I have been thinking a lot lately about a habits that I want to change. Although I have a plethora of ideas for how to do so, and have successfully used many techniques in the past, today I want to focus on one of the more simple habit changing techniques. Choice swapping.
I notice that I drink coffee in the morning until I feel shaky and jittery (which doesn’t take much!). Honestly I can’t make myself stop. Perhaps because I associate it with relaxation even though coffee does just the opposite (thanks Folgers for alluring advertisements). Maybe I see coffee as a “cool” thing to do culturally and since I am not someone that has ever had a lot of “cool factor” its my way of somehow redeeming myself to a culture that cares about such silly things. The why I can’t stop after one cup is unknown to me.
I want to change this habit. I am definitely over thinking this. So I decided to go for a simple technique to offset how complex I have made this simple bad habit. I am going to use choice swap. It’s all about being conscious with our habits and choices.
Step 1: Get conscious about it. This week I noticed that I reached for the second cup without thinking about it. I took the first sip and enjoyed it, than took the rest while not even thinking about it until my cup is empty. So this morning thought about my coffee while I was drinking it and discovered that it actually tastes gross! I still wanted a second cup. But at least now I realized that I was about to go for that second cup.
Step 2: Get control of yourself. Say no! I got a glass and poured cold water, dumping the coffee out of the pot. I did that and guess what? It was easy. There is nothing hard about getting a glass of nice cold water and throwing coffee down the sink. I guess the hard part was in my brain.
Step 3: Don’t make it more than it is. It is easy. It is not hard. I won’t allow myself to think otherwise. I am the only one that can change me.
Sometimes we can make things so hard. We loose a sense of self mastery, we feel that we can’t control our choices. If we can’t control our choices, if we can’t control ourselves, that how will we ever work to achieve our dreams and goals? We can’t get to the big stuff if we can’t manage the small stuff.
Today I encourage you to take the steps and choice swap. Take control over some of your small bad habits. Make it fun. Make it easy. Laugh at yourself. Change those pesky little habits. Once you gain that sense of self control and self mastery, you will feel more confident and have some of the basic skill set for the bigger stuff.