Changing your habits and behaviour – make it easier by asking yourself these 3 questions


by Tracy Ward, Your Catalyst for Change

What would you like to change?

We all have things in life that we would like to change whether it is what we eat, our fitness regime or the way we shout at the kids when they press that button.  Yes, you know the button I’m referring to!

Change is such a simple word and yet sometimes it can be the hardest thing to do!  When a habit is ingrained or one that you have followed for a long time, it can be very difficult to change that behaviour.

Think about when you get dressed which sock you put on first or which leg you put in your pants first and then try and do the other leg.  It seems so alien doesn’t it?  That’s because it’s a strategy that you have been employing for a long, long time.  When it comes to other behaviours it can be even more difficult.

All of our behaviours serve an important purpose.  You may not understand what they are and they may be outmoded but there is always some form of benefit to us; a deeper emotional benefit.  To be able to change behaviour, it is not enough to logically say “I must go to the gym” or “I’m going to stop eating cake” or “No more shouting at the kids” we need to find the emotional trigger to support you to change and ensure that the original purpose is still met.


Before you embark on any change ask yourself these 3 questions to aid success:-

  1. Why do you want to change? Ask yourself what is the reason or purpose to change.  You may think that it is obvious to want to be more healthy (the logical reason) and then we miss the real emotional attachment for change.  So think about how you will be when you have made this change – what will you see, what will you hear and what will you feel?  How will you know that you have made the change successfully? What will others say to you?
  2. What does the current behaviour do for you? Ask yourself what do you enjoy about your current behaviour that you won’t be able to do? How could this current behaviour be of benefit to you or others around you? What are you not doing that you don’t want to do and would have to do if you changed your behaviour?
  3. How can I make the change easier? Ask yourself what one step can I take towards this change? What small steps can I take on the right path rather than a complete overhaul? Who can keep me accountable?  Or even better, who can keep me company?

Once you have answered these questions carefully and honestly and once you embark on the journey of change, it is important to remember the 3 P’s:-

Patience – We are a culture requiring instant gratification and so if we cannot change immediately we may give up.  Remember change will only happen at the pace that is right for you.  So be gentle on yourself and have compassion if there are a few slip ups on the way.

Persistence – If the change is worth doing, it is worth persisting.  It can feel uncomfortable and when it feels like that, focus a little more on those feelings and you will be amazed what you can learn about yourself which will actually help you on your change journey.

Perseverance – It is natural for there to be setbacks and in those times notice the progress you are making rather than focus on the setback and consider your personal change as being about continuous improvement and moving cloer to your goal every day.

So what do you want to change? What have you tried to change or have put off because it seems too difficult?

Remember, changing behaviours can be easy.  There is no magic wand but with the right purpose and motivation you can put change in motion and once you start and you notice the benefits and reap the rewards, it becomes easier and easier!

Tracy Ward, Your Catalyst for Change