I have just finished the book "the Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg and thought I would share some of the tips from the book on how to change our habits.
I found the book so interesting as it looks at the psychology of how we have created our habits. Duhigg says that most of our lives are made up of habits and as I read the book and related it to my own life, I began to realise that for me this was very true.
Duhigg explains there is a cycle to habits. Starting with a cue or trigger leading to us to perform a certain routine to gain a particular reward. This cycle is completed by a craving for the same. Some habits we would like to keep and some we would like to change.
Duhigg says that to change a habit we need to look at all the parts of the cycle and look at why they are there. The most important part to change though is the routine. Once we have figured out what triggers our habit and what we benefit from doing it, we can change the act or routine of doing it to get the same reward or outcome. This may sound easier said than done and yes, we will sometimes 'fall off the wagon' as Duhigg says. But just keep going and you will start to see a change.
There are other points Duhigg makes that are important to the making of new habits and these include;
- Have a goal.
- Create procedures and/or formalise a system.
- Practice the new routine, even in your mind.
- Just pick one area of your life you would like to make a change and you will start to see others happen automatically.
- Plan for things that may go wrong and practice those too. That way if things don't go to plan you won't miss a beat.
- Speak kindly to people. Especially yourself and your will power will remain high.
- Will power is like a muscle as you build it up it will touch all parts of your life.
- Dress the new in something old. People like what they know so make the changes small.
- Creat some peer pressure if you can.
- Make changes that make sense to you, they are your style, they are real things that you want to change and that can be applied right now.
When I work with clients, I can see their habits and why they do them in regards to how they store things and the routine that goes with it. When I assist clients I make sure the changes we make are easy with some flexibility built in.
January is a great time to make some new habits. I hope these tips will help you to get some new, flexible but sustainable.