One thing I always admire about my husband Peter is his ability to create new routines in his life. As a project manager working inside cloud-computing for HP, most of his work days are very stressful, dealing with hidden agendas, internal politics, impossible deadlines and hours of conference calls with people all over the world while trying to meet client demands, solve delivery problems and please cost-cutting CEOs. In addition, he has a demanding wife and two elementary-school age boys. How does he manage his sanity?
He does yoga.
For your inspiration about how easy it can be to integrate something healthy into you work life, watch this short two-minute video:
I know. It helps that he works from home most days. But still, it’s an example of creating a healthy habit, and I’m going to teach you how to do that too!
I’m going to explain how you can coach yourself to change an old habit and install a new one. The process is based on my 15 years of expertise in change management and my years of studying the brain and how it can rewire itself. I developed the process and have had huge successes with it—for myself and for several clients. Will it be easy? Maybe, but I hate how all the “super success” gurus scream from the rooftops how “easy” success can be. This makes me feel as if my hard struggles aren’t seen or respected, so I prefer to simply tell you that this process makes the change possible, and it might be easy. Even if it is hard, you can still succeed.
At the end of this article is a link to a shorter, printer-friendly version of the process that you can download and use as often as you like.
10 Steps Habit Mastery™
When to use this process: 1) If you want to change something at work or in your life that you know is based on a habit of feeling, thinking or acting and that you haven’t been able to change by simply using your willpower. 2) If you have tried several times and failed.
Success-generating attitude: Open mind, open heart, gentleness, compassion and curiosity
Step 1: Become aware of what in your life or at work calls you to change it.
Step 2: Use self-reflection and introspection to see which of your habits created the situation as it is now. Distinguish clearly between habitual thoughts (beliefs and your drama-story), habitual feelings (righteousness, reactive patterns) and habitual actions (being on autopilot).
Step 3: Let go of any judgment and any resistance you might have against your habitual thoughts, feelings or actions.
Step 4: Understand that at the time you created these habits, they served a positive purpose. (Hint: Most of the time your ego created them, and the purpose was to protect you from assumed and projected pain!) Times have changed. The circumstances and challenges of your life have changed. You have changed…
Step 5: Forgive yourself for creating these habits and for having them for so long.
Step 6: Design new thoughts, feelings and actions that are better aligned with your desired change. (See step 1.)
Step 7: Commit to train yourself to think, feel and act this way until it becomes a new hard-wired habit.
Step 8: Act as if it is already a new habit and start NOW!
Step 9: Enjoy seeing yourself grow as a change master.
Step 10: Celebrate your successes by sharing them with others, which reinforces the successes’ habitual nature!
Expected results: Lasting, powerful desired changes.
Important Hints: If for some unknown reason none of the expected changes happen or they are not lasting, check the quality of Steps 3 and 5, which are the most difficult ones for many people. You are either holding on to negative self-judgment or you resist forgiving yourself. Please check your success-generating attitude as described above.
If all steps are done properly and still no results occur, please ask a friend or a professional coach to help you go through the process. Maybe there is a blind spot you don’t see.
Disclaimer: This process is created for mentally stable and healthy people to conduct self-coaching and research into their own sub-consciousness. If you suffer from strong traumas or mental diseases or brain dysfunctions, please don’t try this process alone; do it only under the supervision of your mental health provider. Sylvia Becker-Hill is not responsible for its proper use or outcomes for you or anyone else.