HOW TO BREAK A BAD HABIT
We all have a habit that we want to get rid of.
However, once upon a time, it served a purpose - or else it wouldn't have become a habit!
We have to keep that in mind in order to change our behaviour.
I will illustrate with a personal experience, if that's okay with you.
Bad habit I wanted to stop:
Going through the Tim Horton's drive-thru for a shitty cup of coffee.
(Sorry, but the coffee isn't good. I said it.)
It was like a magnet for me!
I honestly felt like I had little to no control over the decision of turning into a Tim Horton's on a relatively long drive.
(And I took quite a few long drives. I still do!)
Even if I had more than enough coffee that day (and this is all the days!), and the thought of another coffee made me feel slightly nauseous.....I still found myself battling it out in my head:
"You definitely don't need a coffee, Sarah."
"The coffee is shitty and doesn't satisfy a thing, Sarah."
"You will be so disappointed with the product and yourself, Sarah."
"You're a fucking Holistic Nutritionist, Sarah. Get a grip."
And yet, there I would go into the drive-thru entrance.
Even when I was in line, I'd be thinking: "There's no car behind you, you can reverse out."
Or if there was a car behind me: "Well, you're stuck now. Might as well order a coffee."
Like it's the car behind me forcing my decision to buy a cup.
"Just a small then."
I didn't want that anymore.
However, I needed to remind myself of why that habit was there to begin with.
Here it is: When my children were very young, and I lived in a small village, I used to see the Tim Horton's drive-thru as the only time I felt like an adult.
Like me again. Like me before marriage, children.....responsibility for others really.
It gave me a much needed sense of freedom.
The children would doze off, I would put on a talk show (Dr. Laura was so entertaining!) or some great tunes, grab a Timmy's without having to get out of the car, and just drive.
Me, myself and I.
This would happen pretty much every day for years.
That hour or so was important to my well-being and I relied on it for my sanity and peace of mind.
It helped me get through some angst and some boredom.
So you can see why that would be a habit hard to break.
Now, 20 some years later - obviously, I am not the same woman that I was back then!
As I mention in my last blog: 'Why Do I Suck At Bettering Myself?', we are constantly evolving.
Your evolution is never done!
And now, that once-upon-a-time great habit, no longer served me.
And I wanted to break it.
I didn't need that feeling it gave me anymore - I already possessed it in my life without Timmy's.
I have the freedom I was looking for and all the good feels that comes with it.
Knowing this, and reminding myself of this is AWESOME.
I AM IT.
I already own the feeling I was relying on the habit for.
No need for the habit anymore.
This doesn't mean I will never go to Timmy's again!
It means that when I do, it is simply for a crap cup of coffee, hahahaaha! (why?!)
I am not looking for that missing "thing" anymore.
I am just going through a Timmy's drive-thru.
(For shitty coffee. Hmmm. Maybe I won't bother at all anymore!)
HERE IS HOW TO BREAK THE HABIT YOU DON'T WANT: 1) Find out why it is a habit in the first place. What are you looking for?
2) Realize that you are no longer the person who created that habit (otherwise you would still want it.)
3) Remind yourself of the person you are evolving into. WHO YOU WANT TO BE.
4) Ask yourself: Would that person "do" this habit?
5) Then ask yourself: "What will the evolved you do?" "What will the person you wish to become (are becoming) do?"
You don't, necessarily, need to replace the behaviour with another.
Perhaps it is just the choosing not to do something that is the change.
6) Recognize the value of going through this process of change. It is you building strength, trust in yourself and belief in yourself.
It is you experiencing what being alive truly is.
You aren't stuck in an old habit, an old way of being.
You are feeling alive in the becoming of something different and new. YES!!!
So for me, the better version of myself will not go through that fucking drive-thru!
She will smile and wave and say "Thanks for the memories!"
She will remember, with fondness, those days of yesteryear and be grateful for the experience at that time.
She will feel AMAZING as she recognizes the woman she is becoming, the woman she wants to be.
This is worth so much!
We are our thoughts, our actions. Our behaviour is who we are. It represents how we see ourselves.
We are in complete control of who we choose to be and who we want to become.
Keep in mind:
This is a process.
Each step takes time, focus and effort.
This doesn't happen overnight!
Start by evaluating:
What did this habit do for you? Does it still do that?
If it does, you may need more time with it and that's okay.
If it causes more mental and/or emotional grief than joy - time to switch that shit up!
Then constantly remind yourself of the type of person you want to become.
(If you have the desire to become something, it is absolutely possible to do so.
The desire means you are capable.
If you don't have the desire to change, the change won't occur.)
As you find yourself about to perform whatever that "bad" habit is, stop and ask: "Would the person I want to become do this?"
Then make the conscious decision to stop and change.
YOU CAN TOTALLY DO THIS!
(but, it is a process so be gentle with yourself if you slip up at first, deal?!)
Here to help if you need me :)