Changing a habit can be more doable than you think! We get mired in habits, and we get stuck in behaviors that are actually habits. The stuckness seems unchangeable…kind of the definition of stuck, isn’t it? I think there is a way to gain more traction on change that you might not have thought of or applied. But first, let me point out some things about habits and how they work – just a bit of information.
‘The Power of Habit’ by Charles Duhigg, is a great resource about how habits work and affect us. The author’s main point is that you can’t stop the cue or trigger from happening — ‘What you CAN do is change the routine or actions you take!’ Instead of having that piece of Dutch apple pie you are craving, you can have an apple.
The second thing to consider is: What are your habits? What do you do that is so routine you don’t even think about it? Habits are how you fold your socks or biting your nails. Sometimes we set them up on purpose to keep us feeling safe or prepared. I personally have a well-established routine each morning that includes tasks like making the bed, cleaning the cat box, and putting away the dishes left to dry overnight. It’s a groove that works very well and has served me for years.
A less effective one I have is saving the special food I like best for my last bite. I really noticed it a while back when I took myself to lunch at my favorite Sushi place. I truly loved everything I ordered and was really stuck trying to figure out what to eat first and what to save for last!
So we have habits of all kinds – bad ones, good ones, silly ones, neutral ones…on and on it goes. Start noticing what is behind the habit — Did you start it based on something that happened in your life? What was its original purpose? and do you still want/need that habit?
What is a habit you really wish you could change? Perhaps, one that you have tried and tried to shift but are still stuck in, or even think there is just no way out of it? Maybe you really aren’t ready to break it, or really down deep like repeating it?
Either way, I’d like you to consider this new idea I’ve been exploring with some clients. The thought process has to do with confidence. This involves truly believing that you actually can change if you truly want to. You don’t have to bare-knuckle your way through! By combining and exchanging the routine or actions you take with the added knowledge that you absolutely can change!
What?!! Change? Impossible! That’s probably what your ever-present ‘Inner Critic‘ is telling you. I contend that you can remodel your thinking because you have absolutely changed before! It turns out that reminding yourself of a habit you managed to shift sometime earlier in your life actually bolsters your ability to change now. In addition, the habit you previously modified doesn’t have to be in any way related to the pattern you are trying to change now!
Realizing that if you quit smoking years ago, you could also change the penchant for buying way too many shoes now. You can shift from ‘It’s not possible!’ to ‘Change is possible because I did it before…and I’m more effective now.’ Of course, I can!
You might need more support around building your confidence than just noticing that you succeeded before. If so what do you know really helps you change your thinking and actions? It might be talking to a good friend, or maybe listening to a hypnotherapy recording based on what you want to change.
So revision just might be more doable than you thought. Not necessarily easy. It may just be that you choose to not change. And if that’s the case isn’t it better to actually choose not to change than to feel like you just can’t change?
Things often come down to refocusing our perspective. Transforming habits, including ones around money, is doable. Figure out what you really want and own it!
Shell Tain, The Untangler