As anyone who has tried to change an unwanted habit knows only too well, change can be a very difficult process, but with the right mindset and commitment, it is possible to achieve your goals. Here are a few key points to keep in mind when committing to creating a new life and changing your habits.
“Motivation is what gets you started. Commitment is what keeps you going.”John Rohn
Before starting on your habit change journey, it is important to find a new goal that will ensure your success. This means setting a SMART goal – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. By setting a SMART goal, you are focusing on achieving your new goal and not dwelling on the old habit. For example, instead of saying “I want to stop smoking,” you can set a SMART goal of steps. I will run a 5k at the end of 6 months. To get fit in order to run the 5k I will go the gym 5 days a week Monday – Friday for 1 hour and on Saturday and Sunday I will walk 10,000 steps.
- Commit to Taking Action
One of the most important aspects of habit change is committing to taking action to achieve your goal. This means dealing with discomfort, telling people about your habit change, and removing all temptations. When you tell people about your goal, you are making it real and creating accountability. Additionally, it is important to remove temptations that could impede your progress. This could mean avoiding certain people or places, or even unsubscribing from emails that may trigger your old habit. You will know what you need to do, but you need to transfer that knowing into taking action and only can do that.
- Commit to Getting Healthy and Fit
Another important aspect of committing to successful habit change is getting healthy and fit. This means committing to regular exercise and, if necessary, changing your diet. When we take care of our physical health, it can have a positive impact on our mental health as well. By incorporating regular exercise and a balanced diet, you can improve your overall well-being and increase your chances of success.
- Commit to Strengthening Your Self Control
Self-control is a key component of habit change. When we have the ability to control our actions and impulses, we can better manage our habits. One way to strengthen your self-control is to look at other areas of your life where you have full control and apply that information to the self-control you need to set yourself free of your addiction. For example, if you have good self-control when it comes to managing your finances, you can use that same discipline to control your addiction.
- Commit to Changing Your Beliefs
Another important aspect of committing to successful habit change is changing your beliefs about change. Many people believe that change is difficult, that it causes pain, and that it’s too hard to achieve, especially if you have tried and failed before. However, this mindset can be a barrier to success. Instead, commit to believing that change brings pleasure and that staying stuck in your addictive habit causes pain. Start associating the pain with your habit, and associate pleasure with all the good things that will happen when you set yourself free. Picture yourself in your mind eye in six months’ time and see an image of how good it feels to finally have broken free from that old unhealthy and unhelpful habit. Make the image into a movie and in full colour and watch it as often as you need to.
- Commit to Changing How You See Yourself
To truly commit to successful habit change, you must also change how you see yourself. This means changing your identity statement and stop identifying yourself as an addict, or a failure because you can’t do this. Instead, state what you are now, for example, “I am a healthy and fit person.” This shift in mindset can help you to see yourself in a new light and give you the motivation you need to achieve your goal.
Committing to successful habit change requires determination to success and the commitment to carry you through to success. This all starts with setting a SMART goal and then taking the action required to achieve it, getting healthy and fit, strengthening your self-control, changing your beliefs about change, and changing how you see yourself. Remember to be patient and kind to yourself, and that change takes time. Stay motivated and keep working towards your goal, and you will see the results.