“Good habits are hard to develop but easy to live with” and “Bad habits are easy to develop but hard to live with”, according to Brian Tracey, a well-known motivational teacher. You may recognize that to successfully manage habit changes, breaking bad habits may be required in order to develop new ones.
Breaking bad habits takes at least 21 days. Of course, in difficult cases, it can take as long as a year. Here’s an example of the process of how to change an unhealthy habit to a healthy habit. Suppose you’ve decided that coffee is not good for you and right now, you drink coffee with sugar daily. The new habit you would like to institute is to drink herbal tea without sugar.
At first, it may be challenging to break the bad habit of drinking coffee. You will have to use self-discipline for the first few weeks but gradually it will get easier. Once you are able to change the old habit to a new healthier one, it will serve you very well. Habits are remarkable because they don’t require thinking. You just “do it” for years until you find yourself changing the habit again.
Here are 5 easy steps for changing habits:
1. Awareness: You must become aware of your habits. What is this habit exactly? How is this bad habit or group of bad habits affecting you? How is this habit affecting others? For example, smoking often has negative effects on others as well as on you.
2. Wanting to Change: As someone with a health problem, you must decide that breaking bad habits through a conscious effort is a worthy goal. You must convince yourself that the change in the habit is worth the effort involved.
3. Commitment: You must be determined to do whatever it takes for breaking bad habits so that you can better control your life. You make a decision that “no matter what” you will change the habit. You do the work required to stop. Here are some examples of habits you might want to change: Smoking, eating too much, eating processed foods, not exercising, drinking coffee or other beverages with caffeine in them, eating too much sugar or fat, drinking alcohol, procrastinating, etc.
4. Consistent Action: It is important to focus on changing just one habit at a time. Then, take consistent daily actions for breaking the bad habit that has been causing problems and take the actions to develop a new one. We suggest doing this process one step at a time rather than trying to do it all at once. Sometimes changing a habit can be done “cold turkey” like smoking and sometimes it works better to make a gradual change.
Be sure to give yourself positive rewards often for taking small actions toward changing a bad habit. Continual day-by-day actions are what are critical. This is NOT about an occasional action or step. It is about being consistent every day.
5. Perseverance: There will be times when you question whether it is all worth it. You’ll say to yourself that breaking these bad habits is too difficult; that you are too “weak” to change. Your old self, often so comfortable living with the bad habits, is trying to hold on. Breaking your old patterns may require meditation and prayer.
Visualize regularly the rewards for following through and the costs of not following through on breaking the bad habits and especially the value to your future of building new better habits.
Get support from others, especially other people who want to make changes in their lives and read about people who have been successful in breaking bad habits. Affirm that, no matter what, you will not backslide into your old bad habit patterns.
Now, you are armed with a 5-step process for breaking any bad habit or other condition that requires changing. If you have an addiction to something such as alcohol, these steps alone may not be enough. You may require additional professional help or a support group, but for most cases this 5-step process will do the trick!
T. McDonald is a lifelong student of inner growth and a writer. She edits Diabetes Guide where you will find information on the glycemic index diet, weight loss, diets, managing diabetes, alternative sweeteners, breast cancer bracelets, how to prevent breast cancer and much more.
Copyright 2005 T. McDonald
You have permission to reprint this article as long as all links are hyperlinked and the resource box and copyright are retained intact.
I am Dennis Andrew, founder of NNOS Studios. My mission is to cause people to follow their dreams regardless of the resistance they face. I will accomplish this by suggesting a slightly different perspective on what your dreams or passions actually are, and the consequences for not following them.
First, any dream regardless of how insane it may seem, can be turned into a goal. And frankly, any goal can be achieved. Let’s get very clear on what a goal really is: a goal is a dream that has been scheduled for arrival. A dream becomes a goal when you set a time limit for its acquisition, and you determine to get it so strongly, that no person or circumstance stepping in your way can sway you from your purpose. Nothing can resist a will that will stake even existence upon its fulfillment.
Because goals are a point of destination for our brains. Soak in that for a minute. Setting a goal is setting a point of destination for your brain, just like entering an exact address in a GPS.
