When we start on a self-help mission, our enthusiasm and motivation to change is generally very high. I am sure most of you can nod in recognition to these next steps in the process. A few days into your new mission, your motivation is slowly going out the window, and instead you start to rely on your willpower. Unfortunately, your willpower reserve also tends to dry up, in particular after being exposed to temptation all day. A perfect example of lack of willpower is blowing your diet after a long day of healthy eating!
So what is the alternative? Find out how to use triggers and anchors to get rid of a bad habit and replacing it with a new healthy habit. By using these therapeutic tools, you can learn how to establish a new anchor as well as collapsing unhelpful habits. As an example of a negative anchor is when an overweight person will always associate a cup of tea with having a biscuit or two. To change that particular habit you need to collapse the tea/biscuit anchor and create a new healthy habit to take its place. Once a new habit is established it becomes easy to do. At this point, you will find that motivation and willpower is not required to the same level as you may have thought previously.
In therapy, we would look at an integrated approach to get rid of your bad habits. We will be setting achievable goals, identifying your exact triggers, getting you prepared and organised, finding ways to make it fun, discussing the importance of repetition, collapsing negative anchors, and so much more.
A bad habit is allowed to continue because you keep doing it over and over again, first step is to break the pattern.
By Tina Elven