Many people wish to change a habit, yet most never do. Each year we make resolutions and it seems we are hopeful and excited only to stop working towards them within fifteen days (usually January 15th is the day most quit their resolution). And when we reach the two month milestone, most have forgotten about their resolutions or who they vowed to be or what they wished to change. Where do you fit in after roughly a month into 2015?
If people knew how easy it is to change virtually anything in their life they would be blown away. It doesn’t matter whether the goal is big and prodigious such as to quit smoking, or if it is as trivial as not to hitting the snooze button before getting up in the morning– there is an easy, effective way to change.
The easiest way to change is to figure out what exactly the behavior is that you wish to rid yourself of: smoking, drinking, being lazy/fat, not reading, neglecting your passion, etc. – and then once you do that, associate as much pain as you can muster with your bad habit. For instance, I was never in great shape until about a year and a half ago; I never cared so much for fitness, or anything of that nature. I ate whatever it was that I wanted, until one day I vowed to change.
I read an article by Tony Robbins and he told me all I needed to hear.
If we link massive pain to any behavior or emotional pattern, we will avoid indulging in it at all costs. We can use this understanding to harness the force of pain and pleasure to change virtually anything in our lives. – Tony Robbins
I began to associate being unfit with the worst things possible. I linked it to being a social outcast, to not being able to protect myself or my family, and to being a joke of man.
I then thought of my body as my temple. I equated fit with the attributes of being strong, manly, and confident. You must find your own reasons for your change. We all live different lives, yet many of our problems are each other’s – that is why learning from others is pivotal to our self-growth; learning vicariously can save us a lot of time in the long run.
Figure out what it is you want to change. Make it a “must” not a “should” – this will automatically put you in a different state, a state of change and it will make you take it more seriously because it NEEDS to happen.
Furthermore, it is not enough to just associate pain and pleasure, but we must be consistent with our conditioning. For the first month, you should surround yourself with pictures that have your goal in mind – these pictures will stimulate you in the right direction. It will literally PULL you there.
Habits do not form overnight, nor do they last without constant reinforcement. While in your quest for change, you must use positive reinforcement. I patted myself on the back after every workout and said good job. I also tracked my progression and began to associate myself with like-minded individuals who helped pull me in the right direction.
This may seem obvious, but by recognizing your improvement and being around others who share your goal – you will move forward with faster intensity than if you neglected to empower yourself.
The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you. – Tony Robbins
We Are Not Logical, But Emotional
In truth, whatever we link pain and pleasure to, shapes our destinies. If you do this one thing, you will take conscious control of your life and change it for the better. If we do not even do this – we are no better than animals – we are acting on a whim and not consciously making decisions that will impact our lives. As a human race, we like to think of ourselves as logical, but in reality, we hold more power to our emotions.
For instance, if you are trying to get fit and you are tempted with ice cream, and you take it (as many would), you are not acting logically, but emotionally – you associate pleasure with the ice cream. That is why we must develop our neuro-associations (what we link pleasure and pain to) to the right emotions. If you are trying to get fit, chocolate should be revolting to you; there shouldn’t even be an inclination.
I know if you are new to this type of thinking, this may seem near impossible and out of sorts – but it is absolutely viable. The strongest minds understand how to allocate their pleasures and pains.
Control your emotions. Control what you want to do in your life and associate the cruelest feelings of pain and evil towards those acts you wish to rid yourself of – and add immense, euphoric pleasure to the habit you wish to form.
You control your destiny. Not other people. Not outside Events. Only You.