Mac Anderson and John J. Murphy
10 STEPS TO BUILDING SUCCESSFUL HABITS
Copyright © 2011 by Mac Anderson Published by Simple Truths, LLC. 1952 McDowell Road, Suite 300, Naperville, Illinois 60563 Simple Truths is a registered trademark. Printed and bound in the United States of America. ISBN 981-1-60810-146-7 www.simpletruths.com Toll Free 800-900-3427 Book Design: Vieceli Design Company, West Dundee, Illinois All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means— except for brief quotations in printed reviews—without the prior written permission of the publisher. 01 WOZ 11 2
THE 10 STEPS Introduction: Habits Die Hard
Assess the Risk
Identify and Define the Habit
Be the Change
Feel the Habit Do not Resist
Feel the Change
Take Measure Know the Score
Give Thanks and Appreciation
Ask Why? Be Curious
Maintain the Gain
Conclusion: Planting the Seeds of Change
Imagine and Visualize the Change 3
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents: Habits Die Hard
“HABITS ARE COBWEBS AT FIRST; CABLES AT LAST.” — C H I N E S E P R OV E R B —
e are all creatures of habit and if you make good habits, good habits will make you. This wisdom has been around since ancient times. Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” The subconscious mind—the habitual mind—is over one million times more powerful than the conscious mind. This means that we spend a substantial amount of our lifetime on “autopilot,” playing out the mental programs that govern our behavior. For example, while driving a car and carrying on a conversation with someone, the conscious mind is attending to what is being said in the moment while the subconscious mind is turning on the turn signal, hitting the brakes, attending to oncoming traffic, monitoring our blood sugar, regulating our breathing, planning our next move and on and on. The subconscious mind is so vast and so powerful that we do not even know what it is thinking or capable of. It truly runs our lives — whether we know it or not! Habits begin and manifest deep in the mind and they can be friends or foes. Good habits can make our lives easier, helping us to do the more mundane things of life without thinking about them, like automatically depositing your paycheck.
But, as all of us know all too well, habits can also be destructive … to our health, to our finances, to our relationships. It’s why we struggle with losing weight, paying off our credit cards or quitting smoking … to name a few “bad habits.” Whether they are a positive force in our lives or obstacles to the goals we want to achieve, habits become ingrained through repeated actions. Here is a little test to display the power of our habits. Cross your arms as you normally would, and look down to see which one is on top. About half of you will have your right arm on top and the other half will have their left on top. When you crossed your arms for the very first time, you might have been still in your playpen, and you have been crossing your arms the same way ever since. Now, cross your arms again, but this time put the opposite arm on top. It feels extremely weird! If you were to challenge yourself to cross your arms the “wrong” way for the rest of your life, could you do it? Probably. Would it be difficult? You bet it would! HERE’S THE POINT: HABITS—GOOD, BAD, OR NEUTRAL— ARE DIFFICULT TO BREAK … THEY DIE HARD!
Mac Anderson Founder, Simple Truths
John J. Murphy
The real key to success then is replacing destructive habits with successful habits. To win â€” to break self-defeating attitudes and behaviors â€” we must understand that we have the power to choose and the power to change. We have the power to let go of old thinking and adopt the mindset of a champion. As creatures of habit, many people struggle with breaking habits. It is our intention to help you through this very common, very challenging life experience by giving you 10 steps to replace destructive habits with successful ones. If you have habits you intend to change, read on. You will not be disappointed.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT…
I AM YOUR CONSTANT COMPANION. I AM YOUR GREATEST ASSET OR HEAVIEST BURDEN. I WILL PUSH YOU UP TO SUCCESS OR DOWN TO DISAPPOINTMENT. I AM AT YOUR COMMAND.
HALF THE THINGS YOU DO MIGHT JUST AS WELL BE TURNED OVER TO ME. FOR I CAN DO THEM QUICKLY, CORRECTLY AND PROFITABLY. I AM EASILY MANAGED; JUST BE FIRM WITH ME.
THOSE WHO ARE GREAT, I HAVE MADE GREAT. THOSE WHO ARE FAILURES, I HAVE MADE FAILURES. I AM NOT A MACHINE, THOUGH I WORK WITH THE PRECISION OF A MACHINE AND THE INTELLIGENCE OF A PERSON. YOU CAN RUN ME FOR PROFIT, OR YOU CAN RUN ME FOR RUIN. SHOW ME HOW YOU WANT IT DONE. EDUCATE ME. TRAIN ME. LEAD ME. REWARD ME. AND I WILL THEN… DO IT AUTOMATICALLY. I AM YOUR SERVANT. WHO AM I?
