Thursday, March 3, 2016

Breaking Bad... Habits

Breaking Bad Destructive Habits
Don’t let anyone fool you by telling you that you can break a habit in 30 days or 66 days.  It takes at least a year.  Even then other factors can extend that.

The Reason We Fail
I believe that the biggest reason we fail to break destructive habits is because we believe that it will be easy and over fairly soon.  After all,  everyone is telling us that it takes about 30 days, even the College of London says it takes 66 days.  They are wrong, listening to them and believing them will most likely result in the failure to break the bad habit.

Why It Takes So Long
The reason that it will take you a year to break most bad habits is because we are seasonal people.  We exist in time and space and it is these two factors that the 1-2 month habit breakers don't factor in.  As Earthlings we have logically broken our time down into yearly segments.  The habit breaking loop is in our years not in our days or months.  That is why we need at least a year to break free.

Seasonal Triggers
You see, what we do at different times on the year and in different seasons triggers automatic subconscious responses in our mind that we are largely unaware of, or at best we do not understand their power over us.  This is our failure point.

You’ve been sober for months now, then find yourself on the lake with your friends and your automatic subconscious reactions take over and you grab a beer.  You didn’t do it out of desire (or a craving), it was a reaction.  The problem now is what is coming next, and that’s your desire kicks in unexpectedly.  Something that you were not on guard against, after all you’ve ‘kicked’ this habit months ago - didn’t you.  You will likely lose this battle because you were not expecting it.  Your guard is down.  You were not aware that you were still in ‘kicking the habit’ mode.  This is the moment of our failure point.  This is largely why we fail.  The unexpected.  All brought on by ignorance of the timetable and the differing locations we inhabit. 

Time and Space
As I mentioned earlier, we exist in time and space.  We have been convinced that time is the only factor in overcoming bad habits — thus the failure.  It is the space we that occupy that may have a greater weight in this matter as it is often the single greatest tipping factor to our point of failure.  As the above example shows.

Location, Location, Location
The old real estate adage is so true here.  Our location in the space we occupy has profound effect on our habits, often through our subconscious.  When we visit a place that we do not often frequent, like the vacations we take, all are prime points of failure for us in breaking our bad habits.  This is why it can take over a year.  We have to guard ourselves whenever we experience a location change.  Some of us do not vacation every year, even then it's not usually in the same place.  It's that familiar place that brings back that familiar, but not now wanted, action.

This One Point Can Change Everything
Armed with the knowledge that you’re not done with breaking that bad habit yet can keep you from dropping your guard.  Stay in the battle - or lose the battle.  AA has a phrase, “One day at a time”, it comes from knowing that the battle has to be fought everyday, and that it's never over — there's alway today.  Keep pressing on!

I hope this helps someone

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