Change habits – with a simple trick
Are you one of those people who want to change their habits and just can’t make it?
Have you already tried all the tips for self- motivation and now know the best motivational quotes by heart?
Many people feel that way. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to stay that way!
It’s actually not that difficult to change your habits or exchange them for others. There are different methods for doing this. In this article, I want to bring you closer to a surprisingly simple and yet very effective way to change your unpopular habits.
It’s a simple trick used by the best motivational coaches. I have also used it successfully in my coaching with numerous clients and thus helped them to achieve their goals . I also bring about positive changes in myself again and again.
But first we should clarify a basic requirement, without which even the best method will not lead you to your goal: You really have to want it.
Do you really want to change your habits?
You will probably think something like “Yes of course, why else would I read this article?” But I’ve actually met a lot of people who just pretend to want to change something in their life or their habits. Many say they want to build muscle , lose weight quickly, quit smoking, or just get exercise . In reality, the will to really get used to something is no longer so great on closer inspection. There can be several reasons for this. Some common ones are:
- It is real addictive behavior
- You have strong secondary gains through your current behavior (e.g. attention)
- You don’t have a real target that attracts you
- Your why is not clear to you
In the first case, I recommend that you seek professional help. The tips in my blog articles on the subject of sports motivation are not suitable for such situations .
In the other cases it makes sense to deal with yourself and get to the bottom of things. If you don’t have a real goal yet, I can recommend articles that can help you find your goals and help you formulate goals .
However, if you have a goal and are sure you really want to change a bad habit, here is a method you can use to make that easier for you.
Change habits = exchange habits
The technique explained below is about swapping a bad habit that you want to break with a good one, or at least a significantly better one. For this reason I have already liked to refer to it as a habit-swapping technique. The method doesn’t sound like much, but it is an extremely effective method for changing bad habits in a relatively simple and, above all, reliable way.
Let me explain to you why this procedure is so effective and how you can use the method specifically for yourself:
The problem: Your brain accepts it hard when you take something away from it
But why not just stop doing something bad or even harmful? Can’t you just say you leave something to be forever overnight? With enough willpower it should be possible, shouldn’t it?
In fact, that can work out sometimes, but it takes a fair amount of discipline and willpower. Personally, I believe that this is neither necessary nor useful. To be honest, I even think that most of the supposedly particularly strong-willed and disciplined people, at least subconsciously, also carry out such an exchange. You will soon understand why this is so.
An important reason why it is difficult for many people to get used to things or to stop doing something is that the subconscious is missing something in its place. The fact is that our brain works so efficiently because it relies permanently on known structures and patterns. If such a structure is now completely eliminated and without replacement, all of the processes based on it will be thrown overboard. Your subconscious will defend itself with hand and foot against such a gap. However, you can use that for yourself.
The solution: change habits through exchange
If you give your brain something that can take the place of the old, bad habit, then you have to reckon with significantly less resistance from your inner weaker self. So choose a new habit that you want to replace your old one with. Whenever you would pursue your old habit or an old behavior pattern triggers you, then you can deliberately pursue your new, positive activity in a targeted and consistent manner.
In principle, the procedure for replacing is similar to always when you want to create new, good habits . Do it consistently for at least 30 days and your new, better habit should be stable enough that it will be much easier for you to stick with it.
Important: Satisfy similar needs
You may be thinking “It can’t be that simple” and that’s right. The habit swapping technique really doesn’t work with every pair of habits. The new habit must at least satisfy similar needs. At the same time, it has to fit well into the gap that your old habit has left with the framework conditions.
At the time, for example, I couldn’t exchange my bad habit of eating a large XL granola bar every afternoon for the desirable habit of drinking a large glass of water. That would of course have been the best for my last diet, but it wasn’t realistic for me as a stress eater . A protein bar as a replacement, on the other hand, worked great for me. Later I replaced this with a piece of fruit ( fruit is particularly recommended in the diet anyway).
The new habit will never feel as appropriate in the beginning as the old one. However, after a few days you should notice how the link is getting stronger and stronger. The new action is always easier for you. The better it fits into the gap that has arisen for you, the faster it will establish itself.
Swap a bad habit for a good one NOW
Now that you know the best way to change your habits, I advise you to give it a try. If there is a habit that you want to break away from, think about how and by what means to replace it NOW. Now just do that next time and notice how it feels. If it fits, do it consistently for 30 days. Then when you notice a new, better habit establishing itself in your subconscious, just stick with it.
Remember: focus is your superpower , so change things up one at a time and don’t try to do it all at once. You will not be able to overcome your laziness overnight and suddenly become fit . Taking one step at a time helps you to sustainably increase your stamina and ultimately to achieve your goals faster .
I wish you good luck!
By the way: Changing your habits little by little is only one small building block if you want to achieve your goals. An effective and proven structure that helps you to do the right things in the right order can be found in my book Become a bastard killer . The 7-step system described in it picks you up where you are. It helps you to build the structures you need to achieve your goals. It has already helped hundreds of people on the way to their goals.