Do you ever feel like you are here for a reason, but you are not sure what that reason is? If so, I know the feeling very well. I have been there myself!
If you are seeking the answers to unlock the doors of possibilities, discover who you truly are, then you arein the right place.
Do you know that you have the ability to change your reality at any given moment?
I invite you to take the next step towards unveiling your truth, creating the awakening of your souls burning desire and unleashing all that you are here to be.
Last week I shared about the importance of habits, and how they impact the life you desire. Now, let’s take a look at less-than-positive habits and their consequences, substituting positive habits for less-than-positive habits, and developing new, empowering habits.
Less-than-positive Habits and their unwanted effects
Consider, that the habitual behaviors you exhibit eventually lead to unwanted situations in your life. Less-than-positive habits can produce results that are completely contrary to what you desire.
You wouldn’t consciously chooseto keep yourself from what you truly want. But you keep repeating those habits anyway just because they are what they are: habits. Honestly evaluate how what you’re doing is affecting your life. Maybe you haven’t achieved your work goals or your health isn’t as good as it could be because of your less-than-positive habits. Subconsciously or even consciously, you experience some type of benefit from continuing to perform these negative habits and that’s one reason you continue them. But is that benefit more important to you than what you’ve dreamed of having for your life?
Let’s look at this example:
John wants to play basketball with the men in his neighborhood who get together every Saturday at 10 a.m. He used to love shooting hoops in college and for a few years afterward when he first started working. He was also in better physical condition then.
Even though he talks all the time about wanting to get back into shape, it’s a challenge because John is now 30 pounds overweight and already struggles with high cholesterol. After work during the week, John is just too tired to do anything. And he loves to sleep in on Saturdays.
John feels entitled to stay in bed on Saturday mornings after getting up at 7:00 a.m.and go to work all week. So, he sleeps late — until around 9:00 a.m. Then he has his favorite breakfast: sausage, gravy, and biscuits with 2 glasses of milk, a glass of orange juice, and a banana. By the time he prepares and eats his breakfast, he’s in no condition to play basketball.
In this example, what are the benefits to John that keep repeating his Saturday morning habits?How is he being reinforced to continue the behaviors that are actually keeping him from what he truly wants?
1. He gets to lie in bed longer, which he apparently loves to do.
2. John loves the food he eats for breakfast.It feels decadent to him to eat a breakfast so full of fat, calories, and flavors. Frankly, it just tastes good.
3. There are no real demands on him during this time.He doesn’t have to get dressed, go out, or accomplish anything.
4. John deserves it.He’s convinced himself he deserves to lie in bed as long as he pleases, eat his unhealthy breakfast, and choose not to play basketball. Emotionally, he sends himself the message that after working all week, he can behave however he wants, regardlessof the consequences long-term.
The fact is that John’s Saturday morning habits of sleeping late, eating a breakfast loaded with calories and fats, and avoiding playing basketball set the tone for his entire week and maybe even his life!
John consciously convinces himself he’s doing what he wants. But is he really? After all, he’s repeating a series of bad habits.
Which would he truly choose — being in good physical condition by playing basketball and hanging out with the guys on Saturday morning or continuing to stay in the shape he’s in?
Now, your turn… Take a minute or two to ponder the situations in your life you’d like to change.Are you like John — engaging in negative habits from which you consciously or unconsciously derive benefits?
How are you reinforcing your unsavory habits? What do you say to yourself that encourages you to continue repeating these actions?
If you see a bit of John in yourself, you might want to begin consciously focusing on the things that are more important to you to obtain a different, more pleasing result. You’ll benefit even morefrom establishing a positive habit than you derive from repeating a negative habit.
“Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of.”
Substitute Positive Habits for Your Negative Habits
To interrupt a negative habit, you could substitute a positive habit. Basically, you’re replacing an old, negative habit with a new, positive habit. Those positive actions will aid you in achieving the results you want in life.
Considering John’s scenario above, let’s apply this information.
John’s best bet is to realize the effects these habits are having on his life. Once he consciously connects with the damage he’s doing to himself by practicing these habits and decides that he is committed and willing to change, he can then begin work to build the life he truly seeks. He can replace his negative habits with positive ones. To do this, Johncould:
1. Set his alarm on Saturdays for 8:30 a.m. He’ll still get an extra hour and a half of sleep.
2. Choose to eat a smaller breakfastof one piece of sausage, one biscuit, and one egg to experience the flavors he truly enjoys.
3. Show up to play basketballwith the guys at 10:00 a.m.
4. Allow himself a couple of hours to restafter he shoots some hoops.
5. Repeat this behavior every Saturday consistently for 66 times.
In the least, John should avoid skipping Saturdays during the first months of his new behavior.
6. Ensure he’s home on Friday nightsso he’s in his own home (the same location) on Saturday mornings.
7. Establish situational cues to trigger him to perform the positive behaviorsthat will lead to habit formation. For example, John can lay out his basketball clothes and shoes so they’re the first things he sees when his alarm sounds.
Now, your turn; apply this type of thinking in your own case.
Develop New, Empowering Habits
There may be times when you don’t have a negative habit that thwarts you from achieving your goals. However, you still may want to hasten the pace at which you move forward to attain them. You can develop new, positive habits that support your intentions that lead you to your goal. Once a positive action becomes a habit, you’ll do it automatically without even thinking about it. Positive habits make it easier for you to createthe life you desire.
In summary; Recognize how your habits impact your life. Your entire life is made from the cloth of all the habits you perform day after day, week after week, and month after month. When you work to establish positive habits related to your goals, you’ll be more likely to obtain the life you seek.
As research suggests, you must repeat a behavior 66 times consecutively (without skipping) in order to establish a habit. If you learn to set up situational and contextual cues to trigger you to do the new positive behaviors, you’ll be more successful in forming positive habits that will provide you with the existence you desire. Be honest with yourself about the results of your behaviors.Then, take conscientious steps to replace your less-than-positive habits with more positive ones.
When you include your life goals in your daily routines by forming and continuing positive, empowering habits, you’ll create the life you desire.
“Any act often repeated soon forms a habit; and habit allowed, steadily gains in strength.
At first it may be but as the spider’s web, easily broken through, but if not resisted it soon binds us with chains of steel.”
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