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All about habits

Ok, let's talk about habits. Good habits, bad habits. How they form, why they exist, what purpose they serve, and how to change them or create them.

There are really two different classes of habits, the "simple" habits that I talk about on this page, which are usually just a matter of learning or relearning and what I call Addictive Habits.  Both start out the same way, but some like Smoking, Binge Eating, Procrastination and even Nail Biting are hard to get rid of because your unconscious mind is using them to provide benefits that it believes are necessary for the conscious mind.

If it's a habit such as smoking that you've been having a hard time changing, check link Addictive Habits under the habit drop-down menu.

A habit is just a pattern of behavior that has become ingrained through repetition. Whether it's good or bad depends on it's result, not it's intent. It starts out as something you do and keep doing, and soon the unconscious mind takes over and keeps it going. That isn't because it's the best way to accomplish something, it's just that it works and you keep doing it. The unconscious mind takes over the behavior to free up your conscious mind so it can focus on the immediate demands of the day.

Unfortunately, that may not please the conscious mind at times. Putting things in random places just because you're there does free your hands for other things, but…. How may times have you gotten frustrated or even mad because you couldn't find your keys or an important letter? I could give you a long list of examples, but you can think of your own experiences with habits that seem to waste time and energy.

Likewise there are likely positive habits you wish you had, but haven't gotten around to them yet. You might want to exercise regularly and take better care of your health or maybe just get out and do new things. And one big thing is often getting organized—doing one thing and getting it done then doing the next thing so that everything is done by the time it needs to be. You plan to get around to it someday but you haven't done it yet.

The good news is that all you have to do to create a new habit or change a bad habit is to decide what new habit you want to create or what you want to replace the old habit with. Then you consciously use that new behavior whenever it is appropriate until your unconscious mind takes over the action and it becomes automatic.

The bad news is that this method requires conscious attention to remember to use the new behavior and to stay motivated to do it until the unconscious mind takes over the job. Unfortunately when you have your arms full of groceries it's easier to just put the keys wherever you can without thinking about it. Or you decide to skip the new behavior because it would take too much effort or an extra minute--”I'll get around to it later.” So the new habit doesn't form and the old habit takes over. HOW MANY NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS HAVE YOU FULFILLED?

The other good news is that there is a shortcut to change. You can have your unconscious mind take over the job from the start. There are a number of methods that can work for that, meditation, prayer, affirmations, but since I'm a hypnotist and Master Practitioner of NLP, I'll describe how I do it.

First I hypnotize you and teach you Self-Hypnosis (Let's be honest; all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. The hypnotist is just a teacher.) and set up some changes for you. In the process, I am teaching you how to set up these changes and communicate with your unconscious mind without my help. Then you don't need me any more when you want to change old habits or build new ones—you're in control.

You decide what the goal is, communicate it to your unconscious mind with the instruction to find the best way to achieve that goal. To take the example of car keys, you might find yourself deciding to put a small table or stand near the door and remembering to put your keys there. I really don't know what your unconscious will decide is the best way to keep track of them, but it will find the right way.

The same applies to a habit you don't like. You let your unconscious mind decide what would achieve whatever that habit does for you (consciously you may not know) and to find a way that works better without the effects you don't like, and substitute that new behavior for the old.

Since you don't have to condition the new response in, it can simply become a natural, automatic change in your behavior. That can save a lot of time and effort (not to mention avoiding frustration) when it comes to getting results you want.

In case you haven't guessed, I like to feel unneeded. There's nothing strange about that though. If I do my job right, you can take over and do what you need to do. And that is the way it should be. You are always the one who actually makes the change (I just show you how to do it) and you deserve the credit for doing it. I also know that if it works well for you, most likely you will tell your friends about me and my business grows.