How to change your habits

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Habits play a fundamental part in the way that we behave and for a great deal of our time we operate on autopilot doing what we have always done. As much of 90% of what we do we do habitually which means we perform the behavior subconsciously because we are so used to doing it and it has become entrenched in our thought patterns.

So if we want to change our habits and behaviours we need to work on rewiring our brain’s neural pathways, which essentially are a series of nerve cells, connected together to send messages from one part of the brain to the other. The good news is that we now understand more, through modern scientific research, about the brain’s neuroplasticity. We all have the ability to be able to reorganise the way we think and behave by forming new neural connections so that we never need to be stuck with pre learnt habits and behaviors.

There are many ways that you can change your existing habits and behaviors and here are three useful tips:

1.  Identify and focus

                     You need to be really clear about what it is that you want to change and most important of all to understand your motives and why you want to change those behaviours. You then need to focus on exactly what it is you want to do and breaking it down into easy digestible chunks and tackle one thing at a time.

2. Take the 30-Day challenge

It takes about 28 days to embed a new habit behaviour so manage your expectation and don’t expect instant results. Repetition is the way to gradually entrench your habits and the 30-day challenge is a great challenge to set yourself to begin rewiring those neural pathways.

3. Reward yourself 

It is important tostrengthen the habits by consciously acknowledging and celebrating your success. Positive reinforcement through treats and giving yourself a huge pat on the back will build your confidence and actively encourage you to embrace and stay on track with your behavioural change.

We first make our habits and then our habits make usJohn Dryden

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