If you want to make a lasting change in any area of your life, apply these three steps.
1. Become more conscious
2. Create a conscious habit
3. Course Correct
Become more conscious
Consciousness is another word for awareness. Where ever you struggle in life, whether it be in your leadership, your finances, or your relationships, you must increase your awareness if you want to eliminate the problem. Awareness is just the first step. Knowledge alone does nothing but alert you to the problem. The next step is action.
Create a conscious habit
In orde to faciliate change you need action, in the form of a new habit. When you first create a new habit you have to think hard about changing the habit. That is because your subconscious programming is in place until you reprogram. Reprogramming requires you to create a new habit, one which eventually will become part of your unconscious programming. For example, when I first started using cloth bags to do my grocery shopping, about 80 percent of the time, I forgot to grab the cloth bags until I was half way through the store with groceries in the cart. I kept making promises to myself that eventually the new habit would sink in, after all, I was aware of what I wanted to change. My change did not become pemanent until I decided to course correct every time my old programming took over.
When you start a new habit, you may find yourself even three or four months later slipping back into old programming. This is your perfect opportunity to course correct. Even after a full year of using cloth bags at the grocery store, occasionlly I would go to a different store, or change up my routine and sure enough, I would forget and leave the cloth bags in the car.
What changed this old programming once and for all, was to immediately course correct. That’s right. Even in the middle of shopping, once I realized I had left the bags in the car, I trudged out to the car to retrieve the bags.
Why? Because I know if I keep making excuses, eventually I will get out of the new habit that is not yet completely programmed. If I experience a little discomfort by making myself course correct the moment I recognize the problem, then I am more likely to create a solid habit that eventually becomes second nature.