Habits: your path to change

Do you want to change your habits, start fulfilling your promises and make a change for the better? Perhaps you have tried to lose weight more than once, start eating properly, stop smoking or regularly visit the gym. But every time something prevented you from implementing your plans. It's time to learn how to make your life better and achieve your goals!

The book is about how not to be afraid of change and to find your own "formula for success" in order to make your life better, achieve your goals and fulfill your plans.

How often do we make promises to ourselves?

  • "I'll throw off an extra N kilogram for the beach season"

This list can be continued indefinitely. We all want to change something in our lives and learn something new. It does not matter, we give ourselves these promises for the New Year, for the birthday, or simply for wanting to get rid of what we are tired of in this life. It is important that we are ready to take a serious step and change our life. But time passes and what seemed so important and necessary remains far behind.

In most cases, this happens only because we do not know how to get rid of the habitual rhythm of life and start to change something. 90 percent of the time we are engaged in ordinary things: brushing our teeth, driving a car, preparing breakfast, socializing in social networks. We do not have to think about it, we do it on the machine. Habits can save valuable resources of our brain.

But this is not always good. Often we become hostages to our own bad habits. We practice them every day and it becomes very difficult to fight them. Changing their behavior requires great work, energy, desire and constant effort. We must be ready to change spiritually, emotionally and physically.

And one day you make a decision – to lose ten kilograms, eat right or start regular sports. Whatever the reason, you are on the path leading to the achievement of the goal. You immediately want to start acting, you are just bursting with enthusiasm. But before you go buy a ticket to the gym, take the time to prepare.

The reasons for most of the failures in fulfilling these promises to oneself are that the promises are too numerous and varied. Multitasking is a hindrance to the part of our brain that is responsible for thinking. The development of a new habit requires maximum concentration on it until you become aware each time of what you are doing. Therefore, you can not learn any of the assigned tasks automatically. And as a result, you will again be at the beginning of the journey.

How correctly to concentrate? There is a very good way. Give the names to the years in accordance with the goals that you want to achieve: "Year of the body," "Year of fitness," "Year of proper nutrition." Thus, your brain clearly focuses on the task, increasing the likelihood of its successful solution.

And it does not have to be a year, let there be a month or a week. You can think up for yourself something very narrow-minded, for example, "The week of rejection of sweet desserts."

Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, adequate, and they must have a certain time frame. Without these five characteristics, you are unlikely to succeed.

Specificity of purpose is determined by the fact that it can be given an unambiguous definition or description. "Learning to run a marathon" is a specific goal, because you know exactly what you need to do, but "getting better" is not the goal at all. What is meant? How to understand that the goal is achieved? Setting ourselves blurred goals, we are going to meet a failure, because we do not understand where the finish line is.

Target measurability Is, in other words, the ability to measure the goal. Measurement is critically important, as it makes visible our progress towards the goal. Without this it is very easy to get off the right course: either not to see the approach to the goal, or to exaggerate your own achievements.

Reachability of the goal means a realistic approach to the task. Despite the advertising in glossy magazines and the yellow press, you will never lose weight by twelve kilograms per week. Do not expect to succeed by setting unrealistic goals. Appreciate your strength and act reasonably.

Adequacy purpose means that its achievement is very important for you. If you do not have a good reason to do anything, there is a high probability that you will abandon this venture altogether. You must clearly understand why you need what you are going to achieve.

Specific timeframe – it is about setting an exact time to achieve your goal. The presence of an end point means that you have created the framework within which you will act. This gives strength to strive to solve the problem. Even if your goal has no time limits, it is still better to arrange certain time points so as not to "get lost". Therefore, when you achieve a certain progress that can be correlated with any temporal categories, establish for yourself the next time step, if necessary.

By setting goals with the above measured characteristics, you will know exactly to what stage you reached and what is important from the point of view of solving or completing the assigned tasks. Without a sense of "completeness" of the task, you will be in a constant state of disharmony. This is very dangerous not only because it destroys the positive attitude from the success achieved, but also because it discourages further work on something new. And, conversely, by setting a measurable goal and reaching it, you not only experience great satisfaction from the work done, but also increase your opportunities for further self-improvement.

Moving to the goal in small steps is a classic kaizen, a Japanese technique based on constant small improvements. This is a wonderful practice for any task, the solution of which is difficult to find immediately. Want to lose weight by fifteen kilograms? Begin to fight at least one kilogram of excess weight, for this, give up all fried or start buying only light mayonnaise. Beginning with small changes, you can finally accomplish your plans.

