July 1, 2020

Personal Development

Change your habits: happiness close to hand

Discover (or rediscover) the key factors influencing change and you will learn to modify your routine and reach the life you want.

A change in life is not an easy step, and incorporating new elements into our established routine can be a challenge! Get ready, get comfortable because we will give you our advice on how to change your habits and have happiness close to hand.

To start a new challenge in good conditions, you must prepare yourself psychologically and have a favourable environment. Have confidence in your ability to succeed because you are quite capable of it.

Steps to change your habits:

Changing our habits or changing our automatisms always requires some form of effort. This effort can be estimated in time of reflection or energy to put our ideas into practice or sometimes money because it allows us to access certain necessary help (nicotine substitutes, applications, specialists). We suggest that you take the time to define your objective, discuss it with your family and friends and plan its implementation. And believe us, happiness is at hand!

To help you determine what you want, think about what guides your life, what is really important to you. You need to find what motivates your life: it can be your family, love, giving the best of yourself, etc. To have a better chance of success, try to get a clear picture of where you want to go.

Before you start, make sure your goals are REALIZABLE! Setting unattainable goals and perhaps not achieving them can be discouraging.

Once you have succeeded in defining your goal, you need to identify the path to reach it. Make a list of what you need to build this path. You will have ideas that will directly come to your mind and you can do some research for the rest (blog, specialists, testimony, …). Our advice is to use simple:"mindmaps": this is a really useful tool to put your thoughts on paper.

A "mindmap" is a graphic representing ideas, tasks, words, concepts, which are linked together around a central topic. The principle therefore is that all your ideas must be directly related to your goal. It allows you to organize your ideas.

You now have to make a list of all these actionable steps with categories and prioritize them! The categories can be: preparatory, support, habits, … To prioritize, you can use the mindmap and make the link to most important steps thicker. Here is an example:

Remember that all the steps are linked because the previous step will make the one just implemented easier. These tips to change habits are meant to work together and if you follow this process, happiness is close to hand.

Once you have established all the steps you feel are necessary to stop, you will need to define your preparation time. We recommend one week, because from that moment on you can start on a path of change.

You should begin with high priority task. This way you will have a solid base to begin because the hardest will be done. Then implement the tasks, which you have set yourself with the mindmap, one by one.

To help you with these tasks, here are 6 factors that can influence your change process:

  • Motivation

  • Personal ability

  • Social motivation: people doing the same as you is supporting

  • Social ability: no temptation offered by others

  • Reward and incentives

  • Space: you need to clean your space so you are less tempted to smoke in your living environment

Set yourself in withdrawal conditions and apply these tips: There will be crucial moments when you will want to smoke but you can answer to this cravings with vital behaviors. Vital behaviors are mechanism you have to develop to help you resist cravings. During the bad days, you should be positive. Even if it is hard, being positive will help you overcome the difficulties.

Be consistent: that will be your key. You should evaluate what it means to you to change your habits and adopt a new one. It should be incorporated in your daily life to make it natural after a time. Do you feel comfortable? Are you happy about what you are achieving?

If changing your habits seems complicated and the integration of the new habits into your routine still needs to be worked on, we advise you to use your "How" skills. These skills are necessary attitudes to adopt when we feel we have lost direction, or motivation.

"How" skills for a happiness close to hand:

The "How" skills materialize into a way of thinking, an attitude to adopt in difficult situations. The first skill is to adopt a non-judgmental attitude, then to focus on one thing at a time, and finally to focus on what is effective or practical to get through the particular moment.

  1. Adopting a non-judgmental attitude, implies observing facts, moments or people as they are. To avoid judging, and to remain as objective as possible, you can describe the facts, describe how you feel or describe the consequences of a particular action.

  2. Taking the time to do one thing at a time means paying attention to the present, focusing on the unique moment you are going through. You will most likely be distracted by thoughts, feelings, desires and this is completely normal. However, remember to come back to the present moment, focus again on what you are doing and especially on what is important to you.

  3. Finally, focus on what is effective in relation to your goal. Adopting this attitude will allow you to go through this moment with a sense of accomplishment. That's why it's important to have clearly defined your objectives, to know our limits and our strengths. In order to adopt this attitude you must remain humble; renounce being right and work on problem solving. Focus on what works and don't give up if you run into difficulties.

You now have the keys in hand to adopt the "How" skill thinking and it will help you to change your habits.

We hope that our advice will help you change your habits and we are sure that you now find that happiness is close to hand. 😊


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Getting back on track after relapses β€” Dennis' story of how he said goodbye to cigarettes

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