How to effectively change habits

We’ve often promised ourselves to go jogging regularly, to constantly work on our dissertation papers or to simply do something we know we need to do more frequently, but have not done so. Here’s a useful set of ideas for providing that extra motivation:

  • Asking a friend to come by every day to do it with you.
  • Promise yourself a reward for each action.
  • Find someone you would not want to disappoint and make a promise to them.
  • Think hard about how bad you will feel if you do not do it.
  • Remember why the habit is important – what is the long term benefit.
  • Make it hard to not do – set up obstacles and barriers so it is almost impossible to not do.
  • Block your on-going movement. Or, make it easy to do – put it in your path.
  • Delay the decision to not act – tell yourself to just start and then decide if you want to continue.
  • To break a habit make what you are doing very hard to do.
  • Remember to pat yourself on the back for every success in the right direction no matter how small.
  • Notice and acknowledge what is working.
  • Spend the time you beat yourself for not doing what you should be doing by doing what you should be doing.
  • Look for the smallest of improvements in your actions.
  • One less is one less, one minute more is one minute more.
  • Celebrate all successful behaviours no matter how small the change.

(via Open Loops: The Secret of Changing Habits)

One thought on “How to effectively change habits

  1. hmm…this entry is interesting cuz we talked abt incorporating new habits into client’s lives in my OT classes…and how hard it is…migt take some of these ideas and use them! šŸ™‚

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