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New Habits - Stacking it up*

Most of us have at least one habit that we wish we could remove from our day to day. I personally had many habits needed to be removed and ultimately put them off because it required "too much time" to change a habit. It emotionally tasked me and physically seemed like I was training for a marathon. Sounds extreme I know and even as I type it I my eyes because getting over the first step is really the only thing that needs to be your concern. Not the unreasonable timeline that we put on ourselves to establish a habit worth keeping around. We tend to set ourselves up for failure expecting large results quickly. If that worked then we would have a planet full of awake and empathetic beings. So, in saying that, let me help you by saying, give yourself a little slack when you go into this next tip I am suggesting. For those of you possibly trying to give up a cigarette habit please listen up. To begin, create a list of habits you currently have and wish to address but keep in mind this is a one task at a time effort. Multi-habit changing will create a feeling of overwhelm and you are spinning your wheels. Starting small is the best idea.

When breaking a bad habit reducing your exposure to the cues can help with the potential relapse. Using cigarettes as an example, you could remove all of the ash trays, lighters, and even change some routines. When I was a smoker, getting in the car triggered me to light up. I did it without a thought. Even today after 3 years of not smoking, I have moments when I get into the car that I salivate craving a smoke. Instead I have trained myself to take deep breaths, three to be exact, and enjoy the moment I have that I don't have to smoke. Mentally give myself a little pat on the back and move on with the day. James Clear describes this form of bad habit disparaging as habit stacking. You take a current habit, craving the cigarette when I get into the car, and stack it with a new behavior, such as taking 3 big deep breaths. Start with this. I will add to this blog later in the week and hopefully by me not giving you all the tips at once it will keep you grounded. One habit at a time. Create a great sense of confidence in your changes and start small. Easy. Lean into the discomfort and I promise you that you will be so grateful you let it go. What else do you have to lose? I am always here if you want a push in the right direction or if you are having trouble getting started. Get rid of your Martha!

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