If goals are a point of destination for our brains, then don’t be fooled: if you have no point of destination, it doesn’t matter how good or how fast you are, you’re still getting nowhere. The brain only let’s you see what it is looking for, regardless of what you want to be looking for. In fact, we only do 4 percent what we desire to do, and 96 percent what we’re conditioned to do. Our conditioning is our beliefs, and most of us are conditioned to run like heck with no real point of destination. We are programmed to get up and go to work, doing something that pays the bills. Because we’re conditioned this way, we don’t even stop to question it at all…These beliefs successfully block out our consideration of the possibility to have our dream life.These beliefs successfully block out our consideration of the possibility to have our dream life.
Not only is it possible for everyone, life becomes a waste if we don’t achieve it. Here’s the piece: “your dream is the talent that YOU have particularly high potential to excel in. Your passion is your unique skill.” Use it.
Let me give you an analogy. Your friend has a 550 horsepower Ferrari and it’s a beautiful car. The only problem is, he only uses it to get his mail and his mailbox is at the end of his driveway. When Enzo Ferrari made that car, that’s not what he had in mind. Sounds insane doesn’t it? Well we were designed AROUND a specific passion. You were made to follow your dreams, because your dream is your calling. The Ferrari was made to race, to drive at very high speeds on exciting courses. You’re not made to have a job…just doing something. You’re made to work within your dreams, “because that’s what you do best.” The Ferrari is still doing “something” by taking your friend to his mailbox and back, but it is now evident that the Ferrari is a waste of design, of engineering, if it is not going to be doing what it’s made to do.
The consequence for not following your dreams or passions, is not only a statistical waste, but it results in unhappiness. Rightfully so. You’re putting your potential on a leash JUST BECAUSE YOU DON’T BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN HAVE IT! You’re conforming to culture. This literally means you’re letting society tell you what you are capable of doing. The solution is to learn how to change your beliefs. If you don’t you are only another case of history repeating itself. The good new is that it’s very possible if you don’t give up. The bad news is that it’s difficult and it takes some time. But it’s only difficult in the short run. After that, you’re living the dream.
I will include a link in my bio to one of the motivational presentations I had on this topic. I speak often on setting goals and have helped many many people achieve their dreams. My goal is to point you there also…because you’ll reach the person that I can’t reach, and it will spread from there.
I was on the fast track. It was just a little over a year since I was hired for an entry level position with a medical management company and I was promoted to executive status. I loved my job and got to travel and meet and work with wonderful people. I was good at managing others and excelled at my job.
Corporate headquarters was on Madison Avenue in New York City. We had just completed another three day meeting when I was summoned into the office of our SVP of Marketing. “I need to speak with you,” she said. You need to change the way you dress. It is not appropriate.”
“What?” I replied. I had a closet full of Calvin Klein and Armani suits. “What do you mean inappropriate? I asked.
“You show too much cleavage and it’s not appropriate as an executive of this company. You should wear a blouse with a high neckline.”
Well, others might have responded sheepishly that they would certainly address the issue. I just looked at her in disbelief. What was she saying? My attire was certainly not offensive. (Maybe in retrospect, it was to HER.) My suits were all attractive and professional. I had enough self-confidence to dismiss this conversation as “her issue”. Was she jealous? Was she insinuating that I was successful because I was using my sexuality? Not MY issue. I never changed my wardrobe to please her. I continued to dress to please myself and had a terrific few years at that company.
Fast forward a few years and I am at the pinnacle of my career. I am in Chicago at the corporate headquarters of a Fortune 500 company interviewing for CEO of one of their health care companies.l I am wearing my power red suit. This was my final interview in a long drawn out interview process and I wanted to “close the deal”. A woman approached me as I was waiting for my interview and whispered, “Women don’t wear red here. It’s not appropriate.” What? Are we back with Nathaniel Hawthorne feeling the shame of the Scarlett Letter? Apparently so.
Well, I got the job despite the red suit but it has never ceased to amaze me how as women we are always walking a fine line when it comes to professional image and attire.
If we wear pants, we are choosing a more masculine appearance. Is this what is takes in some corporate cultures to succeed?
If we wear attractive feminine clothing, we are often called on the carpet for using our sexuality to advance our careers.
