Break the habit, start a new story
Every night you say to yourself that you will go to bed earlier and get at least seven hours sleep. At midnight you find yourself still on your phone/computer/ slumped on the sofa not really watching the TV (delete as appropriate).
You're sitting at your desk eating lunch and working and you realise you haven't had lunch away from your computer in such a long time.
You meant to call your friend but realised that another week has gone by and you haven't had a proper conversation outside of the Whatsapp chat groups.
Does any of this sound familiar?
We create habits and tell ourselves stories about our behaviour.
We believe that will never be able to go to bed early or be that type of person that goes for lunchtime walks in the park. We tell ourselves we are very busy and wear the ‘busy-ness’ label proudly.
However, if you dislike them, they do not serve you and it’s time to do something different it is possible to break the habits.
In the same way that you've created those habits and are holding on to those behaviours, the reverse can happen.
Start to change - 7 ways forward
- A good question to ask yourself is how important is it to you that you make the change? If it is not of high importance, it might explain why you haven’t done it!
- If it is important, one way in which you can kick start change is to connect with the deeper meaning of why the change is important to you. The more connected you are to the reason than the more important it is to you, the more likely you are to start doing something about it.
- Ask yourself - what might be getting in the way? Write out what comes to mind
- .Ask your body – once you’ve done the thinking, connect with your body and feel. Think about the thing you want to change, does it bring up a feeling in any part of your body? If it does write out in detail the feeling and sensation, where is it in the body? Consider that the feeling is telling you and work out how to move forward.
- Embody what you want – how can you be the person who takes lunchtime walks? What do they do and how would they set up their day? If you know someone that successfully does what you want to do, how can you model their behaviour?
- Set yourself up for success - going from eating at your desk every single day to saying that you're going to take an hour break away including a 30 minute daily walk might be too a big change. Instead, set yourself a small change – for example - 30 minute lunch away from your desk twice a week.
- Date yourself - I advocate putting things in the diary that important to you and this includes making time for yourself. Block out the time to chat with a friend, relax in front of the TV or have a date with your partner. Treat this time as just as important as any work-related meeting.
What habit will you shift and what will be your new story?