Quitting Bad Habits

Only one thing has to change for us to know happiness in our lives: where we focus our attention. Greg Anderson

Quitting Bad Habits

Nov 2014 Issue of Success mag:

Setting self improvement goal, strategic assessment of your chances of success can be a hug motivator, says philosopher Jim Stone PhD who develops personal productivity software and workshops.

Here’s what he suggestions. You want to quit smoking or some other unsavory habit? You typically think, If I smoke, eat that cookie, etc. then I fail.

But, he says, if you open your mind to more possibilities of not smoking, eating the cookie, etc. you can view success as:

I will do push-ups instead of smoking, I will call a friend instead of smoking, I will read a magazine instead of smoking, etc.


Look at it this way, there is only one way to fail yet so many ways to succeed. Your success chances seem much stronger and you harness the power of self-fulfilling prophecy.

[tweetthis]there is only one way to fail yet so many ways to succeed[/tweetthis]


How to Launch a New Habit

This same mindset can aid in launching a new habit. Say you want to exercise 20 minutes per day. If you don’t do those 20 minutes, you’ve failed, in your mind. Change that success measure like this: I will walk 10 minutes 2 times today at the office, I will ride my stationary bike during a phone conference or while watching the bachelor. By doing this your willpower and your odds of success with increase.

My husband had the same challenge, no TIME to work out. Well, let’s be honest, you have all the time you need to do what is most important and working out did not hit the top of his list. After getting a physical at Sanoviv medical Institute in Rosarito, Mexico. He came back with some other ideas of how to be successful at exercise. He now has a stationery bike in his office and he bikes 10 minutes 3 times a day mostly during phone meetings. He figured out a way to be successful.

How to Be Happy

So this reminded me of the work of Shawn Achor. Harvard trained researcher and author of several books on happiness including my favorite “The Happiness Advantage”

Shawn wrote in his book that if you make something 30 seconds easier, you’re more likely to do it. He wanted to read more and play his guitar more. So he thought of a way to make it easier for him to do those things. First, he put the remote for TV in the other room and removed the batteries. He then put books and his guitar on the sofa. What do you think happened? He watched less TV and started reading more and playing his guitar. He wanted to work out in the morning, so for a month, he slept in his gym clothes and put his tennis shoes by his bed.

After my son was born, I needed to get back to working out regularly. So I started putting on my gym clothes, even my shoes, first thing in the morning. I could then get him fed, feed the animals and then workout to a DVD in my living room. He’s 13 now and my routine has not changed. This has enabled me to workout out 6 mornings a week for at least 20 minutes, 30 on a good day.

What can you do to make something 30 seconds easier to obtain a goal or create a new habit?

Grab the New Book!