So, now that we’re replacing habits, we have to learn how to condition those habits.
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Earlier, I talked about how you can’t just get rid of old habits, but that you can replace damaging habits with new ones, right? So, another example for that would be how I went from drinking 10 Cokes a day, to drinking only water, if you can believe it. What happened, is once I realized drinking Coke was a really damaging habit of mine, I asked myself: “How can I replace it?”
I knew I had to replace it with water, but I couldn’t go from Coke to water right away. I was used to drinking sweet, fuzzy & flavored liquid all that. You can’t get rid of that and go straight to water. What I did instead, is drink water mixed with Crystal Light, or drink water with a few Mio drops in there. So, instead of trying to add 8 glasses of water into my day, I decided that I would first focus on replacing my habit, so every time I wanted a Coke, I would drink flavored water instead. This was a much easier transition. Then, once I was conditioned to drink water, I could focus on the amount I had to drink per day.
So, you can’t rely on yourself to remember a new habit. What you can do instead, is set an alarm on your phone for every time you want to make the new habit happen. So let’s take the water example from above. What I would do is set my alarm to go off every hour and a half to make sure that I drank a bottle of water. And so, what happened here is I started to repeat, repeat, and repeat the habit.
Fast Forward to today and I don’t need an alarm to drink water all day long. It’s no longer a problem. But at first, you really need that reminder to force yourself to replace the habit. So, set an alarm on your phone for whatever it is, to make sure you’re implementing it into your everyday life.
Rehearse The Habit
The second thing is that you need to rehearse the habit. So, whenever I set a new habit, like going to the gym instead of sitting on the couch and watching TV, I visualize myself as a person who goes to the gym instead of visualizing myself as a person who sits on the couch all evening to watch TV.
Let me explain: When you go about your day, either at work, or running around your house to take care of your kids, or running errands in town, you always visualize the next step of your day, or your evening, in your mind. You think: “Oh, I can’t wait to get home, get on the couch, and eat some white chocolate covered pretzels or eat some ice cream or whatever.” You’ve done that so many times, that you can rehearse the experience in your mind.
One day I realized I needed to take that out and rehearse the new habit in my mind that I actually want to do. So, whenever I would feel myself thinking: “Oh, I can’t wait to get home, and sit on the couch.” I would immediately change it and rehearse the new habit: “Oh, I can’t wait to get to the gym and watch my show, while I’m walking on the treadmill. I’m going to feel awesome after.”
I just started rehearsing myself at the gym, seeing myself walk on the treadmill, watching my show, and then it became easier to actually go do it. Why? — Because I had already seen it in my mind. I had already had the experience in my mind, and it was like it was already a sealed deal that it was going to happen.
So, make sure that you’re rehearsing that new habit in your mind, whenever you feel the old habit starting to creep in. Push that old damaging habit out of your mind, and rehearse the new habit in its place.
Praising Yourself For Success
The best thing that you can do is reward yourself. Whether it’s just a pat on the back or maybe a new shaker bottle after going to the gym six days out of seven, right?
Something simple, like rewarding yourself a dollar every time you actually made it to the gym, which leads to buying a new workout top, or a new pair of shoes at the end of the month, right? Reward yourself for actually doing it, because if you do, your brain will link your new habits to reward, which will reinforce the habit.
PS: BTW I made a FREE Cravings Crusher Cheat Sheet just for you…
Now that you’ve learn how to condition new healthy habits, maybe you would be interested in reading my next post on How To Quit Your Bad Habits
With LOVE, always