Around this time of the year, we all get to hear statements like: “New year, new me!” And the funny thing is that these statements always come from the same people. Is there really a way to change? Before I start explaining how to go about making a change, I’d like to make a few facts clear. Change is a very strong word. Are we speaking about one changing his behavior, getting rid of bad habits or another kind of change? In this article, I’d like to concentrate on one’s habits only.
What defines the present you? This might seem to be a simple question, but think about it in a psychological way. If you ask people what type of actions make them think about you, you’ll hear many answers. Those answers will have mutual examples, which are common. Look at those as your habits. If you want to become someone else, you’ll have to stop being like your old self. That someone else has different habits, and those are the new attributes you should try to attain. And of course, I’m only speaking about positive habits. Here are a few bad habits many proclaimed entrepreneurs suffer with:
- Underestimating things
- Always blaming others for their failure
- putting pleasure ahead of hard work
- having too many excuses
- talking too much and not working enough
- dreaming but not chasing those dreams
Notice how the first point is underestimating things. Why do I say this? Because it really happens. Some believe success happens over night, while others believe that they can get rid of their bad habits within a few minutes while doing a countdown towards the new year. Five, four, three, two, one – new year, new me. Is that really how it works?
Getting rid of old habits is a very long process, so it’s definitely a no! Start by writing down all current habits that define you as an individual. Make sure to put down all of them, not only the positive ones. Then give different people, who know you well, the list and ask them to give every habit a number between one and three. Very common habits get a number 3, normal ones get a number 2 and those that aren’t really noticeable receive a number 1. As soon as you have the list, choose three habits, which were ranked with number 3 and try to change them. I recommend you to start before December. When the year has passed, asked people if you really changed. If most of the answers you receive are positive, repeat the whole procedure.
The most important thing about getting rid of bad habits is not how, but why? What motivates you to change? What made you even think about such an action? If your thoughts are strong enough and become words, which motivate you daily, they’ll become your actions. The rest will happen by itself. Always look for good reasons and motivation. Whatever you do, do it with passion or not at all!
Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny. – Mahatma Gandhi
Getting rid of habits is like training a boxer to purposely get hit. It’s hard because of their natural reflexes to block every punch. Your reflexes lead back to your subconsciousness. That’s why you’ll need to keep reminding yourself what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, or else you’ll fall back into your old habits.
You can’t change a personality you’ve been developing within the last years over night. That’s why I call it a long process. The only situation, in which this is possible, is when someone faces extreme consequences. Those can involve prison or almost death. Those experiences traumatize people and scare them. But being scared of doing something and not wanting to do it are different things. However, that’s another topic.