3 Steps To Turn A Bad Habit Into A Good One
Have a bad habit you’d like to break? Even better, replace it with a good one? If so, great! My May VIP Exclusive will show you how to do it in 3 simple steps.
Ready? Let’s go!
Step #1 Identify
The first step is to identify the bad habit you’d like to break. You may already know, but spend some time really thinking about it and get specific on the actual habit or particular behavior you find destructive. The one you can’t understand why you keep doing. The one you know isn’t serving you, or anyone around you.
Once you’ve got it identified, it’s time for step 2!
Step #2 Clarify
Step 2 is all about clarity. Getting really clear on the motivation behind your behavior. This is important because it provides insight and alternatives necessary to change your behavior.
You need to determine WHY you’re continuing the bad habit or behavior you’d like to stop. I’ll tell you what I tell my clients. The reason WHY, is because it’s meeting a need or you wouldn’t be doing it. So the question is, which need?
Ask yourself the following question.
For example, people may eat because they’re bored, not because they’re hungry. They meet their need for fun, variety, or comfort by eating. A person trying to control everything is often driven by certainty. They meet their need for certainty by trying to control every one and every thing so they can be certain of the outcome. Others talk excessively or argue frequently because they feel insignificant. Although less than desirable, they meet their need for significance in these ways.
The following is critical for you to understand.
Even if a habit or behavior is destructive, people will continue to do it if it helps them meet their needs.
This is why you continue that bad habit or behavior you’d like to stop. Because it’s meeting a need. So step 2 is crucial to making a change. Keep asking yourself which need you’re meeting by the bad behavior until you’re crystal clear on why you’re doing it.
Once you’re clear on the need being met by your bad habit, it’s time for step 3!
Step #3 Replace
Now that you understand the need being met by the bad behavior, it’s time to replace it with a NEW behavior. A good one! One that’s healthy, safe, productive and fun! One that meets your need in a positive way.
Step 3 is to identify and replace alternative ways to meet your need discovered in step 2. Think about something you can do to replace the bad habit that will still meet this need, but in a healthy, constructive way.
Using the examples we mentioned above, determine healthy, constructive behaviors you can use if you’re bored or anxious instead of eating. What’s something you can do that brings you comfort instead of eating? What are some activities you enjoy that can replace eating out of boredom?
A little heavy handed on control? How might you approach letting go of the need to control everything? What can you do to be more at peace with some uncertainty in your life?
Feeling insignificant? What are positive behaviors or activities that leave you feeling special, important, and significant that don’t involve commanding people’s attention by excessive talking or arguing? Are there people that need help in areas you shine? Places you can volunteer where your expertise makes a difference?
Step 3 is all about replacing the destructive habit or behavior with one that’s positive. You’ll be meeting your needs in healthy ways that don’t negatively affect you, or others. When I lead workshops or privately coach clients, the biggest revelation for them is often in step 2. It’s amazing what can happen when you figure out what’s really behind the behavior you’d like to change. It may also explain why previous attempts to correct it have failed. But now that you’ve identified a healthy, safe, behavior to replace it with, and your needs are being met, your chances of permanent change increase dramatically! Because those new behaviors will become your new habits!
Will this be easy? No. But is it possible? Yes! People do it every day and you can too! It’s a whole lot easier when you know exactly WHAT it is you’d like to change, WHY you’re doing it, and have healthy alternatives right at your fingertips!
Feel free to come back to this exercise any time you’re feeling the need to establish some new healthy habits!