Friday, March 28, 2014


Habits can be productive - gym, good eating, sleep schedule, studying - or destructive.  

Interestingly, any habit, whether it is healthy or destructive, creates a comfort zone for us - it is a behavior that we put on auto pilot.  It takes up time and space and creates structure in our lives.

In order to change we need a good reason that makes a strong argument - for us!  We also have to be ready to accept the disruption and emptiness that comes with the process of change.

The old belief of overlaying a new habit on top of an old one does not seem to work for humans. 

To make a successful change, we need to first let go of the old habit and create an empty space that the new one can then fill.


An opportunity to experiment with some fun


First recognize that a habit is by definition a learned behavior that through repetition has created a strong neurological pathway - give yourself credit for taking the challenge of unlocking and erasing an established pattern!   If you expect it to be easy and free of pitfalls you are setting yourself up for failure - expect a demanding and intriguing path. 

Remember that habits create comfort - good and bad alike - when we remove the habit we create uneasiness at first.  The old comfort is gone and it takes awhile before new pathways are strongly imbedded.  Give yourself lots of cheerleading and support.

Remember also that transitions are difficult for humans.  We tend to take one step forward and a good few backwards as we go through this process.  Acknowledge the difficulty and hang in there.

Identify several very strong and valid reasons for making a change.  Not someone else's reasons - yours!  You need to have these reasons as anchors to help you through the process.

Expect and be ready for anger - from you!  This is called resistance and probably will come in the form of that Bully/Victim/Rebel triangle.  You know, your internal Bully voice scolding you about whatever it is you are trying to change, your answering internal Victim voice whining and claiming incompetence, and the Rebel in your raising that famous middle finger… When this dynamic starts, exaggerate it to the point of silliness and it will have no power to stop you!

Learn to tolerate emptiness - it is part of change.  Breathe into the empty spaces and pretend you are a renowned meditation master…

Celebrate change - allow yourself to experience the freedom that comes with release from a negative habit!

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