It’s a new year and with it many people make all sorts of promises to improve aspects of their lives-stop smoking, eat healthier, exercise more etc. etc. If this sounds like something you’re trying to do, and are finding it’s not working out so well, consider what you’ve done to get rid of cues that encourage you to continue a behavior your trying to change or eliminate.
NPR ran a story this past week “What Heroin Addiction Tells Us About Changing Bad Habits.” While 20% of American soldiers in Vietnam were addicted to heroin, only 5% continued the habit after returning to the United States. The reason: when they returned to the US, the environment was completely differently. In short, to sustain change, one possible answer is to change the environment in some way.
Consider the following:
• Identify the cues that might trigger the behavior you want to change, such as having a cigarette with a cup of coffee. Once you figure out what they are, figure out reasonable substitutions. So instead of that first cup of coffee of the day, drink a cup of tea, go for a short walk, do Qigong etc.
• Who do you spend time with? We adopt many of the habits of the people we spend time with. While you can reduce or even eliminate spending time with people that encourage you in negative behaviors, you can also try to enlist them in helping you.
• Check out the following posts: