The habits which we maintain create our identity. They can make us stronger or weaker people. You can empower yourself by eliminating your negative habits. The activity begins with the decision to stop engaging in bad habits and to start performing good ones. Unfortunately, some of us are unable to sustain the momentum. The moment that you fail to peform one of the activities which constitute the new habit, you begin to miss engaging in the old ones. After some more failure, majority of us simply go back to the old, negative habits. They are our comfort zone. Hence we are tempted to stick there and our lives do not experience any improvement whatsoever. By knowing the mistakes that cause this, we can essentially avoid them and build new positive habits successfully. Here are the most common mistakes that people do when wanting to form a new habit.
Trying to drop too many bad habits all at the same time
This is a common mistake that people perform. While it is good to become self-aware and know that you have many bad habits that need elimination, you should not try to stop them all at the same time. In most cases, doing this causes you to fail in your effort to drop them at all. In addition to that, you will be disappointed and this will cause you to lose the willpower to continue with your positive evolution. Therefore, focus on one bad habit at a time and change it. This is more manageable and creates gradual change. It also boosts your chances of succeeding in your habit change effort.
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This is a big mistake that people make on the path to changing their habits. They begin with a big action that takes up their energy, time and maybe even financial resources. After things begin to become challenging, they feel demotivated because they made such a huge investment in the habit change. This causes them to crash and go back to their old habits. It is good to be very enthusiastic about dropping old bad habits and creating new, good ones. However, you should not begin with big activities. Simply start small. Create small, manageable, positive habits. For example, if you want to get fit, do not begin by paying for an expensive training regimen in a gym. Instead, start with eating healthier and make this a habit. Then after you sustain this new, positive habit, you can proceed to bigger activities on your path to health. Small steps help you to drop old, bad habits and adopt new, positive ones.
Failing to identify the keystone habit
Out of all the habits which we have, there is one which is their foundation. It holds them all together. This habit naturally allows conditions that are convenient for the development of all the other habits. Therefore, if you have a number of negative habits, one of them is a keystone and it provides an origin and foundation for them. In your effort to get rid of your bad habits, you should find out the keystone habit and change it. All the other negative ones will gradually fall away to make room for new, positive habits.
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Not changing your environment to change your habits
All the habits that you have today are products of the environment which you are currently living in. Your environment can result in negative habits or positive ones. it is nearly impossible to develop positive habits when you are surrounded by the triggers of negative ones. For example, you cannot eat healthier when you are surrounded by unhealthy food and unhealthy people all the time. The behaviors we exhibit are simply a response to the environment which we live in. Therefore, if you want to change your bad habits and adopt new, positive ones, you need to change your environment. A positive environment results in positive habits.
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Today, we are bombarded with information everywhere we go. We have various types of technological devices all around us. Examples of these are our smartphones, tablets and laptops. These devices help us to stay in touch with our families, friends and co-workers. They are also great for entertainment. However, they can keep beeping and notifying us of what is going on in our social media accounts. This can distract us from our habit change effort. Therefore, whenever you are performing the activities which are necessary for habit change, switch off or put these devices away. Even if you manage only a few minutes of focus on the new activities at a time, this is great and gets you closer to your goal. Maintain this focus for as long as you need to and you will succeed in dropping your old habits and adopting new ones.
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Failing to focus on the lifestyle choice and not the negative habit which you want to change
In most conversations about goals and the desire to drop negative habits for new ones, the focus is usually on the results that one desires. One is prompted to answer questions like,"Which new habits do you want to create?" Interestingly, this is part of the problem. Instead of focusing on the new habits that you want to create, you should focus on the lifestyle changes which are necessary so as to create ideal conditions for the development of this new habit. New lifestyles create new rituals which result in new habits. Therefore, when changing from old negative habits to new, positive ones, you should focus on a lifestyle change. This approach sets you on the right path and eventually delivers more permanent results.
Having a vague perspective of your new habits
Vagueness never makes a positive contribution to anything. If you want to change your old, bad habits into new, good ones, you need to know exactly which new habits you desire. According to research, you have a higher likelihood of sticking to positive habits if you make a conscious choice of exactly which ones you want, when you want to do them and how you are going to go about it. There are some active strategies you can utilize to accomplish this. One of these is establishing an implementation intention. This is where you reframe your habit as an If, Then statement.
For example, you can say that, "If I finish my breakfast, then I will read a motivational book." This structure puts a condition which you can easily achieve and delivers your new positive habit as a resultant activity. You can also use a strategy known as habit stacking. This is where you link your new, positive habit to an activity that you already perform. For example, you can say, "After I take my lunch, I will work out." This causes your new positive habit to be linked to a pleasurable activity you normally perform. These strategies make it easier to develop permanent, positive habits to replace the negative ones in your life.
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The Important Take Away
To experience a more fulfilling, rewarding life, you need to change your habits. This involves getting rid of all the old, negative ones and adopting new, positive ones. We make quite a number of mistakes in this endeavor and they prevent us from creating new, permanent habits. These mistakes are indicated above along with their solutions. If you desire a positive change of any kind in your life, these solutions can help you to build a positive lifestyle which results in better habits and eventually a happier, more fulfilling life.