Those pesky habits tripping you up? Interrupting your life? I don’t know about you, but some of them stopped me from living unstuck. But breaking that problem pattern isn’t as hard as it seems. I managed to break three habits in less than a month.
I started small, and figured out those three problem patterns. Slouching when using my cell phone, overspending my planned budget, and not having any down time. Then I took steps to change them.
How did I do this? I used the Control/Reflect/Delete Method. What’s that, you ask? Read on.
Identify your triggers. First, it was important for me to figure out what my triggers were. Sometimes, this was easier said than done. But slouching when on my cell phone was easy. My neck would be sore halfway through the day. Frivolous spending was oh-so-clear, for it showed up in my bank balance. And not having down time? Cranky me.
Reflect. The second step involves some introspection. I asked myself questions, like:
- What positive gain am I getting from this habit?
- Why do I need: comfort, relief . . . fill in the blank?
- When and where did this pattern start?
And I learned a lot. For instance,
- I slouched because it felt comfortable.
- When I was tired, I spent more on stuff.
- And there’s usually a push to finish projects.
All positive gains, but they didn’t turn out well for me the long run. More searching reinforced what I discovered.
- Slouching? I have seen too many ads showing what happens when someone hunches over a cell phone or computer.
- And it felt good to spend at day’s end or after 7:00 pm on my computer. But oh, the consequences.
- Working non-stop? Time to check self-esteem and see how I can be good to myself.
I found out a lot about who I am and why I do things.
While I was thinking over my behaviors, I made a list of what I could “do instead.” Which led to:
Delete. Everyone has moments of weakness. But I developed a Defense Plan for those moments.
- I pictured myself sitting tall as I used my cell phone. Even imagined a string attached from the top of my head to the ceiling. That did the trick.
- I figured out I over-spent when I was tired or felt I deserved a treat of some sort. Every now and again is fine, but on a continuous basis? Didn’t work for me. I made a rule that I didn’t shop on the computer after 7:00 pm. I even have a friend who takes my wish list, and holds it for a day or two. If I really want whatever it is at that time, I give the signal and she places the order. (She also finds fabulous deals! A win-win.)
- And I began to schedule time for me to do fun things. Go dancing. Breakfast with a friend. Knitting. The Hot Air Balloon Festival. The Duff and I had such fun. And such interesting people!
I re-figured those problem times and congratulated myself when I deleted that pesky habit. All of this only took two or three weeks, and was so worth it! I did it and you can too. That’s living unstuck.