How To Change Habits

How To Change Habits

Want to Stop Self-Sabotaging?

In This Post

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  • The 8 step process for ‘how to change’ habits
  • Examples
  • What not to do

How to Change

In this 8 step process, I teach you how to change anything in your life that isn’t what you want.

I’ve personally used it to transform from scattered, frustrated, and fear-driven to committed, more patient and willing to push past the fear to get what I want.

What Do You Want To Change?

Step 1 re: how to change habits: identify what you want to change

If you’re like my clients (and like me), you have something you want to change. It might be something you’ve recently noticed or it could be something that’s been bothering you for years (even decades) and you haven’t yet been able to conquer it.

I learned this method at my Life Coach School with Brooke Castillo training and am excited to share my spin on it.

The first question in this process of changing is “What is the one thing that isn’t working for you?”

Dig into this one to find your answer. Here are some common themes I hear from my clients:

  • I want to stop giving up on myself
  • I want to lose x lbs
  • I want to follow the schedule and plan I set
  • I want to finish my to-do list each day, and not let it snowball out of control
  • I want to be more strategic at work
  • I want to be more confident
  • I want to be more present
  • I want to restore my marriage
  • I want to pursue a dream/passion I have but am too scared

What is the one thing that isn’t working for you? 

If we’re keeping it real here (which I always try to do), most of us have more than one. We have a laundry list of things we’d like to change about ourselves.

The key with this exercise is to choose the one thing that you want to change, the one that would make a big difference for you.

PRO TIP: don’t worry about the other things you want to change and what you might be missing out on if you don’t tackle them too. You can use what I’m going to teach you on anything after you learn it the first time!

What Are You Doing?

Step 2 re: how to change habits: Pinpoint What You Are Doing Now That Leads to Results You Don’t Want

Next, think about that thing you want to change and list out all the actions you’re taking to get your current results.

For this step, list out the actions you are taking and the actions you aren’t taking.

What Do You Want Instead?

Step 3 re: how to change habits: Define What Outcome You Want Instead

The next step is to figure out what outcome you want to achieve. So, right now you are getting an outcome that you want to change. What is the new outcome you want?

Write it so explicitly that you almost feel it.

Think about:

  • where you are when you achieve the outcome
  • who are you with
  • what are you wearing
  • what time of year it is
  • what are your surroundings
  • what exactly did you achieve (quantify it)

What Actions Do You Need to Take To Get That Result?

Step 4 re: how to change habits: List the Actions You Need To Take To Get That Outcome

Now, list out all the actions you would need to take to get the outcome that you described.

  • Write them out.
  • Put them in order.
  • Put dates next to them.

What are You Currently Feeling and Thinking, That Leads To Your Current Results?

Step 5 re: how to change habits: Describe What You Are Currently Feeling and Thinking

Our brains LOVE to work on auto-pilot. We repeat the same thoughts over and over each day, most of them subconsciously.

The thoughts we have, and the feelings we derive from those thoughts, are what drive our actions.

For example, if we think losing weight is impossible, we will inevitably feel discouraged, and go back to comfort foods.

Another example, when we think our to-do list is way too much to ever finish, we feel overwhelmed, and we might binge on Netflix to tamp down that overwhelm. That , in turn, proves us right – the list will never get done!

So, the step here is to figure out what you are thinking and feeling, that is leading to your current results. 

Brainstorm out the 1 sentence thoughts you’re having + the 1 word feeling that those thoughts create.

Unravel your mind.

How Would You Need to Feel To Take Those New Actions?

Step 6 re: how to change habits: Choose The One-Word Feeling You Will Need to Take Those New Actions

In the previous step, you might have identified feelings like discouraged, resistant, and overwhelmed. Those are the feelings that are driving your current actions (or inaction).

Think of what you would need to feel INSTEAD, to feel like taking the actions you identified.

What feeling would you need to feel to take those actions?