Should we wear high heels or not? Pants or skirts? Should our hemline be above or below the knee?
As women, have we made any progress in this area? Can’t we just be our authentic selves and wear what feels professional and comfortable? After all, wasn’t Hilary Clinton chastised for wearing pant suits during the campaign? Was she judged on her attire more than her talent? And what does all the criticism of Michelle Obama’s wardrobe have to do with all her accomplishments?
Thank goodness for dress down days! Then we all get to wear jeans, no questions asked!
There is a path, called ‘the path to success,’ which everyone is traveling on. Scattered randomly throughout the journey are occasional forks in the road that require us to make difficult decisions.
Both paths of these diverging forks bring with them certain appeal, rewards, risks, drawbacks, as well as consequences. The fork on the left, for example, is often much more appealing because the path is usually paved, it is always full of fellow travelers, and looks a whole lot easier than the fork on the right. In fact, sometimes it actually appears that the fork on the left is heading in the right direction while the fork on the right is veering away from the eventual destination’s end.
Comparatively, the fork on the right usually seems much more difficult to journey on initially, and it is always less traveled because of the unknown risks, the inevitable potholes, and the effort required. Interestingly enough, some who choose to go right at these pivotal and occasional forks along the ‘path to success,’ will eventually decide to go left somewhere down the road. Why? The fork on the right usually is unpaved, deserted and lonely in many places, and the decision to go right at the next fork often never gets easier.
However, those travelers who have made the long and difficult journey and chosen to go right at the majority of forks will collectively agree that their path may have been initially daunting, lonely at times, and extremely hard, but they will also undoubtedly agree that the journey was certainly worth both the effort as well as the reward at the end of their chosen path.
Their fellow travelers who usually chose the fork on the left along this ‘path to success,’ most certainly enjoyed the paved roads, ease of the journey, and signs that clearly marked their path for a time; however, the majority who went left will also collectively agree that the success, happiness, and freedom they sought from the journey’s end was not only forfeited along the journey – but often not found at the eventual path’s destination.
And so yours and my journey on this ‘path to success’ continues. Inevitably, we will soon be faced with another fork in the road – which way will we choose to go? Remember that the occasional paths that veer right often come before we’re ready and leave before we realize it. Most importantly, will we have the faith, determination, effort, and persistence required to walk the difficult ‘path to success’ and obtain the reward at the journey’s destination? The journey’s path does have a reward – call it whatever you may: personal achievement, goals reached, dreams realized, risks rewarded, talents obtained, wealth acquired, happiness enjoyed, freedom achieved, character developed, or success won. This reward can come, but it only comes from continually choosing the fork less traveled.
Matthew is the founder of http://www.awakeyourpotential.com/ – a website focused on inspiring people to achieve their goals and dreams, live up to their full potential, and learn the secrets for success in anything. As a successful entrepreneur, Matt recently accomplished one of his dreams – to write a book! His book is entitled: Great Games! 175 Games & Activities for Families, Groups, & Children. To view the book and learn more, visit: http://www.greatgamesbook.com/
Jim Randel has done it again! His newest book, The Skinny on Success: Why Not You? is now available and certainly worth reading if you are at all interested in achieving success. (And who of you reading this blog isn’t?)
Don’t let the stick figures fool you into thinking this is “light weight reading.” They tell an essential story that makes Randel’s points absolutely clear. From choosing the right path to reaching your goal, Randel gives clear guidelines. If you’re one of those people who save “the best bite” for last, you’ll understand what I say when I tell you “This whole book is the best bite.” It’s a quick read for busy people but that doesn’t mean it is lacking in substance. It just says what it needs to say in clear, concise, to the point language. In other words it “cuts to the chase” and doesn’t waste your time. When you finish you will have what your need to know about success.
Here’s what the publishers say about this book and I heartily agree:
“The Skinny on Success is a compilation of the best thinking on the subject of success. Relying on thought leaders from ancient Rome to the present day, this book pulls back the curtain on success and separates the wheat from the chaff. If you want the real story, pick it up and invest one hour. It will be one of the best hours you have ever spent!!”
Most people don’t have a clue how important mindset is to their success. A considerable amount is written about the subject and there is a whole raft of material on the Internet about mindset and, in particular, about positive mental attitude – but what does it mean?
