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The Power of Positive Habits

Creating the Life that your really want to Live is a journey of a thousand steps.

So what if you could make those steps as easy as possible?

One way to make change easier is to take the thinking out of the equation all together by hacking your habits.

Habits are learned behaviours that when repeated enough times become subconscious rituals and tasks that we can perform on autopilot. Just like brushing our teeth or making coffee in the morning we can perform these tasks when we are still half asleep.

Making big changes can be really hard.

Think about the times in your life when you've tried to make a change, you dedicate yourself to the challenge such as a new diet or exercise routine, you focus all your energy and willpower on changing.

You battle with massive internal resistance, negative self talk and lack of motivation, all of which requires even more willpower to overcome. But you persevere and finally you start to see positive results. People start to notice the improved you. It was really hard work but it was worth it and you feel great.

What happens next is that you relax a little, your habits slip back a little, but it's no big deal right. Until you find yourself under a new stress and your habits slip back a little further, then Christmas approaches (slip) and there's food and parties (oops back slide) , then New Years (slip) and the long awaited summer holidays and suddenly 12 months later you are back to where you started before you took on your challenge.

The change is not sustainable because it was not easy to sustain.

When we learn to hack our habits, we learn how to convert unhealthy habits into positive empowering habits. We can make minuscule course corrections to our lives that over time accumulate into real and better yet lasting change.

There are two main principles to employ: 1. Transform Bad habits and 2. Create new Positive Habits.

Here's an example; I wanted to reduce my sugar intake, which might sound easy enough, but I've had a massive sweet tooth ever since I was a child. Sugar is my comfort food, I've tried eliminating sugar from my diet which only made the cravings worse.

So I started thinking about all the tiny ways that I could reduce or substitute sugar so that I didn't even notice it was missing from my diet.

Rather than go for the obvious culprits like my afternoon tea cake, which I really enjoyed, I looked for foods that sugar was hidden in such as sauces, processed dinners, muesli bars and wine and started there.

I increased my self awareness and became aware of my emotional triggers, foods that balance my blood sugar, hydration and the need for a healthy afternoon break away from the computer, all without losing my afternoon tea cake.

Over time I have sustained a reduced sugar lifestyle, even cutting sugar from my morning coffee.

Here's a few tips to transforming any bad habits that you have:

  1. Time: habits take time to embed, so settle in for the long game. Bad habits are generated over years, so will take time to correct. Over time thousands of tiny course corrections accumulates into big changes.

  2. Self Awareness: Simply become aware of the habit itself. Take it off autopilot and thus bring the bad habit into your conscious awareness, see it and name it.

  3. Keep it small and Make it Easy: find a tiny positive course correction you could make, a tiny substitution or reduction that might start to transform this bad habit, something so small that it won't make you feel like this is a difficult task or challenge. Each Monday morning find another tiny course correction that you could make to transform the bad habit.

  4. Remove Temptation: make the negative habit harder to accomplish, so your mind has to move out of subconscious autopilot to complete the bad habit.

  5. Praise: Internal praise is critical to your motivation, pat yourself on the back each and every time you adhere to your tiny change. Reward your efforts in a healthier way. This begins to rewire your brain and hack the habit. Praise is far more effective than internal criticism.

Start with these basic principles for transforming bad habits and see how such small changes can make such a big impact in creating the life you really want to live.

For more information on the power of positive habits and how to create new positive changes reach out for a free 30minute Life Coaching session.

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