It is easier to change people then it is to change people~Ron Morris
It is impossible to change someone else, but you can change yourself (though, it is not easy). To change ourselves we need to change our habits. I have many habits which I need to eliminate and many which I should create to improve my life. I bet you have a couple of habits you want to change. Some of my habits are holding me back, are your’s?
One of my superpowers is the ability to change habits. I want to share, with you, some of the techniques I use to change my habits. What would it be like if you god rid of all of your bad habits?
Creating New Habits
The first habit I had to create laid the groundwork for changing all of my other habits. This was also the hardest habit to change. I had to create a system, which I use regularly, to help me do what I need to do every day. I use Google Calendar as a daily list of actions. I do not use it as a normal calendar but as a check list of what I have to do.
I only add the things I have to do that day to the calendar and nothing more. Then I had to learn to use the calendar exclusively as my to do list. If someone wanted me to do something else that day I would go to the calendar and remove something to make room for what I need to do.
Now the easy part. If there is a habit I want to create, usually it is something I need to do daily. Since it is daily, I add it to my calendar. Now every day it shows up on my calendar I am able to make sure I do it. After doing the same action many times it becomes ingrained as a habit. Now I can take it off my calendar.
This technique is great, but there are a couple of things to be aware of. First, you do not need to use a calendar, you can use a piece of paper with a simple to-do list; just use a system that you trust. By the way, Google also offers a to-do checklist which normally sits just right of the calendar but this link puts it in a page of its own. Second, when using the any to-do list, do not put more on there than you should do in a day. Not what you want to do, but what you should do. We always have more to do than time allows so we need to focus on our main priorities. Also, by repeatedly moving an action to another day you will start to have negative emotions related to letting yourself down which will make you constantly feel frenetic.Also, by having that huge list in front of you all the time you will create mental clutter from worrying about all of the things you have to do.
End Bad Habits
It is much harder to stop a habit then it is to start a new one. It is harder because habits are automatic and we don’t think about them. To combat this, I needed a system to help me change my thinking. I created a list of things I need to consider every day. Many of them include countering my lizard brain and being a better husband. I created this list in Evernote. I created an action in my calendar to review this list every day so it too becomes a new habit.
The list of habits to stop evolves every week. I remove things I have stopped doing and I add other things which I realize are a problem in my life.
Final Note: be careful in trying to change too many habits at once. You will overwhelm yourself and not change anything. Only try and change a couple at a time.
Action to do now: make a list of 3 habits you want to stop and 3 habits you want to start and share them in the comments.
What habit do you want to change?