You have a bad habit you want to kick. Maybe you want to quit eating a block of chocolate every time you have a tough day at work. Or maybe you want to stop going back for seconds and thirds at the buffet.
What you want to change isn’t really important. What is important is what is motivating you to make that change. The wrong motivator can set you up for failure. But the right approach can make it easy for you to shift to healthier habits.
Which way are you going?
When you make a change, you’re going one of two ways. You’re either moving away from something, or you’re going towards something.
When you’re aiming towards something, you’re moving forward. But if you’re moving away from something, you’re running away. The problem with this is that when you stop running, you’ll end up going back to where you started in the first place.
Let’s take weight loss as an example. You might want to lose weight. Why? Because you feel fat. Because you don’t fit into your size 12 jeans anymore. So you go on a ‘diet’, you restrict yourself, and you start to lose weight.
But the second that you fit back into those size 12 jeans, you stall. Your conscious mind set the goal, but it’s your unconscious mind that is in charge of getting that goal. Once it thinks that you’ve achieved your goal, it loses focus. All of your unhealthy habit start to creep back in.
The next thing you know, the weight has come back on – and usually there’s an extra few kilos added.
This goes for any goal you set. If you’re talking about what you don’t want, you’re focused on the negative aspect. The unconscious mind doesn’t process negatives, so when you tell it ‘no more chocolate, no more chocolate’, it hears, ‘more chocolate, more chocolate!’
How to change a habit effectively
When you focus on what you don’t want, you have nothing left to look forward to. You’ll just yo-yo in your food choices, your exercise, whatever it is you’re trying to change. So how can you change a habit without sabotaging yourself? Here are some simple tips.
Shift your focus
Instead of focusing on what you don’t want, think about what you do want. If you don’t want to be overweight, what do you want instead? If you don’t want to eat chocolate after work, what would you rather do?
This way, you start to move towards a goal, rather than away from something you don’t want.
Ask yourself why
This is a method I often use with my hypnotherapy clients. Ask yourself ‘why’ until you get to the root of what you really want. I usually suggest asking yourself ‘why’ at least 5 times.
As an example:
I want to lose 5kg.
Why? Because my mother-in-law says nasty things about my weight.
Why is that a problem? Because I feel bad about myself.
Why do you want to change that? Because I want to feel confident in my own skin.
With just 3 whys, you’ve uncovered that what you do want is to feel confident. So now you have a good reason to make a shift in habits.
One way to fast-track the process of changing your habit is using hypnosis. Hypnosis allows us to bypass your conscious mind and work directly on your unconscious mind.
If you want to know more, why not book in for a free 15 minute chat with me! Click here to book now