When you found a bad habit it often takes a lot of time to change it. This can be a big problem because the bad habit can have very negative impacts. Although you know the situation, the bad habit and an alternative solution you cannot change the habit immediately.
Sample: You react emotional in specific situations with your wife, a friend, a co-worker or even the boss which lead to litigations.
The reason: Most bad habits are a row of fast automatic reactions.
The solution: Pattern recognition and early intervention.
Most bad habits are not triggered by a single signal. Usually there are several circumstances that must come together - or in other words - most problems are multi-cause-problems.
Although it will still need hard work and you will probably not change all your bad habits immediately the following steps can help to improve habit changing speed:
- Get aware of all the parameters (external and internal events and status) that are relevant for the critical situation.
- Identify external and internal triggers and steps that lead to the critical situation or either just increase the possibility of escalation to the critical situation.
- Think of alternatives to avoid already the early contributors to the situation that later on may escalate.
Early notice when you are on a "probably dangerous path" that may lead to a bad situation and early intervention overcomes the problem of the delay with which you are recognizing the escalation of a situation.
Further, knowing many contributing details, you can choose from a greater amount of possibilities where you can change things. This does not mean that you should avoid any action you take. It means that you can do things in another way when they are far from getting difficult and dangerous.
There is a story I came along many years ago but I remembered it right now because it illustrates what I mean - the hole:
Imagine, you are walking on the street. There is a hole. You fall into it. It is the fault of the others. You are angry about the spite of other persons and you are thinking who could be the person that dig you that hole. It consumes a lot of power and time to get out of the hole.
Imagine, your are walking on the street. There is a hole. You fall into it. It is your fault. You are angry about yourself. It consumes a lot of power and time to get out of the hole.
Imagine, your are walking on the street. There is a hole. You fall into it - it's routine. You climb up.
Imagine, your are walking on the street. There is a hole. You take a roundabout route and don't fall into it.
Imagine to take another street and there is no hole.
Related posts: Safety distance, Hard Exercise, How to instantly change a habit.