It is that time of year. After all the partying and celebrations, we take an inventory of our lives and think about making resolutions. During this reflection, you realize you have an unhealthy habit in your life that you want to change. Perhaps you want to lose some weight, save more money, or get organized. You know this change would make your life better, though you feel overwhelmed and not sure where to start. Maybe you have even tried to change before, though found yourself failing miserably, getting overwhelmed, and finally giving up.
Fear not, my friend! There is a remedy for your resolution woes! For your resolution habit change plan to work, we must first identify the reasons why you have held on to your old habit.
Here are some common reasons why we hold on to old habits:
- Our old ways are comfortable and familiar-Change can be challenging even when it is a good change. It is important to make sure you have the proper resources and support, such a support groups and accountability partners who will help you on your journey. In some cases, it is necessary to work with a coach familiar in habit and life change to support you in your goals.
- It is scary to do new things The unfamiliar can be uncomfortable even if it is something you know will be beneficial in the long run. You must decide that your desire to have a better life is bigger than your fear of the change.
- Fear of failure When making a habit change, or learning anything new for that matter, there is going to be a learning curve. In this learning curve, it is NORMAL and EXPECTED that we are going to make mistakes along the way. The key is to start over again DESPITE the setback. Don’t beat yourself up, take time to assess the situation, make corrections, and get back on track as soon as possible.
- Fear of success This might sound strange, though it is a real fear for many people making changes in their lives. This usually relates to your feelings of self-worth and if you think you are deserving and worthy of a better life. If you find yourself struggling in this area, contact a qualified coach for support.
- Reasons unique to you and your situation This list is not meant to be all inclusive. Take some time to identify other reasons you might have developed this habit. This might require some honest self-reflection about the needs you are getting met by your current behavior.
By addressing these issues, you can finally free yourself of ties to your old habits, keep your resolution, and enjoy lasting positive habit change.
Joy Carter, MSW
Mindfulness & Spiritual Coach