If I asked people why it is important to be positive they would give a load of stock answers and if I questioned them and drilled down for a little bit more information they have very little idea about the power of thought. There is no positive or negative to the brain simply the power of thought and the old cliché “if you think you can or if you think you can’t then you are probably right” proves the point.
Therefore it becomes vital to business success that we get our thought processes aligned with our desire to succeed. It can be difficult, particularly in the early stages of a business, to remain positive and certain of success when you keep hitting road blocks and your plans become frustrated BUT all successful people have been in this position and they come through it.
It is essential that everyone who has aspirations to start their own business should take time out to plan the business and take on the skills necessary to succeed. When launching a business a considerable amount of time is given over to formulating the business plan where all the financials and the marketing are considered but I have never seen a business plan that encompasses the mindset of the owner and their thought processes. I have launched two companies and the bank manager did not ask me if I had given any thought to my personal development and mental attitude! He simply wanted to know about the prospects of the company and if I had enough collateral to cover the loans I was asking for.
In an online business mindset is probably even more vital because you tend to work alone on the PC and you have little interaction with other people during the launch phase. If you cannot maintain a success attitude then, the chances are, you will not be able to keep your focus when things are not going well. My advice would be to surround yourself with successful people and feed off their attitudes, find out how they work, how they keep positive, how they keep focused and then you have blueprint to follow.
The outcome of any event depends on one thing – HOW YOU REACT TO IT. Don’t immediately perceive an event as a problem see what you can learn from it and move on to the next challenge. How about this for a change of mindset – the bigger the challenge you face the more successful you are becoming so thank God for massive problems.
Ian Simon Has been involved with training for the last twenty two years. He has successfully launched and managed two companies and has been involved with the Internet for nine years. He can make a difference in your business with his down to earth coaching style so go to http://www.massiveincomesystem.com where you can get a full, ethical, business in a box and see how you can benefit from the Internet when you have a full support team with you every step.
“Never give up, never give up, never, ever, give up” Winston Churchill
Persistence is an essential element for long-term success. Throughout human history every great man or woman was successful because they overcame adversity, learned from their mistakes, and persisted tenaciously in their endeavors.
If you are feeling challenged today, and you are on the verge of throwing in the towel, I want to invite you to read the biographies of people who have been successful in life. It is astounding to read what most of them went through before celebrating success. Had it not been for their tenacity and resilience, they would never have achieved their goals.
Most of us would have to humbly admit that we would have given up in situations in which they just kept on fighting. Quitting was not an option for them. They knew that somewhere, somehow they would find the answer they were looking for.
It is when we are resilient in the face of adversity that we open the doors for success in our lives. It is when we encounter seemingly insurmountable obstacles in life that our brain starts engaging in a powerful solution-finding process that will ultimately unravel the path to success.
“Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm” Winston Churchill
Most of us have a wrong way of coping with failure. Society dictates that failures are bad and condemns anybody who incurs in them. That is why some people have such a fear of failure that they don’t achieve anything in life. They are devastated when failure shows its ugly head.
Successful people, on the other hand, have a neutral approach to failure. Failure for them is not good or bad. It is just part of life when you are trying to achieve something you have never done before. They learn from their failures and keep on going persistently until they reach their goal.
That is why optimists are successful. Their optimism helps them get better results in life because they are less likely to give up. Of course it is easy to be optimistic when everything is going well, but true optimism is shown when we are still enthusiastic about a project when everything goes wrong. Pessimism, on the other hand, sets us up for failure.
The key factor for being persistent and optimistic in life is faith. It is faith in the Word of God and in the conviction that His promises over our lives will come to pass that will keep us going when the going gets tough.
If you are struggling with failure in your life, I’d love to help you! Go to http://www.Self-DirectedLearningForSuccess.com and learn how to experience true success. Get immediate access to my free e-course, “7 Steps to Consistently Change Your Life” and how to successfully develop your talents with my free e-book, “The Power of Self-Directed Learning”
From Bettina Langerfeldt, who teaches people how to pursue their God-given gifts and talents by designing their own education with self-directed learning.
