We all have those things we do that we would like to change. I know I do, the list is actually quite long. And if like me you have such a list it is so easy to get into a routine of self doubt, guilt and shame around the inability to make the positive healthy changes we know would benefit us and our life. In my life the biggest most glaring item on my list is my lack of exercise. I can seriously get into my stuff on this one. The guilt spiral runs deep and it has become a huge block of beating myself up (mentally) about my inability to commit to myself, my body etc etc etc. It has got so bad that when my wonderfully supportive man Mr T tries to suggest ways in which I could easily exercise he is more likely to get his head bitten off by my impression of the tasmanian devil than receive the (rightfully deserved) gratitude he should get for his support and care. In short it’s become an issue. A lifestyle habit I want to change and yet don’t seem to be able to make that shift. Until that is until this week.
I was doing so research into new coaching techniques and I stumbled upon a fantastic video by the energetic coach Jeannine Yoder on 4 questions that really investigate the blocks behind our reluctance to change in a powerful and insightful way. The technique is built upon the premise that any behaviour INCULDING negative behavior gives a form of positive benefit and value to our lives. It’s so logical. If we didn’t get something out of the behaviour we wouldn’t keep doing it. The NLP technique she described in her video is based upon 4 questions to help you analyse your behaviour from this perspective of positive value instead of negative judgement which makes the change so much easier to make because you come from a place of wholeheartedly accepting the change. I was blown away
I immediately implemented this technique into my coaching and my own development. Especially using it to look at the mental blocks I had to exercising more in my life. I tweaked and developed the technique a little (as every coach does). And I now have this effective and brilliant formula for handling reluctance to change and smashing through the blocks to changing out negative behaviours which can be easily applied to anything you want to change. Already through my own experiences and my clients experiences in using this techniques during this week I have been amazed at how effective it is in manifesting new habits for change in a personally created bubble of motivation and I couldn’t wait to share it with you all.
So if you want to make a change in your life and are struggling to do so here are 6 easy steps you can manifest a new behaviour that serves you and your life
Step 1: The positive things
Ask “ What are the positive things that this behaviour is providing for you? “
Dig deep and find out what it is you get from this behaviour. I was extremely shocked when I discovered a benefit for me of not doing exercise was that it gave me the opportunity not to fail. I did not see that one before. This thought process really helped me get clear around why I liked not to exercise.
Step 2: All the benefits
Ask “ What else do you get out of this choice? What are all the benefits? “
Dig even deeper and make a list of all the benefits this behaviour gives you. Keep writing them down until you can seriously not find more. My list was challenging to drag out. It took some big self admissions and yes it hit that pile of self doubt and shame. However rather than going there I kept going motivated in the knowledge I was being proactive to resolve the dramas and challenges I had.
Step 3: Keeping benefits
Now look at that list and ask yourself “ Which of these benefits do you want to keep? “
Some of these benefits are things you really don’t want to let go of. For me with the exercise I knew that I needed to keep the benefits of affordability, giving myself time, the experience of not failing and the lack of pressure on myself. Circle these benefits in your list so you can really see what is most important to you. These are the positive needs of your habit.
Step 4: Meeting positive needs
Now ask “ In what ways can you meet each identified positive need? “
This is the behaviour changing part. You now look at each positive need and workout how to fulfill that need by positive behaviour. So I had to identify a form of exercise that I could easily put into my schedule, didn’t pressure me and that I would enjoy to give me a successful experience of exercise. Make a list of ideas of all the ways you can fulfill your positive needs in a healthy and beneficial way.
Step 5: Embracing change
Identify “ Which behaviour can you wholeheartedly embrace? “
Change doesn’t happen if you don’t really want it to. You have to feel in your heart of hearts that this is right for you. So from you list of ideas circle the ones that you really feel you can wholeheartedly set into action. Follow the feeling in your stomach, if something makes you feel reluctant then don’t choose it now, it maybe that you come back to it. I had written down thai chi as a potential exercise form that might work for me however it doesn’t feel right for me yet so I have chosen this. Going for walks however is definitely an option.
Step 5: Manifestation
Lastly ask “What positive actions do I need to take to create my new habits? “
The last step is simply a list of the actions and agreements you make with yourself on how to move forward and manifest your new habits. So for me putting the dates in my diary of when I want to take a walk is a step for example. Make these steps achievable and realistic. If you want to start running don’t have as the first step say sign up for a marathon. A realistic and achievable step would be plan a route and get some running shoes.
As I said before these is my own interpretation of Jeannie Yoder’s NLP technique found here on youtube. My clients and I love it. It brings an objective and fresh perspective and a judgemental free system to create new and beneficial habits that serve us in our lives. I hope you enjoy this process and after you have tried it let me know in the comments the new actions you are going to be taking to make your life a better experience!
Have a happy weekend <3