I AM A HABIT.
DEFINE the Habit
“WE FIRST MAKE OUR HABITS, A N D T H E N O U R H A B I T S M A K E U S .” — JOH N DRY DE N —
IDENTIFY AND DEFINE THE HABIT
he first step to changing any habit is to become AWARE of the habit. Here’s an example from Martin Grunburg, author of The Habit Factor that brings the point home: “I fixed our shower handle a couple of months ago. I had to—the pipe rusted on the inside of the wall and the handle fell off. The good news was, since it wasn’t originally installed properly, this was my opportunity to correct the H and C designations. For more than five years, this has been a minor peeve. I figured it’d be nice if the H actually produced hot water and the C cold water. So, after the shower handle was fixed, you’d expect my wife and me to be pretty pleased that it finally worked properly, right? “Well, consider that since we moved in, we had been ‘trained’ to know that H equaled cold water and C produced hot water. Yes, we were literally programmed to expect that the H delivered cold water. “So, just yesterday, about mid-shower, I noticed the water getting too hot. I quickly and automatically without thought turned the handle to H again, programmed by my five years of use. Care to guess what happened? 16
IDENTIFY AND DEFINE THE HABIT
“Correct. I GOT BURNED.” All of us “get burned” in one way or another by our bad habits. But, you can make a change in your life by identifying and defining the habit you intend to break. What are the outcomes stemming from this habit? What are the inputs leading to this habit, the triggers? We cannot solve a problem we do not understand. Habits are merely a reflection of a deeper, more powerful, subconscious thought-system. To change them, we have to learn to think differently, to see differently and to believe differently. Therefore, it is not just the behavior we must identify and define.
For example, if a person has a tendency to become impatient or angry, especially under stress, will power and resistance to the behavior without a deep shift in thinking will not work. Anything we fight, we make stronger. Resisting the habit will only weaken us and eventually bring feelings of defeat, guilt and increased stress. This creates a vicious 17
WE MUST IDENTIFY THE UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS, PERCEPTIONS, THOUGHTS AND BELIEFS LEADING TO THE BEHAVIOR.
BREAK THE CYCLE
circle. The tendency to get angry and impatient will return, bringing with it an attitude of despair and weakness leading to more anger. To effectively change habits, we must learn to break the cycle. We must learn to change the ingredients that lead to the outcome. Think of this like baking a cake. To change the cake, we must change the recipe.
HABIT BUSTER Try this. Stop right now and identify a repeated, habitual behavior you would like to change. We have to replace any habits that limit us with habits that empower and reward us. 18
What is one habit you would like to replace? Think of one thing you would like to change, one habit you would like to break. Now write it down. Define it clearly and be specific.
IDENTIFY AND DEFINE THE HABIT
Habit Worksheet: DEFINE THE HABIT
Having trouble? Turn to the next page for some examples. 19
EXAMPLES OF HABITS THAT CAN BE REPLACED:
I tend to become impatient in traffic, airport lines, waiting rooms or with a slow computer. I tend to resist change, new ideas, new relationships or uncertainty. I tend to avoid taking risks or exploring new ground. I tend to procrastinate. I tend to eat too much or eat unhealthy foods. I tend to watch too much television or waste time on non-value added activities. I tend to drink too much. I tend to jump to conclusions or assume the worst. I tend to judge people or be critical of others. I tend to worry about my health, my family or my future. I tend to be an extremist, addicting myself to unhealthy thinking or activity. I tend to be lazy. I tend to look for quick fixes. I tend to be defensive, rationalizing my behavior. I tend to resist help, insisting I can do things on my own. I tend to be emotional, wearing my feelings on my sleeves. I tend to be overly analytical, seeing only black and white in a world of gray. I tend to want to control everything or figure everything out. 20
Weho pet ha ty o ue nj o y e d r e a di ngt hi sf r e eo nl i nepr e v i e w. Y o uc a npur c ha s et he c o mpl e t eb o o ka ta nyt i me b yv i s i t i ngusa t : www. s i mpl e t r ut hs . c o m