Hopefully this series on helping us achieve greater happiness is by now starting to work its magic on you! Remember, ‘though……just reading about it will achieve very little – you have to DO the exercises to really benefit!!
Last week I asked you to imagine you were giving advice to your dearest and closest friend in the entire world (you!)……
– What would you say to help them?
– How would you recommend they put it into practice?
This week, I suggest you change your modus operandi when it comes to those bad habits that pull us down and make us feel miserable……
“What bad habits?” you ask……
Drinking too much….
Eating that extra slice…….
Buying that extra large ice-cream sundae…..
Picking up a carton of Coke…..
Having another flutter on the keno or pokies……
Staying on the sofa to watch that extra TV show…..
Taking the car to the corner store rather than walking……
In so many small ways we sabotage our health, wealth and happiness.
The problem is that few of us have the willpower to simply stop.
Because we can’t, we don’t.
But there IS another way: the ancients like Epictetus (around the time
of Jesus) taught: recognize-deputise.
That meant to recognize a bad habit – and then replace it with a good one.
Simply stopping causes its own problems as nature abhors empty space!
So we need to swap one thing for another.
In these days of ‘instant gratification’ to best achieve a beneficial outcome we need to add one small inclusion: DELAY.
We postpone (rather than altogether deny ourselves) that bad habit.
That’s far easier to achieve as our brain still feels like it doesn’t have to go without its crutch.
During this postponement/delaying period we introduce our new option – and choose it.
The bad habit gets put on the back-burner.
So we end up with a simple but life changing process:
SAY – DELAY – REPAY.
We SAY what our bad habit is demanding.
We DELAY its fulfillment whilst
We REPAY ourselves with a new, healthier habit.
Pick ONE bad habit this week.
Find an alternate and much healthier habit you could easily move to.
Vocalise the name of the bad habit when it next demands your attention.
Practice delaying allowing it to run your life.
Repay yourself by moving immediately to your new, healthier habit – and filling the gap!