Have you struggled to change a habit? We often think of the habits working against us, but what if you could create habits that work for us?
Habits are wired into our brain and can seem difficult to change. When we learn something new, the brain links up neurons into a chain. Each time we repeat the new learning or the action, that pathway is reinforced. If we repeat it enough – the brain turns it into automatic.
Often people think habits are hard to change. However, with what we know now about the brain and how it works, ‘30 days to make a new habit’ is simply outdated. We can set up a new habit quickly and easily, just by thinking about it.
The first part is to think of a habit you’d like to create. Many times we pick up routines that are not really aligned with what we want.
Firstly, identify your priorities, use a blank sheet of paper and at the top list your top 3 priorities of things you most want to give your time and energy to.
Next, identify a habit where you can do, one simple thing daily that will support your priorities. For example, Anna wanted to read to her son every night before bed.
Now think of the cue that tells your brain when to run the habit. In Anna’s case, she chose the clock as a visual cue to remember to read with her son.
Now think of your response you’d like to change. What would you like to be thinking or saying to yourself? What would you like to be doing differently? What would you like to feel instead?
Now imagine the cue and then mentally imagine going through the motions of what you’ll be doing differently. As you see it in your mind, you are activating the visual center of the brain. When you think about what you’ll be thinking or saying to yourself, you activate the speech and hearing centers of the brain. When you feel instead, you activate the emotional center of the brain.
Now you’ve set up a new neural pathway. To get the brain to turn it into a habit, all you need is a little repetition. Now, go through the mental exercise 5-6 times in your mind and it will set up a new response to the cue.
Related InformationHolly Stokes, Author of the upcoming book, ‘Mind Traps: Rewire Your Brain for Health, Happiness and Success’ demystifies the recurring patterns that hold us back and how to break free for good.
With over 11 years in business, Holly has worked with thousands of clients to change old patterns and tune the brain to new levels of confidence, motivation and focus. She has authored three books and created several CDs designed to rewire the brain for weight loss, self healing, life purpose, happiness and business success and loves to empower people with ‘Brain Skills’ for life and business.
Holly has more than 20 years experience in the field of applied psychology with Certifications in Life & Business Coaching, NLP and Hypnosis. She has been quoted by Shape Magazine, Active Times and Chicago Tribune and appears on radio shows and local TV.
Sometimes creating a new habit is as simple as remembering to do it. Use this recipe for simple level habit change.
How to set up a habit in 5 minutes or less.
Step 1: Think of the goal you are trying to achieve and what small habit you can do everyday to achieve that goal?
Step 2: Define your habit. Make it small, easy and realistic.
What are the Benefits of this habit?
Is there any downside?
Step 3: Think of how this habit fits into your daily routine. Does anything need to change to fit it in?
Step 4: Imagine going through your day, seeing, hearing, feeling as if you are doing the habit, and completing the task in your daily routine. All the way to the end of your day.
Step 5: Repeat step 4 about six to eight times. Repetition is the key to making a new habit.
This process will create that reminder system. Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) which recognizes how the brain codes information and how we tap into that code to help make updates and changes. NLP was developed in 1970 by psychology researchers who wanted to define a success model for change. What they identified was the brain’s coding system.
Tony Robbins has long used NLP and references the skills and tools in his best-selling books, Personal Power and The Giant Within. NLP is a growing field of applied psychology looking at the underpinnings of behavior – how we can tap into the coding system of the brain to change habits, patterns and even programs of the automatic mind.
Habits can create efficiencies. Once we have a habit set up, we don’t have to think about it, we just do it. What are some habits that can help you in business – create more efficiency and even improve your bottom line?
Here’s a quick list:
• Ask prospects to take the next step
• Ask for the sale
• Keeping your Income & Expenses reports up to date
• Checking for voice-mails or emails
• Giving new clients a welcome kit
• Ask clients for referrals
• Cleaning up your work desk at the end of the day
What habits can you incorporate in your business to create greater ease, improve the care for clients and increase your income?
Sometimes we struggle with habits because there are other patterns attached to it, such as fear or stress patterns, sometimes it’s as if, ‘A part of me wants to and a part of me doesn’t.’ Like the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other.
For these deeper levels of sabotage, using the skills of ‘Brain Training’ such as NLP & Hypnosis can help you end the struggle, change old habits and patterns and find better ways of moving forward more quickly.
Life is a collection of habits. And when you get the brain onboard, life gets easier!