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14 Steps to Change Habits


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We probably all have some habits – small or big – that we want to change. Often we think that change is difficult, slow and painful. It shouldn’t need to be. As long as you know what to look for and take care of yourself. This presentation is a story for all the things you can keep in mind when you want personal change.

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14 Steps to Change Habits

  1. 1. 14 Steps to ChangeHabits© Braindrums, 2013We probably all have some habits – small or big – that we wantto change. Often we think that change is difficult, slow andpainful. It shouldn’t need to be. As long as you know what tolook for and take care of yourself. This presentation is a story forall the things you can keep in mind when you want personalchange. And a good coach can contribute too ...
  2. 2. Want the change yourselfThe person who needs the change, does the work. That will only happen if theperson wants the change and feels “enough is enough” about the old habit. Changingbecause your kids, partner or doctor want you to, is usually not enough.© Braindrums, 2013
  3. 3. Have a positive attractivealternative for your old habitSee yourself behaving in a positive new way and feel emotionally attracted to thisnew you. If you want to stop smoking, see yourself breathing fresh air, if you want tostop unhealthy eating, see yourself eating healthy food, ...© Braindrums, 2013
  4. 4. Break all previous systemsYour habit has one or more strategies. You not only know that you have to smokewhen you’re in stress, you also know exactly which brand to smoke. These aresystems and patterns that you can break.© Braindrums, 2013
  5. 5. Make all triggers for the old habitkick start your new behaviour© Braindrums, 2013List all the triggers for your old habit (waking up, after dinner, when driving throughthat particular street, after sex, out with friends ...) and imagine yourself reacting inyour new way to those same triggers. And feel good about this!
  6. 6. Prepare for dealing with futuredifficult emotional moments© Braindrums, 2013Strong emotional situations rarely come as a surprise. Often they have to work theirway up, and you know when you are heading that way. Find ways that work for youto calm down, reduce stress and deal with unexpected strong emotions.
  7. 7. Learn new ways of giving yourselfthe same benefits as your old habit© Braindrums, 2013Your old habit did give you some benefits. Some habits calm you down in times ofstress, some heighten your level of concentration, some just kill time when waiting ...Find out what they were and learn new and better ways of achieving the same result.
  8. 8. Strengthen those beliefs that willsupport you in changing© Braindrums, 2013Sometimes smokers tell me they believe they smell bad to other people. They do!Believing this will motivate them more to quit smoking. Every habit has downsides inthe mind of the beholder. It’s good to keep it that way or make it stronger.
  9. 9. Get rid of beliefs that willprevent you from change© Braindrums, 2013Some smokers tell me that if they stop smoking, they’ll gain weight. Whether that istrue or not is not relevant if it stops you from getting the change you want. I changethe belief and teach them ways to gain control over their eating habits.
  10. 10. When values are involved, satisfy themin new ways© Braindrums, 2013Some people believe they need their habit to satisfy their values, for example in thecase of social smoking or drinking. You can either deal with this as a limiting belief, orlearn to satisfy your value in another way. In our example, other ways to be social.
  11. 11. Find an acceptable way to deal withthe physical part of your old habit© Braindrums, 2013Some habits, like smoking and nailbiting, have motoric components. I am not talkinghere about withdrawal, it’s rather “what will I do with my hands”? Often you can noteliminate this component, people still have to eat. So you’ll have to be creative here.
  12. 12. Pick an attitude that makes you say“so what?” if you have a bad dayYou are not perfect. So what? It’s better to go through life with an attitude where youcan easily pick your new habit right up again when you are having a bad day, insteadof living with fear of failure, or being disappointed if things don’t go right.© Braindrums, 2013
  13. 13. Take care of previous failed attemptsstanding in your way© Braindrums, 2013Sometimes failed previous attempts stand in the way of change. One unusual casewas when someone I coached to stop smoking, started feeling his nicotine patchesagain on his arm. Stopping can induce certain old needs you will have to deal with.
  14. 14. Deal with the craving© Braindrums, 2013Once you abandoned your old habit, you may still feel the craving. It’s a good thing.It’s your body telling you that you are on the right path. If you really can’t stand thecraving, you can take it away in the same way like any other unwanted emotion.
  15. 15. Prepare for your environment© Braindrums, 2013Your family, friends or colleagues may not accept the new you easily, (un)willingly. It’slike when buying porcelain from a door-to-door salesman, they will tell you it won’tlast, test you or try to seduce you in your old habits. Resist or change family!
  16. 16. © Braindrums, 2013
  17. 17. You have read this presentation for a reason, and this is a good start. Now what canyou do next?We can assist you, as a coach, to find and make the change you want in your work orin your life. A short conversation to understand your needs and wants and to see ifthere is a match between us, is a first step.We also run change programs on a bigger scale, within a company or organization. Forexample to install a culture of execution behaviour within a department or to increaseleadership attitude.We can also train you and your colleagues to learn you how to make the change in thework and lifes of others. We have trained people all over Europe, in Africa and North-America from small to big companies and organizations.You can also contact us for speaking engagements, or if you have further questions orneed information© Braindrums, 2013
  18. 18. Author Marc Innegraeve is a MasterTrainer of NLP and an executive coach.He trains and coaches people in differentcountries all over the world on topics likecreativity, leadership and behaviouralchange. You can contact him on:marc@braindrums.comSome feedback from some of ourclients:“You saved me 1,5 hours each day!”Marc M., Senior Auditor Banking, UBS"I really enjoyed this course and thoughtthat it was the one course where I reallylearned a lot. The material has beenextremely useful in my own workenvironment and in my new post withthe UN I will keep on referring back to it."George R., Senior Planning Officer, UN© Braindrums, 2013
  19. 19. Author – Marc InnegraevePictures – like to thank Dr. Richard Bandler, John La Valle, Kathleen LaValle, Adrian Brown, Steve Crabb, Tina Taylor, Jaina Dadia andthe many, many students and clients without whom thispresentation would not be possible.© Braindrums, 2013. All material in this presentation constitutes intellectual property.Copying in any medium, redrawing, or rephrasing is forbidden unless you have theexplicit written permission from the author. Published in Belgium, all rights reserved inall media.© Braindrums, 2013