I could probably do a post on each of the four steps of behaviour change, but that’s not really what this laugh life is about. (perhaps I’ll start another series about that)
I did want to take a moment though to mention the importance of step 4, which is: Practice and Perform the NEW behaviour until it becomes a habit. Now I talk a little bit about this in The 90 Day Game, but I make it sound really easy, “just do something for 90 days and it’s a habit”, and I want to acknowledge that it’s not always that easy to do.
People are creatures of habit, which means that overriding existing habits to implement a new one can be difficult. I think there are two key points to doing this: Being kind to yourself AND timing.
I’ll talk about timing first. It is SO much easier to ingrain a habit if it’s something you do at the same time every day, especially if it is linked in time with another activity. For example, if I decided I wanted to work out every day, I should choose a time to do this (let say 6:30 am). An even stronger link would be to say that when I get up, I will work out (then I just need to set my alarm for 6:30 every day). the link between the two activities and the scheduling makes it a lot easier to REMEMBER to do it. I emphasize remember because scheduling something doesn’t really make it any easier to do that activity, just to remind you to do that activity.
Being kind to yourself is all about not beating yourself up if you forget a day or you didn’t do the activity that well, or whatever. There is absolutely no use to beating yourself up, it won’t make you want to do that activity more, so you might as well forgive yourself and move on. If you do forget a day, I suggest simply starting over. Make a fresh start back at day 1 again and go for 90 days. I’ll guarantee that after a few times forgetting (and forgiving yourself) and starting back at day 1 you’ll start to see this is really important and you’ll be much more apt to remember to do it.
Now I suppose there is also an element of making yourself do the activity after you have remembered you want to do this, but that’s a whole different ball of wax for another day.
For now let me end with a couple humourous thoughts:
Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused.
Patience comes to those who wait.
And finally, the best advice of all:
You might as well be yourself – you’ve already perfected all of your silly quirk and inconsistencies, trying to perfect someone else’s would take a life time.