What? How do you know that I can kick my habit, Joan Marie, you ask? Oh, I know you can kick your habit. It all depends on if you know that you can kick your habit and how willing you are to make that change. So what habits can you help me kick? Good question. If you are like countless others on the behavior treadmill, it is easy to get on and off the merry-go-round to which we have acclimated ourselves. One day you are up to the challenge, the next you are throwing in the towel. Sound like your situation? Have no fear because I am going to give you a list of habits that you can and will rid yourself if you are willing to participate in your own new behavior modification strategy!
Smoking like a freight train? Well, let's take a walk back in your history and let's figure out what hooked you on this nasty little habit. Was it peer pressure in high school? Maybe your parents smoked? Maybe you reach for that cigarette because you thought it was cool or even when you feel stressed or upset? Whatever your reasoning is for this habit, it is a behavior that you have learned to use as a crutch or safety net for yourself. For some it's smoking, for others it's a glass of scotch or food. I want you to think back to when you began this habit? Remember the first time you encountered this habit? What prompted you to participate in it? When you recreate the feeling you had that initiated your habit, you are able to understand, accept it and come to terms with it. Now say to yourself, "This habit no longer serves me. I do not need it. I am over it." In other words, you can shift your mind set if you consciously choose to do so.
Whether it's smoking, overeating, overindulging in shopping, nail biting, drinking too much, or other obsessive compulsive disorders or addictions -- YOU have the power to conquer these habits slowly and completely once you understand the reason why you started it in the first place. Remember these experiences are not necessary for your lifestyle. You are the creator of your everyday life. Just as you choose to go after love, jobs, success, friendships or business dealings (among other pursuits), you can actively choose to spend your time, money and physical health on habits that can ultimately harm you or you can choose to spend your time, money and physical health on healthy new habits that will bring you success, happiness and peace in your life. Again, it boils down to your willingness to steer your behaviors in healthier, useful directions. All habits can be changed through discipline, conscious awareness and your sincere willingness to alter your outcome for the better.
Does this mean I have to make out a list of resolutions? Nope. I encourage you, however, to draw a map of the life you want to achieve and maintain. If it's smoking you want to kick to the curb, or you want to lose the extra pounds you've put on over the years, make up your mind to do so … and DO IT. Draw a circle on a sheet of paper. Nothing fancy. Now in that circle is an image of you. What do you want connected to that central image? Health? Wealth? Happiness? Love? All of these can be yours when you reject the notion that you have to have or experience something to live.
You are required a few essentials for living: shelter, food, water and air to breathe. The rest comes second nature. If you want a long, happy and prosperous life, you now have the choice to pursue exactly that. See, I told you that you can kick your habits. For what are you waiting? And I don't want you to do it for the ones you love; I want you to do it for yourself. Once you love yourself fully and understand that these habits no longer serve you, you suddenly find that you have the freedom and empowerment to do all the things you always wanted to do without any regrets.
Still need some pointers or a personalized strategy to help you in 2011? Call my office and let's work together to create the life you want to lead without the habits that have been holding you hostage. I know you will be glad you did.