Are you working longer hours than you want? Do you feel your work/personal life stresses are stunting your natural growth and sapping your emotional energy? Compare your growth with that of a plant you see growing and blossoming naturally to its full maturity. If you’re a gardener you will know sometimes that plant needs pruning and re-shaping to enjoy new vigorous growth.
If you feel a desire to enjoy new vigorous personal growth, there are some practical, enjoyable steps you can take to ‘prune and re-shape’ your lifestyle. Whatever your situation, there are always adjustments you can make to ensure you are in charge of creating the best life for you.
To achieve your natural life potential, you were born with a unique array of talents, abilities and skills, to be used and developed to the full. You also have passionate interests, which are the natural resource for developing those unique capabilities. Add to this the fact that we are social beings. You grow best when you connect with positive, like-minded people who share similar interests and passions.
If you get all of this through your work you are extremely fortunate. If however you get personal growth only through your work, you are living a narrow life in which only part of your potential is being developed. You are missing out on many of the other riches of life that you were destined to obtain. It may be you won’t fully appreciate this point until you are facing the lack of, or reduction in, your job and wonder what is left for you in life. I speak from personal experience and I also know that it is never too late.
“I enjoy respect, dignity, status and recognition – I wish I could get the same from my job”. You may be one of many who don’t enjoy your job. Perhaps you made a bad choice but also perhaps you had to take on your present type of work, simply to pay the bills. If so, you will have found the need to have strong interests away from work. You will already appreciate how much those non-work interests have enriched your lifestyle.
Passionate interests away from work are as important to your life growth as work. They can be physical, intellectual, artistic, musical, social, manual, or spiritual. When you lose yourself in an interest you love, you find yourself. Virtually any interest will invigorate your growth so long as it engages your senses of creative thinking and goal achievement.
The work ethic used to be that work was everything and anything else was nothing. One of the good things about the current stressful times is we are learning a rich life is much more than striving for material wealth.
The problem is that work pressures are forcing excessive priority on to work-related interests and many other passionate interests and related talents are increasingly being pushed aside. Life-changing events still hit us however and suddenly we find we are in our 50′s and starting to see life differently. If you don’t make the effort to stop and check the direction you are going, your tree of life will remain stunted.
Whatever your present situation, there is still plenty of vigorous personal growth to be achieved. Enjoy doing a self-audit on
* your range of natural skills, talents and abilities – especially those you have used little in recent years.
* your passionate interests, especially ones you have let slide because of other priorities
* positive people you love connecting with because you share similar interests and passions
* re-assessing your priorities on where you allocate your emotional energies. Consider giving more attention to your passions and potential – through work, home and play. You will have to do so one day so good to start doing so now.
You now have some valuable material towards developing a new life plan, that creatively expresses the real you in ways that enable your natural potential to blossom.
Melanie Brocklehurst, the guest on last week's Self Improvement Show, brought to our attention the plight of little girls in Nepal and Tibet. (If you didn't hear the show, it's worth listening to - click the video above and hear what Melanie has to say.)It is an opportunity for you to help someone … [Read More...]
Frontline Learning is making over 40 online learning courses available to 5000 unemployed individuals. Any currently unemployed person is eligible to receive these programs simply be registering online (see link below).
There is no hook or catch or "fine print" here - these are full featured … [Read More...]
By Irene Conlan -
For some it was a stretch to accept the idea of the wholeness of the individual—that we work as a unit with body, mind, emotions, and spirit working together and what affected one part affected the whole. If my emotions, for example, are seething with anger something will … [Read More...]
By Irene Conlan -
Thoroughly researched and carefully crafted this is a program that is designed for success in a field that sees far too much failure. How many people struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol check themselves into rehab over and over and never seem to be free of the need to … [Read More...]
This morning when I started working on this blog, I opened the Dashboard, as usual, to deal with the comments. Often I get great comments about the articles I've posted. Occasionally, I get comments by someone who thought the article was wrong, needed changing, or just didn't measure up. I welcome … [Read More...]
By Irene Conlan-
Have you seen the ads for electronic cigarettes? It's an interesting twist on the ordeal of quitting the smoking habit.
My son decided he wanted to quit and after researching a number of companies settled on a productg by LeCig.
His package arrived Friday and today he … [Read More...]
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