For this step, I commonly hear feelings like committed, motivated, and courageous.

Would You Need to Think to Feel That Way, And To Take Those Actions

Step 7 re: how to change habits: Create a Sentence (aka a Thought) That Will Drive That Feeling, and Ultimately The New Outcomes

Next, write out a sentence that makes you feel that new feeling.

What thought could you replace your current thinking with, to drive the feeling that you just identified in the step above?

One of my favorite questions for this step is, “what would the type of person I want to be doing in this situation?”

Examples for this step are:

  • It’s possible for me to lose weight
  • I can be put my phone down for 15 minutes a day, to spend time with my kids.
  • I am good at making a realistic schedule and sticking to it.
  • I’m great at finishing my top 3 action items each day.
  • I can be fun in my marriage
  • I have value to offer

Find the thought, or one sentence, that will drive the feeling you need to take the actions required to get your desired outcomes.

Then, begin replacing your old, outdated thought and feeling (the one you want to change) with this new thought and feeling.

Implement This New Thought and Feeling

Step 8 re: how to change habits: Repeat this new thought and feeling over and over again until it becomes automatic and second nature

Here are several tips on how to change by replacing the old thought/feeling with the new thought/feeling you just created:

  • Write that thought & feeling out on sticky notes
  • Put the thought and feeling as alarms on your phone
  • Take a picture of the thought/feeling and save it as your phone and computer wallpaper
  • PRACTICE – know that it takes repetition and practice to replace the old thought pattern with the new thought pattern; change won’t happen overnight so be patient and keep the new thought and feeling top of mind
  • Read and re-read the detailed description you wrote in step 3 (a lot)
  • Create an alter ego that you can leverage – someone who already achieved/is living the change you want (have you heard of Beyonce’s alter ego, who she calls Sasha Fierce?)
  • When you fall off the wagon/revert to old thinking, just start again. Don’t beat yourself up.

Don’t Do This, It Could Result In A Hot Mess

One word of caution on this process above.

You might get impatient.

You might want to change a bunch of things at once.

You might feel it’s going too slow.

Trust this process.

If you try to change more than one thing at once, you have a high chance of slipping back into old patterns and not accomplishing anything.

Believe me, I know from experience…. 🤣😉

Pick the one thing, follow through until your change is solid and lasting. Then do it again.

This will be MUCH FASTER in the long run.

Next Steps

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Recap

In this post, we covered:

  • The 8 step process for ‘how to change’ habits
    1. Identify What You Want to Change
    2. Pinpoint What You Are Doing Now That Leads to Results You Don’t Want
    3. Define What Outcome You Want Instead
    4. List the Actions You Need To Take To Get That Outcome
    5. Describe What You Are Currently Feeling and Thinking
    6. Choose The One-Word Feeling You Will Need to Take Those New Actions
    7. Create a Sentence (aka a Thought) That Will Drive That Feeling, and Ultimately The New Outcomes
    8. Repeat This New Thought and Feeling Over and Over Again Until It Becomes Automatic and Second Nature
  • What not to do… if you try more than one change at a time, it could end up taking longer and be a simple hot mess

Did You Know?

I’m a success coach for working moms. I work with other moms to create and execute the mindset, strategies and routines that are required get out of survival mode and achieve your goals, both personally and professionally.

Think of it as a re-set for ambitious moms who want to maximize what they do, who they are, and all they impact to make the most out of life.

The first step is to meet for half an hour to talk about your goals, obstacles and mini action plan. If you want to create your own mini action plan, here’s the link to schedule the free session on my calendar.

I’ll coach you through building the plan and identifying your next steps. Then, we’ll talk for a few minutes at the end about what I do and if we might be good working together. I’m not a salesperson so don’t expect a sales call. I only accept clients who are a good fit.

This is time focused on you and your goals, and how to get to the next level.

Related Links

What Is a Life Coach

How to Journal (Without Wasting Time)

How To Get What You Want In Life

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