Freedom from Habits -
7 Daily Steps to Transformation
Sheri O. Zampelli, M.S., CCH
Do you have a bad habit you'd like to kick? Whether it's overeating,
interrupting conversations or quitting before you reach your
goal, bad habits are learned and they can be unlearned. In
this article I will outline a plan for success with seven
daily steps to get started and help you stay on track.
One way to motivate yourself is to focus on who you want to
be and why. Why do you want to stop your bad habit? Why do
you want to change your behavior? How will you benefit? Focusing
on what's positive about change will help you hang in there
during tough times. You may also want to think about who you
DON'T want to be and why. Perhaps your self-defeating behavior
is incongruent with your inner self-image. Think of the legacy
you want to leave behind or what type of person you want to
be when you're 30, 50 or 70. Where do you see yourself in
5-10 years? The actions you take today will determine who
you become tomorrow.
If you've made it far enough in life to learn to read and
use a computer, you've probably had a few successes along
the way. Reflect back on previous successes and ask yourself
what made success possible? What motivated you? Consider the
losses or gains you will experience by making current or future
changes. Use this information to motivate you toward future
Your current habits have probably been reinforced over many
years. Your old behaviors likely have built in rewards that
keep you stuck. You can develop new habits by setting small,
manageable goals and designing built-in rewards each time
you achieve them. An example of a reward is saving money in
a jar each day you achieve your goal then buying yourself
a treat with the savings. It can also include doing something
you enjoy after each successful day or week. If your new behaviors
don't have built-in rewards you'll probably get frustrated
and give up.
As you work on your new goals and develop new habits, be prepared
for setbacks and resistance. Don't beat yourself up when things
don't go exactly as you had planned, instead, use your failures
as cues to what needs to be different next time. Keep a journal
and write in it daily. Outline what works, what doesn't, and
why. Be flexible and change your goals as time moves on. Plan
ways to avoid future setbacks. Finally, successfully breaking
a habit means that you have to start thinking of yourself
in a new way. Rather than labeling yourself or defining yourself
in terms of your problem, you need to begin seeing yourself
as a success. One tool to use is positive affirmations. Positive
affirmations help you to keep your focus on what you want,
not what you don't.
One of the important things to remember when using affirmations
is the power of repetition. You should say your affirmations
to yourself at least 50-100 times a day. Some people say,
"I tried that positive self-talk and it doesn't work." It's
true, you cannot say your affirmations 5-10 times a day and
expect them to work. The repetition is what works. Here are
some ways to keep focused and honest about your affirmations.
1. Use an affirmation journal. Write the date at the top of
a page and then write out each of your affirmations and number
them as you go, this way you can really keep track of how
many you actually did.
2. Make your own affirmation tapes. Write out a list of affirmations
then speak them into a tape recorder. To make them even more
effective, use background music or sing them. Make them catchy
and hard to get out of your mind. The most effective tapes
are endless loop tapes available at Get an empty jar and add
a coin or bean to it each time you say an affirmation. Or
fill a jar with 50-100 coins or beans and transfer them to
another empty jar as you say your affirmations. This way you
will see progress and keep an accurate count of how many affirmations
you've actually said.
3. You can also write your affirmations on index cards and
post them in various parts of your home or office to keep
you reminded of your new self-statements. Another way to change
your self-image is through visualization. The more often you
can see yourself engaging in your desired behavior the less
likely you will be to sabotage yourself when changes occur.
Visualization helps you to become mentally comfortable with
success so that when true success happens, you are prepared.
Take time each day to see yourself as the type of person you
want to become. Identify yourself with your new behavior.
Practice it mentally.
- Outline the habit you would like to give up and what you'd
like to be doing instead.
- Map out 1-10 CONCRETE steps you can take in the next
21 days to succeed. Plan them into your daily schedule.
- Write a paragraph or more about where you'd like to be
in 5-10 years. What kind of person do you want to be?
- Write a list of all your successes in life. Keep it and
add to it as you think of more.
- Make a reward list and vow to reward yourself each time
you achieve a goal.
Daily To Do List
1. Remind yourself throughout the day: "I can do something
for one day that would appall me if I had to keep it up for
a lifetime." Put yourself on a 5-min. basis if necessary.
2. Tell yourself: "Each day that I stick to my plan I move
closer to becoming the person I want to be." "I am becoming
a new person. I let the old me go free. It no longer suits
3. Write out your successes daily.
4. Give yourself rewards for each success. Acknowledge your
5. Write about setbacks you had. Try to remember what you
were thinking, or doing that may have provoked the setback.
Plan a way to resolve this in the future.
6. Set aside 15-20 minutes daily to vividly imagine yourself
doing your new behavior or achieving your desired goal. Each
time you do this, list it in your success journal.
7. Write, speak or read at least 50-100 affirmations daily.
Use a jar, stickers, cards, beans or a journal to keep an
accurate, truthful count.
You might think to yourself, "This will never work or this
is too easy or this will take too long." But you can only
truly make those comments after you have put this strategy
to work for a bare minimum of 30 days. The greatest results
will come if you do exercises like this every day, non-stop
from now on. What you do have to lose by trying?
Sheri O. Zampelli, M.S., CCH is the author of From
Sabotage to Success - How to Overcome Self-Defeating Behavior
and Reach Your True Potential. She also produces motivating,
life-changing self-hypnosis and affirmation CD's. Visit her
website at www.donateyourweight.com
Article Source: http://www.upublish.info
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