January is associated with habit change. It’s usually just a hangover from the New Year’s excitement which clears up around February. For those who really do have a habit they want to change, much has been written on the subject.
Studies have shown that 80% of people who want to change a habit aren’t ready for change. Getting ready before you drop the behaviour is much more likely to lead to success. You need a plan to address your environment, your mind and your emotions.
Change is a process, not an event. The unwanted behaviour may stop at a moment in time, however how you think and feel about the habit only shifts over time. Why we engage in habits can be complex stuff. They usually start as a way to distract us from unwanted emotion.
Around 2004, I was involved in habit change coaching. My specialty was smoking cessation, but the information about habit change and the whys and wherefores are applicable for most habits. Substitute eating, gaming, etc. for the word “smoking” and the information is still relevant. I am happy to share any of the information I have on habit change for those interested.
This month’s feature article is called My Cigarette, My Lover. It’s a metaphor for the complexity and intensity of the relationship we can create with our habits.
I also wrote an e-book back then called Love Your Smoker. It was designed to explain habit change to someone with a smoker in their life. The intention was to show them how to really help the other person quit. As it turns out, the smokers themselves also found it very helpful. If you would like a copy, shoot me an email and I will forward it on.