The last decade has seen expansive insights and understanding of the neurology of habit formation. The ongoing research is plentiful & has revolutionised the way patterns work within our lives that relate many aspects of human behaviour. 40% of “decisions” we make every day are not really decisions – they’re HABITS.
What you repeatedly do (i.e. what you spend time thinking about and doing each day) ultimately form the person you are & the things you believe, & the personality that you portray.
Whether it’s not sleeping, a lack of exercise, poor food choices, or overindulgence in food or alcohol —we know these things are not healthy for us. Why do we persist—and just as importantly, how can we stop?
In his book The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg writes
“If you believe you can change, if you can make it a habit, the change becomes real. This is the real power of habit.
The insight is that your habits are what you choose them to be.”
HABITS form part of our lives – we all have them – the good, the not so good & the darn right ugly. Some we will aware of, yet many form the backbone of our behaviours and hum away in the background of our unconscious mind.
The process of building a habit can be divided into these 3 simple steps: Cue, Routine & Reward.
Your brain runs through these steps in the same order each time. We work on re-wiring the process so that alternative routines become automatic.
The key is to understand that you can’t extinguish a bad habit, but you can change that habit—and still get the same reward you currently get from your old habit. A Golden Rule of Habit Change says the most effective way to shift a habit is to diagnose & retain the old cue, then reward & change the routine.
HABIT CHANGE is possible when you have the right system, the right support and the right accountability. With this in place, we know that transformation happens, step-by-step.
#7 tips steps to become a master of your habit change:
#1. DISCOVER the HABITS you want to change.
This means bringing what is usually unconscious (or at least ignored) into your own awareness. Make a list of things you’d like to change, and then pick the priority.
#2. DISCOVER your MOTIVATION for wanting to change that habit
Who needs a helping hand/reminder to keep us going when the going gets tough? … Most of us! When we identify & connect with a motivating factor secured as part of our goal, it’s setting us up to build resilience when we are tested. Know WHY you have chosen to do this.
#3. Design your environment for
Making it easy for yourself to make good choices, or hard to make bad ones, is essential. Leaving your exercise gear in a visible place and getting changed into it straight away makes it more likely you’ll get out for that run. Keeping the kitchen full of healthy snacks will mean you are less likely to head for the biscuit tin. Placing T.V. remote in different room, or moving your favourite chair can make it harder to sit down.
#4. Write it Down
Studies show that we retain more when we write it down and the easiest way to implement a new habit is to write a plan. The format is simple:
When (cue), I will (routine) because it provides me with (reward).
In this example, the plan is:
When I get to the office, I will check in with line managers first because that lets me take care of any urgent issues right away.
Do that enough times, and eventually, your new habit will become automatic— productivity bonus!.
#5. Appoint an ACCOUNTABILITY partner.
Being accountable to others is a powerful incentive to keep on keeping on. Even when the going gets tough. Partnering with a Health Coach can help you identify your goals to build resilience and introduce new habits to connect you to your vitality & self-care.
#6. Give yourself enough time.
Habit Change can jumpstart within 28 days. However, the latest research shows that most of us need 3 months to move where we want to be & implement new behaviour for sustainability. It’s incredible how rapidly we can make a change when we want it. It will be subject to the habit, your personality, your level of stress, and the support you have in place to make it live.
#7. Practice SELF COMPASSION –
Be kind to yourself.
We are beautifully imperfect humans. A slip up is your personal detective! It tells you what kinds of stressors push you off your good intentions. It tells you what you might need to change in order to stay on track. Think hard about why you slipped and get back on board. Tomorrow is another day!
For sustainable habit change, we need to believe that change is possible. That conviction greatly leads to inevitable success. Remember our life is in our own hands; what we decide to do with it depends on us and our choices.
At Tides of Change we believe in step-by-step transformation by navigating the ebb and flow whilst learning to surf the waves.
DISCOVER – where you are & overcome any barriers or fear that holds us back from optimum wellness, happiness, vitality & progress.
NOURISH – To reach our optimum potential, build resilience & learn how to Nourish our mind, body & being.
THRIVE – Together we create practical new lifestyle habits & tools that will help you make healthy choices to live your best story. Thrive there with confidence, passion, humour & style.
INSPIRE – Nuggets of wisdom & inspiration confirms we are always learning for progress.
SHARE – Connection is at the core of wellbeing. Share with those you love and care for in your own community
Habits aren’t destiny. By harnessing this science, we can transform and make changes in all key areas of our lives & impact on energy, motivation, vitality and confidence.
By taking baby steps, the doorway to happiness is within your reach!
At Tides of Change, we believe that establishing healthy habits is key to reigniting our energy & vitality.
Reducing stress is fundamental to a truly healthy life.
Travel lightly to shine brightly,
Principle Coach | Tides of Change
Habit Change | Health |Resilience