultaneously biting our nails, not realizing the moment we put them in our mouths.

We become slaves to our habits. They become inhibitors and some have the power to control our lives.

Though some substances we use have addictive qualities that make the habits almost impossible to break, there are ways to replace those bad habits with good ones… and all it takes is 66 days.

In a study released in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Phillippa Lally and her team of researchers surveyed 96 people over a 12-week period to find exactly how long it takes to start a new habit.

Over the 12 weeks, the participants chose a new habit and reported each day how automatic the behavior felt. At the end of the period, Lally analyzed the results and found the average time it took for the participants to pick up a new habit was 66 days.

While her results were focused on the time it takes to create a habit, we can look at it inversely, and the time it takes to kick an old one and pick up a better one.

If a habit does not include addictive additives or stimulants, which make the withdrawal and brain processes different, who’s to say it won’t take you 66 days to cut out all those nasty habits that have been overtaking your life?

If you take the habit out of your life, the same way you put one into your life, you will find yourself free of the unconscious and, many times, detrimental patterns that habits cause. You could replace those old bad ones with new good ones.

Instead of watching Netflix before bed, you make yourself read a book. Maybe instead of soda with dinner, you make yourself drink water for 66 days.

Whatever your motives, this research should be the catalyst you need to kick those bad habits and start picking up some good ones.

Because there is no better time to turn over a new leaf (or habit) than in the fall.

Be Obnoxious (Days 1- 22)

Shout about it. Tell your friends, family and coworkers you are on a mission. Enlist them as officers to patrol when you’re slipping back into your old ways or not keeping up on your new ones. Tell them you want them to yell at you, bother you and constantly remind you.

Add extra pressure on yourself. The pressure of disappointing other people and going back on your word will make it that much harder to go back to your old ways.

Because sometimes it’s easier to disappoint ourselves than it is other people.

Self-Analyze (Days 22- 44)

Take a good look at your life. This is the time to really dig deep and do some soul-searching. What do you want in life? Why are you doing this? How do you want to represent yourself?

Whether you’re quitting a bad habit or picking up a healthier one, get to the core of why you’re doing this and how it’s going to affect your life.

If you can find that reason buried deep in your unconscious, you will be able to carry out these 66 days much easier. You will have an internal force pushing you.

Find The Light (Days 44- 66)

The third stage is the final push. As far as you’ve come, you still have to make it these last 22 days. It’s easy to burn out, get tired and forget why you are doing this. It’s easy to revert to your old ways because, up to this point, you have yet to rid yourself of the habit.

At this stage, you must find something to hold on to. Something that will that push you to that final goal. It’s the last 22 days that prove how strong and willing you really are.

At this point, it’s about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s about realizing that though you can’t see the other end, you can still see glimpses of it.

Treat Yo’ Self (66 +)

The only way to solidify the end of an old habit or the birth of a new one is to celebrate it. Throw a party, have some champagne, shout it from your Brooklyn rooftop. Make a day of it or call up your friends and have a swanky dinner party.

If it’s a habit people have been hoping you would break they will be more than willing to celebrate with you. Who knows, you can even make it a yearly tradition.

Reference: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business is a book by Charles Duhigg

Try these 4 habits for next one week and experience the difference in yourself.

Habit #1 - Create your own thoughts and opinions. Your OWN: Every day, you likely to hear lots of ideas, suggestions, thoughts and viewpoints of others. But, it is not necessary that what worked for them, probably work for you. So, create your customized thoughts, viewpoints and opinions. By customized I mean that it shouldn’t be influenced by crowd opinion. Have your OWN!. Here’s how you can practice it: Collect ideas. You never know which idea can work when. So, always welcome others’ thoughts and ideas. Collect them. It’ll allow you to have a pool of ideas to create own. Have your why. When you think about an idea to consider, connect why with it. Figure out how it can help you and could be better than others. This is called critical thinking. It’ll help you to get own ideas.

Habit #2 - Do intense physical workout: To train your brain to be strong, start with doing intense exercise. By intense here means going beyond comfort zone. Lets say if you comfortably do 150 push ups daily, make it 155–160. It’ll allow your mind to feel strength when you hit that mark. You’ll gain confidence and a sense of accomplishment. You’ll get a sense of "I can". In the words of -Bob Miglani, "A strong mind can will a complacent body to action."

Habit #3 - Boost your knowledge and understanding: Why do elders say that experience makes your mind strong. Because with the amount of experience, you gain better insights, knowledge and understanding about things. You feel less nervous about the consequences of anything. The better your knowledge will be, the stronger your mind will be. Here’s how you can practice it: Read books. A great source of knowledge. It allows you to expand your ability to understand things and situations. And, allow you to deal with it in effectively manner. Interact and listen others. Whenever you interact with someone, they share a great piece of knowledge and experience with you. If you listen attentively, you’ll grab it easily. And, it’ll be a great addition to your knowledge and understanding.

Habit #4 - Develop Self discipline and control on yourself: What if Bill Gates scared of initial failures and didn’t put efforts to make Microsoft a grand success. Probably, we wouldn’t know him today. So, delaying the regret and stay focused to make consistent efforts in whatever we do, allow us to stay disciplined and control ourselves. It is your self-discipline and control that you reached school or workplace daily on time regardless of what challenges you faced. Try one or all of these habits to develop and practice daily to boost the strength of your mindset.

By having a strong mindset, you can achieve anything, accomplish something daily, overcome your fears and deal with the troubles effectively.

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