When we were children, our parents would use different behavior modification techniques to teach us the difference between what’s right and wrong.
As we grew older, we picked up new behavior patterns. Some of these came as a result of personal experiences. Others were taught to us by others. While many of these tend to be positive, there are a handful of behaviors that may be hindering you from growing and becoming successful at work and in your relationships.
Ironically, behavior modification seems to be more challenging now that you’re older. No matter how resolved you may be to kick a bad behavior or adopt a good one, and the process can be extremely challenging. It’s the main reason why many who try to modify their behavior patterns wind up giving up after a few weeks or months.
Why is behavior modification so hard among adults?
We’ve all believed the saying that it takes only 21 days to form a new habit or break a bad one. However, a recent study done by the University College London found that the length of time varies between 18 and 254 days!
Moreover, behavior modification involves getting rid of the old behavior and replacing this with a new one. That is much harder than picking up a brand new habit.
However, that’s not to say that it’s impossible to do. Here are five steps to get you through the entire behavior modification process with less effort and heartache.
Step 1: Set a clear goal
As you begin your behavior modification journey, make sure that you focus on just one specific behavior at a time. The reason for this is because behavior modification requires much willpower on your part. Changing more than one behavior at once can quickly make you lose focus and lose heart.
Step 2: Prepare yourself
Once you’ve determined the specific behavior you want to change, the next step is to prepare mind and heart for the process. Start by listing down all the challenges you expect that would come the way that would hinder you from making progress. Doing this will help you brainstorm ideas on how to overcome them instead of using them as excuses for you to give up.
Step 3: Take the first step
Surprisingly, this is the biggest challenge many face when it comes to behavior modification because of the fear of failure.
What you need to understand about change is that it’s not straightforward. There will be times when you will find yourself slipping back, and that’s normal. What’s important is that you take that step towards to making the change. It won’t happen unless you do.
Step 4: Keep a journal
Setting time to write on your journal requires discipline, which is crucial in behavior modification. At the same time, it gives you an outlet to express your thoughts, feelings, and challenges you’re experiencing while you’re in the process of changing your behavior. Reading through your past entries and seeing how far you’ve come can also give you that needed push to keep on pressing forward during times you feel like you’re ready to give up.
Behavior modification is both a process and a journey. It will take time, so you’ll have to be patient and consistent. Ready yourself for the journey. Take things one step at a time. Record your progress and your thoughts as you move along to help you look back and see how much you’ve been changing day by day.
Of course, there are some behaviors that you’ll need someone to help guide and support you through the changes. In those cases, our free Discovery session will help you break through these limiting behaviors that are stealing your chance to experience personal success. Schedule your free discovery session with Coach Margaret today.
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