Is it June already?
We have hit the 6 month mark of this year.....
I don’t know about you, but it’s this time of the year when I start thinking about all the things that I have been doing that just are not serving me. What am I talking about? I am talking about habit's that just don't get us the result's we are looking for.
In short, it’s time to take stock to & say goodbye to old habits and hello to new habits.
It's time for contemplation and reflection, don't you think?
There is a myth from the 1960’s that says it takes 21 days to change a habit. The reality is, on average it takes 66 days, the shortest 18 days. That’s based on a study in 2009 by Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher at UCL
If you have made a intention for the next 6 months to be different to the last six and you are going to do things differently to get the results in life you are looking for. Then I am glad you are reading this right now.
Reflect back on the last six months. First things first - Don’t be hard on yourself !
It’s not easy our brains are hardwired to take shortcuts and to do what comes naturally to us – so while you are telling yourself you want to things differently, your brain is busy working out how it can revert to your old ways.
the key to a new behaviour is to keep at it!
Remember why you made the decision to do things differently, so that when, for example, your sub-conscious tells you to give up, you can pause, bypass not doing it and do it.
First thing first!
Be honest, be realistic, what is it that you are doing that you believe to be a bad habit?
Truth is you will know. Take some time out and think about the bad habits you want to ditch and then follow these steps.
Why or why do we find it so hard to change?
Habits are formed by doing the same thing over and over again and the subconscious part of our mind is the driving force of this.
As human beings we are naturally habitual; some habits are conscious, like driving the same way to work each morning.
But others are unconscious (if you’re like me you may just end up driving to work on a Saturday morning or answering the phone with your work voice) and regardless of what the conscious mind wants, we can be compelled to keep doing them!
Good news is you can change bad habits for good!
Maybe you want to stop being so inactive, stop biting your nails or rid yourself of bad eating habits. Or like me having a can of coke every day with my lunch.
You can do this by giving your subconscious the gift of new helpful behaviors.
Whatever research says about how many days it takes to reinforce a new habit, remember it starts by taking the first step. With genuine determination and repetition, you can do it!
Here are a few tips to help master the next 6 months or should I say 5?
Our imagination is incredibly powerful! This is such a powerful habit to adopt!
Imagine what success will look like.
Imagine what people will say.
Imagine the difference it will make.
Imagine yourself being successful.
Share your goal with others.
When I follow up and support my clients to reach their goals, they come back to their next session surprised that they did it!
By having someone cheer you on, you’re far more likely to stick to it! And you can be someone’s cheerleader to!
Have something to strive for.
Remember why you are doing what you are doing. Most of the time what stops us is our habit of not believing in ourselves.
Let me use the example of Aisha she was preparing for her big doctorate exam. She was struggling to believe that she could pass the exam let alone go through the day without messing up. When I reminded her of all the reasons why she was striving to pass the exam, her focus soon shifted.
Needless to say I received a text from her a few weeks later letting me know she had passed. She had kicked the habit of letting the negative voice stop her from progressing and advancing.
Accept the odd slip-up.
It’s time to lose that critical voice!
Don’t be hard on yourself if you do have the occasional off day.
‘All or nothing’ personality types are at risk of giving up completely and feeling defeated when they slip-up.
The best way to get around this is to look at it as a blip and move on from it afresh. Allow yourself the occasional lazy or ‘cheat’ day without feeling bad about it- no one is perfect!
So if you missed one day at the gym it’s OK. Go the following day you will soon kick the habit of giving up!
Give yourself a HUG!
If there is one habit I would love for you to adopt over the next few months is to develop self compassion and to give yourself a hug.
Repetition is key!
The formula here is repeat and follow…repeat and follow…before you know it, it has become second nature!
Reward yourself along the way.
Set yourself regular rewards, such as treat day on a Sunday if you stick to your healthy eating Monday to Saturday. Or a relaxing sauna and swim instead of the gym if you stick to your exercise plans the rest of the week.
I dare you to ditch those bad habits!
Follow these tips and let me know how you are getting on.
If you need any helpful tips to get you through now until then, drop me a e-mail and I will be sure to do a how to from me to you.
Until next time.
Ps Remember to be kind to yourself!
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