Well – maybe “quickly” does get us to those new habits – sometimes. However, more often, no matter how much we plan, think, promise – change takes a little more time than we might like. Habits are hard to break. When certain behaviors, thoughts, reactions have been around for a long time, they sort of get “hard-wired” into us. We instinctively do what we’re used to doing – until we hard-wire that new behavior.
In my experience, most behavioral changes need these essential ingredients, if they are to become new habits that stick around:
- Recognition that the old habits that aren’t working for you
- Strong motivation to change
- Personal responsibility (not placing blame on someone else)
- Repetition of the new behavior (practice)
- Perseverance (you don’t give up, even if you miss sometimes)
- Reward (new habits bring positive results that you can see)
If you haven’t seen this poem before (and even if you have!), I think it’s worth a look: “There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk.”
What are the holes in your sidewalk? What’s keeping you on that same path, when you might feel so much better going a different way?