7 simple steps to change behaviour for your desired path…
Habits like, over concern with cleanliness, tidiness, nail biting, extreme tenseness.
Or work- procrastination, chronic lateness, cant concentrate. or social- sarcasm ‘game playing’, ‘people pleasing’ etc. Can be turned around when following simple steps with self monitoring…
First step –
IDENTIFY what it is you need to change.
When you identify what you need to change- firstly that creates awareness within yourself to take ownership of the behaviour you have carried out up until this point that you want to change it.
By being aware and clear of what you want to change, it becomes easier to start to move forward.
Through changing the behavior, allows the self to gain control and then can begin to change the behavior in desired direction.
You could use a notebook for a week, everytime you come across in the habit you want to change and write it down, when you do it, and WHY you are doing it. Chances are you could also be carrying out a habit because you are being triggered by something deeper.
MEASURE the behavior to see how often it occurs before you plan your program.
So you can see your ‘before and after’ progress.
Assess the frequency of behaviour and how it effects you and/or relationships around you.
Take note of the rate at which it occurs at a given time, the time duration of behaviour its carried out and then you can start to understand how you can move forward realistically with time.
Make a contract of intention with yourself that you want to change your behavior and WHY.
Make this extremely specific. If it is too vague, it is easy to swerve and dance around the goal you are trying to target and your attempt to create a new pattern is not solid.
Without a specific contract of intention made for yourself, it becomes easy to fool yourself into believing that you followed through. The vaguer the intention or resolution, the harder it is to being fulfilled.
Write the intention clearly. Can include, the time, by a certain date, what for, why, what pleasure it will bring you etc.
Use IMAGERY to control reinforcements.
Whatever you imagine, you FEEL and emotion arises.
Then beginning to perform unwanted behavior, begin to imagine the scene.
Keep it as vivid as possible, keep imagining it until u stop the behaviour, then imagine pleasant scene straight away. Get to know the difference with feeling pain/pleasure from desired outcomes.
When you actually FEEL the visuals, your body will actually reject the unpleasant behaviour you want to stop. When you go inwards and feel the positive visual, you will get a sense of calm and continue on breaking that habit.
Find out which CONSEQUENCES of undesirable behaviour reinforce the habits.
What is reinforcing the behaviour?
If over eating for a moment of joy, you need to look deeper, connect to inner self and ask what is going on? Guaranteed there is a void you are trying to fill with over eating. Find out why this is happening so you can have that internal dialogue to interrupt the pattern.
Consequences can include- making yourself fat, which you dont even want, so in time can make you feel undesirable and unworthy, and then not worthy enough for a relationship or if in relationship, stopping having sex because you dont feel sexy etc, the list goes on!
Or if you have a tendency of drinking each afternoon, when your kids come home from school and you cant function properly as your a little tipsy or more, from having some wine every afternoon as a habit, effects relationship with your kids, plus the relationship and bond you have with your partner. Leads to rows, problems, break ups etc.
Set as your intention as something you can accomplish in the SHORT TERM.
An intention at morning after a christmas party that “I will never get drunk and show myself up as i did last night” doesnt prove a good contract, be reasonable, set targets, not ones that are too far off. Set them on short basis.
Short term goals will get you a lot closer to the over all big goal you want to achieve in changing your behaviour. These short term goals are what brings momentum to the new behaviour.
MONITOR your progress.
Use notes, tables, graphs, any recording. Count number of times you perform the act each day.
Just self monitoring can change behavior quite surprisingly.
When holding yourself accountable, self monitoring is confronting but you cant hide from it. So just by looking at what you do in reality can be enough to snap you out of it!
Reward yourself mentally, praise yourself. Your internal dialogue with your Inner Self is extremely important in nurturing yourself.
AND don’t forget to use imagery- it is very powerful in manifesting the desired outcome you want!!
I like this example:
A student had a creative block about completing her final paper. Her imagined scene: Which are various steps approaching examination- and then her reinforcement imagery scene- diploma in hand, kissing her boyfriend.
Enjoy – Create – Grow