Today I’d like to give you 3 tips on how to change your daily habits.
My aim is to help you get rid of habits that are not good for you or that do not serve you anymore and replace them with
habits that give you joy and satisfaction.
About a week ago, I was out on the balcony enjoying the sunshine, when I felt a really sharp pain in my stomach.
At first, I couldn’t understand why. Then, I noticed what I had in my hand: a cup of coffee.
COVID-19 has brought a lot of changes and amongst them a lot of extra time. I think its safe to say for most of us that we don’t commute to work anymore. I used to go to central London frequently so now I have a few hours extra most days.
So, I get bored. Getting bored was the trigger for me to revive a very old habit that I used to have when I lived and worked in Brazil: drinking an absurd amount of coffee!
So here is tip number 1 to changing your habits is: Pay Attention.
Not to the habit as such, as that means nothing changes nothing.
Pay attention to the pain that the habit causes, in my case a physical pain in my stomach.
That is why we change the habit. When we pay attention to the pain.
That pain does not have to be physical as in my case.
It can be emotional. For example, ask yourself what you do, what habits you have when you are stressed or sad or angry.
It can also be financial pain. All of my clients who came to me to stop smoking find they now have more money. So, the causes of pain are what pushes us to change our habits. That is tip number one.
I made a decision because I do love my coffee, not to completely ignore coffee, but to have only two cups a day. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. In between, I drink herbal teas, which gives me as much satisfaction as coffee. Drinking tea was a habit I picked up when I moved to England because in this country you have an amazing variety of teas. I am not particular about black tea with milk but I do love herbal teas.
And that is tip number 2, pick a habit that gives you joy and satisfaction.
Maybe you could choose an old habit that gave you joy and satisfaction or just try something new. However, it has to be something that gives you satisfaction.
If not, it will not stick, and you will revert to the old habit again that is causing you the pain, and you wanted to get rid of in the first place.
And the third tip is to be realistic about the habit, according to the circumstances you are living right now.
In my example of drinking tea, it is easy to get. I love going into the specialist tea shops and browsing the teas and even in these difficult times, I can still find a good selection of teas at the supermarket.
So, if the habit you are installing is unrealistic it will not stick.
Again, you will be tempted back to the old habit you want to get rid of.
So for example, during these strange times, as you are home you have more time so you decide to start exercising. You have room in your place to buy and put in an exercise bike. But wait, really think about it. Take your time. Is this really realistic, or in a week or two is that bike going to become one more place to hang your clothes?
So, do please take the time to check if this new habit is realistic.
People sometimes ask me how long it takes for a habit to become unconscious, to become automatic.
Some scientists say 21 days.
I measure my habit when it becomes unconscious and I don’t have to think about it.
So for now at this very moment, I still have to pay attention when I make coffee to think about whether this is my first or second cup and last cup of
So you will know when the habit is completely installed when you don’t have to think about it anymore.
So that’s it.
Three tips on how to change your daily habits:
- First, pay attention to the pain that the habit causes which gives you the reason to change.
- Second, replace it with a habit that gives you satisfaction and joy.
- And finally, the third tip, be realistic about the new habit according to the circumstance you are in at the moment.
Really think about it, otherwise, you will give up and revert to the old habit.
I would love to hear from you if you decide to change a habit and how you are getting on with it.
And if you have any doubts or concerns please do get in touch with me.
Also please share this with anyone you think may benefit from this.
I’m Regina, Stay Strong, Stay Safe with New Habits!
Here’s the video version of this article: