When I tell people that I transform their bad habits into good practices they always ask me “Have you read Atomic Habits by James Clear?”
Of course I did and so should everyone who wants to break a habit.
In this blog I'll tell you two things I like best from the book. And then I'll add my favorite NLP technique for breaking habits ,
Truth 1 - Environment is Important
In Atomic Habits, Clear says that when you leave behind cues that you associate with your habit it's much easier to change. Meaning - when you change your environment or even a small change around that habit - then you have an excellent chance of seeing results
Clear relates that in Vietnam some American soldiers became addicted to heroin, but when they returned home to their families most of them were able to break the addiction almost overnight . The opposite is true for addicts that went to rehab but when they came back home most became addicted again.
This means - says Clear - that discipline and willpower are less important than your environment.
Habit Hack #1 : : when you want to stop constantly checking social media while you’re studying - Leave your phone in another room for a number of hours.
Habit Hack #2:: If you’re eating too much junk food - shop at a store that has healthier selections
Truth 2- Procrastination is not Preparation
Another important point that Clear makes is there is a “difference between being in motion and taking action” This is true for many habits - but especially procrastination, A writer can be “in motion” planning a book and organizing his thoughts, without actually producing anything. When he’s in action , he will complete a chapter of the book, or get another blog done. While planning is very important - sometimes it’s important to jump in. As Volataire wrote “The best is the enemy of the good”. Of course planning ahead is important - just know when you are actually planning appropriately and when you are procrastinating
Habit Hack #3: When your house is a mess and you are procrastinating by typing up a list which rooms to do - Stop typing and take one room or even one drawer to clean
Habit Hack #4: If you have three projects due and you find yourself procrastinating by making a color coded schedule. Stop scheduling and work on the project for a few hours.
Truth 3 -NLP “Six Steps” is fantastic for breaking bad habits
NLP’s “Six Step Reframe” is built on the presupposition that behind most habits there is a positive intention for the person - whether he’s aware of it or not. When a smoker wants to quit, he may not realize the many reasons people smoke - and what’s in it for him. Does he reach for a cigarette because he needs to relax? Maybe he needs a break from the computer?. Maybe he started as a teen because all his friends were and now he’s still feeling the camaraderie? Is it because he doesn’t want to feel pressure to talk all the time?
In NLP “Six Step Reframe” we work to understand why the person needs the habit. Once we understand the full reason - then our creative part finds another outlet for that need.
**** Gerry realized that he smoked to relax and also to fit in socially. His became creative and discovered that taking deep breaths allowed him to relax and he made more time before and after work to socialize with other non smokers
****Gina had been biting her nails for as long as she remembered.. Now, in her thirties with a responsible job in marketing - she desperately wanted beautiful manicured nails. Through “six steps” she recognized that nail biting calms her when she’s nervous and apprehensive. She started meditating and whenever she had the urge to bite her nails, she said her mantra and imagined her hand with gel manicure of the perfect color. Within a short time, she did not need to imagine anymore. She succeeded in breaking the nail habit and now has a new routine of a weekly manicure with aromatherapy and soft music
Habit Hack #5 Understand *why* you have that habit and what you can do instead - and that’s half the battle
Using NLP and understanding how habits are wired into our brains, we can turn bad habits into good practices. A guide or mentor can work with you to facilitate the process
What habit do *you* want to break today???