Step 7: Changing Habits and Behaviors


Step 1: Brainstorm All Your Goals
Step 2: Prioritize Your Goals
Step 3: Writing Goals Down
Step 4: Positive Motivation
Step 5: Negative Motivation
Step 6: Identifying and Overcoming Limiting Beliefs
Step 7: Changing Habits and Behaviors

 


WELCOME TO STEP 7! Changing habits and integrating new actions requires that you first learn how to identify which behaviors are holding you back. By now you should have identified and changed your limiting beliefs,

 

Which of Your Actions Slow Down Your Goal Achievement?


 

The purpose of this question is to identify any behaviors that will prevent you from achieving your goal, or that will significantly slow down the process.

 

Understanding Changing Habits and Behaviours


  • Actions
  • Avoidant actions
  • Things that you do not do
  • Ways of living
  • your lifestyle in general
  • Activities
  • Self-defeating behaviour
  • Habits
  • Patterns
  • Cycles
  • Procrastinating
  • Rebellious behaviours
  • Self-Sabotage
  • Domino Effect: Where one limiting behaviour always leads to another another, and so on…

 

Remember, just as we all have limiting thought patterns, we all have limiting behaviours. Changing habits or behaviours requires that you make a list of these actions you want to change.

 

Once you identify the problematic behaviours, only then can you really problem-solve, and find new, supportive habits and behaviours to take their place. The following is a list of questions to help you while you brainstorm. Good luck!


Identify the Habits and Behaviours Holding You Back


 

1. Which of your habits or behaviours has the strongest negative impact on your goal?

 

2. Which habits have you struggled with the most?

 

3. What behaviours do you engage in simply due to conditioning, as opposed to your preferred choice for how to behave?

 

4. Which activities or behaviours lead you into a vicious cycle of self-sabotage? Can you draw a circle and pinpoint what this looks like and how it happens?

 

5. What things in your lifestyle simply drain you and give you little return on your investment?

 

6. What behaviour, if changed, would give you the most leverage toward achieving your goal?

 

Have you generated a nice long list of your bad habits / behaviours? If so, that is great! You are further ahead than most people already by this point, simply because you are investing the time at every step of the way.

 

Changing habits and behaviours, is going to require that we find new habits or behaviours to replace the old ones. So, our next step is to be creative again, and to brainstorm alternative, more supportive habits.

 

Whether or not your newly developed habits become permanent or not, depends on how good of a “fit” your new behaviours and habits are for you! The main point in this next exercise, is for you to brainstorm new and alternative ways of acting, behaving and living.

 

Questions for Forming New Habits and Behaviours


 

1. With respect to each limiting behaviour from the previous step, go and troubleshoot a new, supportive behaviour for it.

 

2. What could you do instead of what you did before?

 

3. How can you behave differently?

 

4. What new habits could you engage in that would replace the old habits?

 

5. What new actions would give me the most leverage to achieve my goal, if I added them into my lifestyle?

 

6. What new activities and actions would give me the most momentum for permanently stopping and changing habits that hold me back?

 

7. What actions could I add into my life that would make the achievement of my goal quite easy?

 

8. When I look at other people who have already achieved a goal similar to mine, what behaviours do they seem to incorporate into their lives?

 

9. What behaviours, actions, or ideas have I never tried before with respect to achieving this goal? So, have you made any progress?

 

Remember, just as developing new beliefs to counteract the old limiting ones, you will really need to take your time on thinking of new behaviours that will really “work” for you. Changing habits requires a lot of planning ahead of time.

 

If you continue to identify your limiting beliefs, and your limiting behaviours, then you can always change them. You need never be your own barrier to achieving your goals! Self-awareness is always power. Decide today to never let anything ever, ever, hold you back!

 

Strengthen Your New Behaviours


Now you need to ask yourself: What evidence do I have that I can carry out these new behaviours and habits? For all the new behaviours and habits that you want in your life, you need to find reasons that prove why you can carry out those new behaviours. You need to convince yourself of why you should engage in these behaviours.

 

This will make changing habits easier, and it will also make the new behaviours more permanent. What is different now compared to the last time you tried sticking to a new behaviour? How will you remain confident in your ability to follow through with these necessary behaviours?

 

Find any reason or way of thinking that will support you in making these new habits concrete. Here are some questions and suggestions to help you with your list.

 

Evidence that You Can Follow Through with these Behaviours


 

1. What other significant achievements do I have under my belt? How did I stick to them? How can I apply these same motivational and disciplinary actions to my new habit?

 

2. What is different this time around with respect to my motivation and changing habits? How bad do I want this new habit in my life?

 

3. Examine some habits and activities in your life, that you hate doing, but you had to force yourself to do anyhow.

 

Now ask yourself: Why wouldn’t I apply the same discipline to my actual goals, and their needed habits? Here is an example I used as a student, when my goal was to develop the habit of getting up at 6am to do a morning workout.

 

Below are the pieces of evidence I found that could support me: I am always able to get up at 6am when I have early morning classes which is something that doesn’t feel like it does anything for me. So, why would I not get myself up at 6am to go and do something that will actually make me feel really good, and will give me real results?

 

Although once in a while I will be short on sleep as a result of getting up early to exercise, I recognize that I cut my sleep short for other things that are less important than regular exercise, such as surfing the internet late at night.

 

Therefore, lack of sleep should never be an excuse that prevents me from exercising early in the morning! Since I spend a lot of time listening to music, why would I not spend at the least the same amount of time doing something that is good for my health?

 

4. Look around you, and think of other people you know of who are achieving the same, or a similar goal as yours. Just think – if they found a way to do it, – so can you! How do you think they motivate themselves? What attitudes or thoughts do they hold that supports their habit?

 

5. What are the benefits to you, if you make this behaviour a habit?

 

6. What are the consequences to you if you fail to make this behaviour a habit?

 

Do you have a nice long list? Remember to continually add to this list, as you come up with more and more reasons that support why you can, or why you should, carry out these behaviours. Changing habits and behaviours permanently requires that you constantly be on the alert for new motivations!

 

Remember, this is another way of building your confidence and motivation with respect to what you can do for yourself. Changing habits and behaviours is not easy nor is it always fun. But it is possible if you keep returning to these strategies.

Step 1: Brainstrom All Your Goals

Step 2: Prioritize Your Goals
Step 3: Writing Goals Down
Step 4: Positive Motivation
Step 5: Negative Motivation
Step 6: Identifying and Overcoming Limiting Beliefs
Step 7: Changing Habits and Behaviors