It’s all about connection.
If you want to break a habit, you must make a habit. In other words, if what you’re doing is not working, this means it’s time to do something else! I’m not just adding a contrived quote here because it sounds good. Tracking your habits is important, and it’s something I have to help my clients with in one-on-one coaching sessions. You need to take into account what you’re doing when you’re not doing ‘the thing’; this is important because if you’re just trying to not do that one thing, you will fail if you don’t take into account that your success may be simply due to doing something else in its place.
So what are these replacement activities; what are some examples of those ‘something else’ habits?
If I were to ask you when was your last instance of doing the thing, how often have you done it during the past month, many of you could lay out all the details of those behaviors like a professional presentation. But then if I asked you,
What other areas are you focusing on? What other things are you doing with your time? What do you do instead? 9 times out of 10 you would respond with a blank stare and a head scratch.
Here’s a reality check for you. As humans, the entire prediction of our behavior is simply a quest to resolve our unsatisfied needs. Again, let me say that if you simply stop ‘doing the thing’, your life is going to be ridiculously hard and unfulfilling. For a number of you reading this, your compulsive tendencies are the only activities in your life right now that provide excitement; maybe naked girls on the internet is the most exciting thing you’ve got right now.
I’ve prepared a fun little skit that is a perfect representation of what happens when a man calls in and has no real response to my question of what else do you do and focus on?
“Hi Craig, I’m Steve. So I’ve been sober three months now, or six or for a year.”
“Oh, wow, Steve, congrats to you. I bet you feel so great about yourself. I’m so proud of you and happy that you’ve called me to share and celebrate. Did I have any part in helping you get to this point?”
I go on and on telling the guy how great and wonderful he is, how he and his family should be so proud of his accomplishments. How I bet his life is so amazing right now and that he must be accomplishing some positive things.
Throughout my gushing compliments, Steve tries to get a word in, which is a bit challenging due to how long whinded I am.
“Wait a minute, Craig, no; it’s not like that. Shut up, Craig! My life is a royal pile of shit right now.”
I don’t want to be irreverent here, but you only have one life. That’s a fact; you’re going to die, I’m going to die.
Not to make light of that fact, but I want to drive this point home. Your success is not a function of what you avoid doing but rather it’s determined by the things you do choose to spend your time and energy on.