The breakdown of a complex task into small steps makes it possible to feel the success that gives strength to move forward and is a good tool against unreasonably postponing "for later" cases. You do not need to do everything at once – just a small part.

By setting a goal with measurable characteristics, you already know which parameters you will measure. Now you need to decide how often you will take measurements and track their results. It's very simple to do. You select the measurement parameters and put them into a table, compiled on the days of the week. Be sure to find the time for daily filling of this table, let it become a habitual action for you. Just tick off what you did according to your promise.

Do not continue to work on yourself until you debug the tracking system of your actions. Otherwise, you risk demotivating yourself by the apparent lack of progress and underestimating the results of your own work.

Awareness of their actions is the best companion for acquiring new habits. It's like a pause button on the TV remote. When we are aware of the actions, when the impulse appears, we are able to decide what action we should take. Will I become more healthy if I miss a session at the fitness club? If I now eat these cookies, will it help me lose weight?

But how will you remember in time that you need to press the pause button? Most of us are not familiar with the tactics of mind control. And in the beginning you will absolutely need reminders from outside. You can use stickers, notes, reminders on the phone or, perhaps, buy yourself a ring that will be a reminder of your goal. Get rid of chips, biscuits and ice cream. When you want to treat yourself to something delicious and look in the buffet, but there is nothing there, just remember that decided to give up the sweet.

You probably know that after the match the coach collects the players and they analyze the last match in order to play better next time. An analysis of past actions allows us to correct them in the right direction. What did I do? What can I do better next time? These two questions allow you to capture in your mind a sense of success and to understand what improvements you have made.

For example, you set yourself a measurable goal – to exercise four hours a week. You can analyze your progress on Mondays, during a trip to work. Have you done what you intended? If not, then what prevented you? What can be done this week?

Do not despair if the action you did (or did not commit) broke your promise. In a fit of anger, we punish ourselves by completely losing our self-control. We use more forbidden products or even decide to quit playing sports, missing one day of training. Psychologists call this state "the effect of abstinence violations." In their opinion, this is due to the fact that we treat our behavior on the principle of "all or nothing". Paradoxically, the more strictly we keep ourselves in close confines, the more we abuse for what we have violated or done wrong.

Whatever you do, you will definitely have a breakdown. This is absolutely accurate. Want to know why? Not because you are weak, not smart enough or do not be friends with discipline. Psychologists call this state a relapse (a temporary return to old habits), which is an integral part of the process of change, and this is natural. The sooner you understand this and accept the possibility of relapse as a given, the less will be the negative consequences at the time of its onset. Breaking a promise to yourself does not mean that you should blame yourself for any abuses, just today you had a small breakdown, and no more. Tomorrow everything will be different.

If we are going to fulfill our promise, change our habit, or reach a goal, we begin a great deal – conscious self-creation. Instead of remaining as we are, we can choose those habits that we want to cultivate in ourselves. We can consciously choose that behavior and the skills that we want to possess. We can choose the life that we want to live. We can bring it to its logical conclusion.

Each of us has the opportunity to change and develop until the very last breath. Believe in your abilities and you will succeed!

In fact, very good at taking yourself "to the weak." And it is not necessary for someone to talk about something. Just ask yourself "but is not it weak for me"? I quit smoking so, after 15 years of smoking without smoking. At the time of the throw I flew 2 packs a day. Threw for 3 weeks. Then, after 3, I decided to put the experiment and lost weight for 2 month on 15 kg, although during the years 10 the weight was unchanged and fluctuated by +/- 1kg in the region of 105kg. Then I went to the gym, although I had not been involved in sports for some 10 years already. All this only on "is not it weak for me"? As my saxkl instructor said: "You can stand still for a very long time, and then make a breakthrough, thanks to which there will be a reason to look very self-respecting."

Objectives: change everything, lead a healthy lifestyle and throw a few pounds of fat – blurred and vague, and therefore unattainable

Yes, our habits are our enemies. If they are not overcome, they will beat us. This applies to malnutrition, and a low-level lifestyle, and alcohol abuse, and smoking. All this is ruining us. But to set a goal to change everything is a great idea. You can set a goal to lead a healthy lifestyle and throw off a few pounds of fat. Thus, you can become more attractive to others and to reach for you. The main thing is not to stop at what has been achieved, and strive for perfection, to the ideal in the figure.

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