Do you know that changing our behavior is not so easy as it seems? In other words, changing our behavior is a self-engineering challenge. Here, I am going to talk about long-term behavior, sustained changes before real change happens. Changing our behavior involves the diet we intake, our workout or the selection of exercises, out habits, out dependencies, or anything else.
Changing our behavior is one of the hardest things anyone will ever try to do. It’s true that real change can be hard. But all change isn’t equal.
Table of Contents
- “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
- – Aristotle
- “Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.”
- – Mark Twain
- “Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.”
- – Benjamin Franklin
- How to change our behavior?
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Do you ever wonder:
- Why it’s so easy for some people to take the leap and make changes, while it’s so difficult for others? Or,
- Why it seems like some habits are easier to break (or start), while other habits are much harder?
If you can answer these questions with clarity, you have the power to make or break almost any habit.
I’m going to show you how, right now.
The key is to understand a concept called the States of Change Model. The truth is that everyone is in various degrees of readiness for change at any one time.
For example, you might be incredibly prepared to change your hairstyle tomorrow, but at the same time be hard to set on having at least 3 coffee breaks a day. You are in a different State of Change for each of them. The States of Change Model identifies 6 distinct stages of change, which each stage following the previous one. Sort of like a flow.
For example, your hairstyle decision would fall under the “Action state”, but your coffee break habits fall under the “Precontemplation state”.
“Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.”
– Mark Twain
So if I was your hairstylist, it would be a breeze for me to get you to take action on your hairstyle. You would probably volunteer and ask me to do it yourself! On the other hand, if I told you to drink tea instead of coffee that would be very difficult. You’re in the “wrong state” and not ready to change.
What this means is, there’s no point in jumping stages. Change needs momentum.
That’s why it’s so hard for you to just push and force a change. And that’s also why you shouldn’t compare to someone else – because everyone is at a different stage!
Now imagine if…
You know which State of Change you are in right now for a certain habit. And you know what the next stage is. You can take active control! You can now be in the driver’s seat to lead your own behavior and consciously push yourself to the next stage, and then the next stage after that. Eventually, you will get a to the stage of readiness where it’s easy to change.
So if you want to get the momentum going, find out which State of Change you’re in right now, and which stage you should move towards next.
“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.”
– Benjamin Franklin
How to change our behavior?
Follow these 3 simple steps to change behavior:
- First you need to write it down (Your Plan, Your Habit or Behavior)
- Secondly, you need to identify your triggers you want to change your behavior
- Finally, try to focus on the process to change behavior
I truly hope that this little bit of self-insight can arm you with another tool to make a breakthrough!
I would love to hear your feedback on this. Any suggestions, comments, requests, or even sharing how these affect your everyday experiences are most welcome.
Reference: 3 quotes picked from The Habit Change Cheatsheet: 29 Ways to Successfully Ingrain a Behavior by Zen Habits