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Learning New Habits

By Michele Crandall

Breaking Bad Habits

There are a great many opinions on how best to learn/re-learn good habits. Sure, we could go on about the brain ad nauseum… using proper scientific terms, naming parts and their function. Striatum, Hippocampus, mesolithic pathways, self-directed neuroplasticity changes, dopamine, the unraveling of DNA cells, etc. – all sound impressive but not terribly helpful in our daily lives.

Everyone is different. Time, methods, and level of effort will of course vary greatly - but let’s keep things simple:

Cues. Cravings. Response. Reward.

1. Be honest with yourself about what you want to accomplish.

2. Figure out your WHY; what triggers you to do that which you wish to change.

3. Set goals and make plans.

4. Write your goals down, then decide in advance on a better substitute.

5. Share your goals with a friend. You are not alone.

6. Give yourself some time, and don’t expect overnight results.

7. Smile! Keep a positive attitude.

8. Hit that milestone? Find a small encouraging way to reward yourself.

9. Always BELIEVE in yourself!

10. Should you “fail” … don’t judge AND simply start over.

“I hope that either all of us, or none of us, are judged by the actions we take in our weakest moments, but rather for the strength we show if and when we are given a second chance.”

Remember, this applies equally to giving a second chance to others, as well as to yourself. (Thank you Ted Lasso for the quote and life lessons!)

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