This time I’m really going to quit! Change & Motivation
Guest post by Rik Bulthuis, Psychologist & Life Coach.
Follow him at Capital Character
This time I’m going to change my life!
Have you ever told yourself this? Being really convinced about your incredible motivation and determination?
We all tell ourselves that this time is different. But it often isn’t. We don’t change at all…
In a week or two we fall back into our old habits, we start smoking again, procrastinate and snack on bad foods.
Why is this?
The incredible motivation you have, will go away, or you will forget about it. You will return to autopilot.
The only way to truly change yourself is to create systems and habits that keep you on track with your goals. Even when you are not motivated!
Let’s say you want to quit smoking. To quit, you need to know two things.
#1 When do I smoke? (cue)
#2 What do I get in return? (reward)
For Anne, the answers to these questions were:
#1 When I’m stressed
#2 Relaxation & Distraction
Now you can visualize your “Habit Loop”, which is cue – routine – reward
Anne is stressed -> she smokes a cigarette -> She is distracted from her stress and is relaxed.
When you quit “Cold Turkey”, you will still enter your habit loop, but will not get the reward. Making you crave for the routine, so you will get your reward.
So, if you want to effectively quit a bad habit. The smarter solution is to replace the routine, instead of removing it. This will eliminate the cravings! (At least the Psychological ones)
Anne found something that gave the same reward, Relaxation and Distraction. She started stretching!
When Anne discovered this trick, she was able to quit smoking. It was still difficult at times, but she didn’t experience the same cravings she did before. And she still stretches every time she becomes stressed!
Are you interested in learning more about habits? You can download a free eBook on the 8 habits that will change your life forever here!