In order to change deep-rooted habits, you must want to change. Desire is the key to success or failure in changing any behavior. Many management experts say that you can successfully change any habit if you consistently practice a new behavior for 21 days.
There are five steps to the process of replacing self-defeating habits with positive habits.
1. Think and Plan First
The more you know about what you do and why you do it, the easier it will be to identify the habits that are self-defeating. This means you must choose to reflect on the behaviors and the situations where the negative behavior occurs. Then and only then can you pinpoint the exact behavior you want to change.
Next, you need to examine what you believe about this behavior to determine if these beliefs are preventing you from achieving the change you desire.
2. Carefully Define the New Habit You Want to Develop
Use and action plan to record and describe the new behaviors you plan to adapt. Only by being honest with yourself and creating a realistic action plan, will you be able to change your behavior and develop new habits.
3. Begin the New Behavior as Strongly as Possible
Tell everyone about your new habit, especially those that will support you. Now, set-up a routine to accomplish your habit… put up signs to remind you of the new behaviors. Also, work to change your environment so the new habit will take root and grow.
4. Never Stray Form the Behavior Until the New Habit is Firmly Established
Part time behavior does not develop new habits – new behaviors come from consistent and persistent practice. You will be tempted many times to do things the “old way” – resist these temptations and ask for help. Do not rationalize the temptations by saying “Just this once won’t matter.” The truth is… every time you stray you must start over. The more times you start over the more difficult, it becomes until you give up.
5. Ask Other People to Help You Change
Few people make significant changes without the help of others. Think carefully about who you can trust to help you. How can they help you and what will you ask them to do? Building a strong support team around you makes new habits easier to accomplish.
Start right now and choose one habit you want to change. Now follow the steps and 21 days later, you will have developed a new behavior that brings you the results you desire.
Adapted from Inscape Publishing’s Time Mastery Profile®