We all do things that we later regret. However the Pandemic has made controlling some of our behaviours harder.
Eating unhealthily: We are home a lot more than normal and food is always available at home. It can be hard to not snack all day long.
Procrastinating: If we are working from home it’s easy to get side-tracked and procrastinate on actually ‘working’
Spending money: With the financial uncertainty ahead of us, we know we should be minimising what we spend and yet we still buy things.
Lacking Motivation: We may have lost our job and we know we should be trying to get another, but it just seems so hopeless, we have no motivation.
Lacking Self control in personal relationships: Partners and children are at home a lot more than normal. Irritations can flare and you end up saying and doing things you later regret.
Nail biting: We know that we shouldn’t be putting our hands to our mouth at present…. and yet we still keep on biting our nails
What you can do
You probably already know how you would like to behave. What will help you to actually do this is information and support.
What information you need depends upon you and your situation; however I can give you a few ideas that will be helpful to most people.
Here they are :
- Make the things you want to do a just little bit easier and the things you don’t want to do just a little bit harder. Example – put the items that are needed to do the behaviour you want to do in full view, and the items that will lead you to do the things you don’t want to do, out of sight ( preferably in a hard to get place).
- Get started in a small way. This is more likely to lead to success than thinking you must do everything . Example : ‘ I just need to answer the first e-mail in my inbox ‘rather than ‘ I need to deal with all the new e-mails in my inbox’. Once we have started something we are a bit like a wheel in motion… we are more likely to keep moving
- Increase motivation. Define the reasons you want to make these changes. How do these reasons link to being the sort of person you want to be.
For example: I want to spend less time on facebook.
Reason: Because then I will go to sleep earlier and then I will get up earlier and be on time for work.
How does being on time for work link to being the type of person I want to be?
I want be someone that others can rely on. The sort of person who says they will do something and then does it. Being on time for work is the type of thing a reliable person would do. So spending less time on facebook will help me become the type of person I want to be.
Research shows that working out our values, then linking the changes we want to make, to our values, results in more successful behaviour change.
- Reasons why you can’t do it !
Practise noticing the little voice in your head that gives you reasons why you can’t make this change.
The minute you commit to doing something challenging, your mind will start coming up with reasons why you won’t be able to do this or shouldn’t do this.
Often they will be variations on the ‘ I’m not good enough’ story
e.g.’ I’ve never been able to do this before so it’s hopeless to even try’,
‘ I’m not very good at doing this sort of thing’
‘ I’ll never be able to change, it’s just the way I am’
Often they will be reasons about why now isn’t the right time to make this change
e.g. ‘ I’m too tired ’,
‘I’m too stressed ‘
‘ I’m too busy’
‘ Right now is not a good time because….., next month things will be better because…’
Your mind will never stop coming up with these reasons.
It is helpful if you ask yourself:
Am I willing to be bossed around by my mind when it gives me reasons why I can’t do this ? (and so put off making any changes)
Or is this change so important that am I willing to carry on and do things differently despite whatever reasons my mind gives me ?
Noticing the reasons your mind tells you, and getting ‘unhooked’ from them takes practise. There are a variety of techniques you can use to help you get ‘unhooked’ from these thoughts.
- Self compassion. When you are changing your behaviour you will make mistakes. You will slip up and go back to doing your old behaviour. When this happens research shows that you are more likely to succeed at changing your behaviour if you are self compassionate. Being kind to ourselves doesn’t come naturally to most of us. We gradually get better at it with practise. An easy way to remember how to be compassionate is to ask yourself this question – if a friend were to make this slip up – what would I say to them to help them recover and keep on trying ?
These five ideas are just some of the things that can help you successfully change your behaviour. There are lots more research based techniques that Cathie can help you to use
What’s your mind saying now? Quite likely it’s telling you that these things won’t work for you – that it would be a waste of time to even try them.
Are you willing to let your mind boss you around with these thoughts? To dictate what you will do ?
Now your mind is likely to be saying ‘But these thoughts are true … I have always failed before.
Whether they are true or not isn’t the question, the question is … if you let these thoughts dictate what you do … will they help you move towards becoming the sort of person you want to be ?
Or is making this change so important that you are willing to have those thoughts, and yet still take action towards change.
If you choose to take action despite what your mind tells you are welcome to contact Cathie for a free session.
Please note if your income has been reduced by Covid-19 by 20 % or more, Cathie will reduce her fees for you by 20 % for personal coaching.