Habit is a kind of behaviour that you do regularly in a daily basis. Some habits are good, some are not. Some habits literally cut off years from your life, such as smoking and stress (perceiving events or circumstances as ‘stressful’ and reacting accordingly). Some add years and quality to your life, such as regular moderate physical exercise and healthy eating.
Habits are driven by your subconscious mind.
Therefore if you wish to change a habit or cultivate a new one, it makes no sense to focus on ‘behaviour modification’, for behaviour is an outward effect: thought is the cause of all behaviour.
To cultivate a good habit, you must modify your thoughts.
When you re-condition your mind by filling it with healthy thoughts and images, the resultant behaviour changes ‘automatically’ to fit in with the predominant images in your mind.
As Og Mandino says in ‘The Greatest Salesman in The World’, since you are a slave to your habits, form good habits and become a slave to them.
The sort of mental activity or reprogramming I’m referring to has been called ‘creative bombardment’. It means you spend time creating messages to feed your mind through your senses (sight – pictures that represent perfect health to you, written affirmations; auditory – affirmations spoken out loud; olfactory – smells that you associate with perfect health; tactile – feelings you associate with perfect health), and then literally bombard your mind with these messages as often as you possibly can.
Points to bear in mind when creating these messages:
– They must not refer to the bad habit you’re trying to overcome. Eg if you wish to stop smoking, your messages must not refer to the word or concept of smoking. This is because ‘what you focus on expands’. You do not want to give the topic any energy to expand. You want to starve it of attention so it ‘dies’.
– They should refer to your desired outcome.
– They should focus on the habit you wish to cultivate.
– They should refer to various aspects of the good habit you wish to cultivate. You want to cover all bases and leave no stone unturned here. For instance if you wish to form the habit of eating healthy meals and snacks, your messages should communicate things like ‘I enjoy going shopping for my vegetables and fruits’, ‘I enjoy preparing healthy meals’, ‘I love the taste and texture of healthy meals’, etc (come up with yours – you get the idea). Notice that the processes involved in you eventually eating healthy meals are covered by those statements.
– You must think about and communicate these messages in the present tense. Your subconscious mind knows to obey any instructions you give it. If your instructions are in the future tense, you’ll always be in the future tense. If they are in the present tense, you will presently see the changes you desire.
– You must communicate these messages with positive emotion. Love yourself as you are, with all your faults and bad habits, on your way to where you’re going. Be joyful and thankful that you are enhancing the every moment, and that you are creating habits that will take you to the healthier life. Think good on what you’re doing and where you’re going with the thought changing program.