Did you know that you are the sum of your habits, good and bad? That means you can build good habits to transform your life. Habits are an essential process for maintaining a much larger structure.
I was walking in Dulwich Park in South East London the other day. It was a really windy day, and there was a grounds person blowing the leaves about with a very noisy leaf blower. I chuckled to myself, because it just seemed that her actions were totally pointless. The leaves she was neatly blowing to one side were no sooner getting swept away and whirled around by the wind again. Then it occurred to me, she’s doing a job because it’s a habit. Every week on the same day regardless of the weather, the leaves get blown. Despite it blowing a gale, she’d turned up and was doing her job as she always does, because it was a habit which was part of a routine to keep the park in good order. She was probably only managing to contain some of the leaves, but it’s all part of a bigger picture of keeping the pathways safe, and making sure the leaves don’t clog up the drains.
Do you sometimes feel like doing things, and other times can’t be bothered? That’s because they haven’t become a habit yet. But think for a moment about the daily habits you do without fail. What would happen if you only brushed your teeth on the days you felt like it? The reason you have made it a habit is because you care about your teeth. That way you don’t even have to think about it, you do it regardless of how you feel.
Think about some habits in your life which may not be serving you. For example, if you never seem to be able to lose weight, have you ever considered that your snacking is just a habit? Even having three meals a day is a habit for most people, but do you always feel hungry at mealtimes and therefore need to eat? It’s not about willpower. Habits are really easy to sustain, and much harder to break. Habits which don’t serve you will continue to take you further away from your goal, but in their place you can build good habits which take you towards your goal.
Imagine what change you would love to create in your life. Think of an easy habit, which by doing it daily could totally transform an area of your life. Good habits have time on their side, which means that all you have to do is start which is the hardest part, and then your habit should soon become effortless. Over time, you will start to see good steady progress as you continue on the upwards curve of change and transformation.
The best part is that if something is a habit you will most likely do it regardless of how you feel, which means that you can’t fail easily. If brushing your teeth matters so much to you that you set time aside each day to make it part of your routine, do the same for something else you care about. If you care about your health it could be getting off the bus a stop early, leaving a little food on your plate after each meal, doing 10 minutes of meditation or going for a 20 minute walk every day. Once you get momentum you can gradually build on each goal.
A book I can highly recommend is The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. The philosophy of this has transformed my life and those of my clients. It’s quite a big read but worth it. Once you understand the principles of habit then you can effectively build into your life anything you want, and it will seem effortless, whilst removing those habits which are not serving you. The transformation you will see will be incredible.
Cognitive hypnotherapy is an effective way to help you break bad habits and make new ones. If you would like some help then book a conversation with me to see what’s possible for you.