How to Keep Old Habits from Sabotaging Your Goals

How to Keep Old Habits from Sabotaging Your Goals

I’m guessing you’ve set or are in the process of setting some goals for the new year; what some might call New Year Resolutions.

And I’m hoping that you’re still motivated to achieve them.

If so, great!

But setting goals and even working towards goals is only part of the program; what’s also important is identifying potential blocks, things that can get in the way, and eliminating or finding a way around them …

via Psychology Today by Diane Dreher

KEY POINTS

  • Progress toward our goals can be undermined by unproductive habits.
  • When we become more aware of our habits, we can start changing them.
  • Eliminating unproductive habits can lead to personal growth.

Each year, many of us make New Year’s resolutions, aiming to be healthier, happier, and more successful in the year ahead. But too often, after a few weeks, we lose momentum.

Our progress may be blocked by unproductive habits that sabotage us. According to neuroscience research, our habits automatically control many of our actions without our conscious thought (Graybiel & Smith, K.S., 2014; Robbins & Costa, 2017). Exerting a powerful influence on us, these habits unconsciously shape the structure of our lives. Research has shown that nearly 50 percent of our everyday behaviors are habitual (Wood, Quinn, & Kashy, 2002).

When we set a new goal, some of these unproductive habits can hold us back (Neal, Wood, & Quinn, 2006). As we try to move forward, it’s like driving with the parking brake on. But psychologists have found that we can begin changing our habits with the process of “self-regulation” (Neal, Wood, & Quinn, 2006).

Before setting new goals for the year ahead, take time to reflect on your life with these five steps. You may discover an old habit that has been blocking your progress. Identifying and eliminating this roadblock can release new energy to move forward.

1. Personal inventory

This week, at the end of each day, ask yourself how much time you spent in each of these categories:

  • Eating
  • Sleeping
  • Exercising
  • Meaningful work
  • Spiritual growth
  • Renewal activities (recreation, reading, creativity, fun)
  • Sharing with friends
  • Routine maintenance
  • Social service
  • Other

2. Examine the patterns that emerge.

Do your daily activities reflect your personal values?

… keep reading the full & original article HERE