For people who tend to follow a daily routine, work and life become predictable and monotony soon settles in. Behaviours and habits that get established over time soon become comfort zones and people become accustomed to doing things in a certain way. But, in times of change and unexpected twists, old learning and habits inhibit new learning. Habits, either good or bad, make you the type of person you are. The key to achieving success comes in reviewing existing habits to ensure that they are not obstacles in your path to progress. Before moving forward, one has to look at the old habits, recognise what is wrong with them and then progress to learning new things. Proceeding to learn new ways while being unable to unlearn old ways will result in failure. The ability to overcome old unproductive habits determines a person’s success both in professional and personal life.
Scientific research and data point to the fact that 80% of human life is spent in following a daily routine, which is a positive thing. Everyday tasks such as brushing teeth, eating, walking, driving to office, etc. don’t require thinking. These actions are repetitive to the extent that we are able to go through them without using our brain. These activities put us in auto pilot mode of operation. As a result, when things change or new situations arise and a need to create new habits or do away with the old habits occurs, it becomes difficult to modify our habits.
Shedding old habits that do not contribute to personal growth broadly involves the following stages:
The first step in trying to undo a habit lies in recognising the trait or the behavioural pattern that you are trying to avoid. Then, you need to be confident that you are making a positive life change. You also need to be clear with yourself on why you want this change.
Observing your behaviour
Once you’ve decided on shedding the old habit, remind yourself on why you need to do this and the end result you are trying to attain. By carefully observing your actions and understanding the reasons behind incorporating a new habit, you will be able to assimilate it into your life much more easily. This will also allow you to eliminate the temptation to go back to old ways and stay on track.
Rethinking your decisions
The ability to change the way you act while dealing with a bad habit or negative trait, will help you get rid of the habit. For instance, you may be in the habit of being very social and friendly with your colleagues. And if this has landed you in trouble earlier; pause before you rush to make friends with the new hire in your group. As long as you know how to set boundaries and develop professional relationships with colleagues, you are doing okay. Always, rethink your action when trying to change the way you do something.
Learning the new habit
It is important to learn new productive habits. See how you are going to incorporate them into your daily routine so that they add value to your lifestyle. To get accustomed to new behaviour easily, you should enjoy doing it. So, while practicing the new behaviour, think about the benefits you would derive from it. Explore easy ways of doing the task. In the process of adopting the new practice, you may fail sometimes. Do not get bogged down by failure and give up the efforts. Practice until you become comfortable with it.
Being receptive to others
Lastly, be open to listen to the stories, experiences and inputs of other people who went through similar situations. It often helps to hear success stories of people who broke free from a bad habit or overcame unproductive habituated behaviour. They provide tips to overcome the potential obstacles impeding your way and the motivation required to keep you going. After all, triumph comes to the person who successfully overcomes the old routine habits when the need arises and learns new ways to go ahead with life’s changes and challenges.