Guide to Changing Habits in the New Year

Did you know you can sell all or a portion of a life insurance policy, even term insurance?

(2 minute read)

There are many guides and step-by-step processes to changing an unhealthy or unwelcome habit. Every expert agrees that breaking or evolving a habit is about process and repetition. No one can transform overnight. But some of the steps we discuss here might help you get started and see results in as little as a week.

How to Start Changing a Habit

The first step to changing a habit is understanding why you carry it out—the reward you get from the habit. Habits we don’t want like biting our nails or smoking do give us something, even if we don’t notice. It might be something physical, like nicotine from smoking, or emotional, like the relief from anxiety provided by biting fingernails. Or, maybe the reason the habit is hard to change is because of something else. Smoking means getting up to go outside. If that is the part you like about the habit, understanding that will be key to changing. Replacing an old habit with a new one is a lot easier than just cutting the habit out of your life. If you can find a new habit to replace the old, you will have a better chance of success.

What Habits Are Easier to Change?

Research into habits and learned behavior has taught us that some habits are easier to learn and change than others. Habits that involve something physical are easier to learn and get in the practice of. For instance, in a Psychology Today article, Susan Weinschenk notes that if you want to start an intellectual habit like reflecting on your goals each morning, you should add a physical element like a whiteboard or planner. Weinschenk observes that stronger habits are related to visual or auditory cues, like a light changing color or the sound that goes off with your text messages. Think about how to use those biological facts to your advantage.

How to Create a Good Habit

In his New York Times bestselling book Atomic Habits, James Clear describes a framework he calls the Four Laws of Behavior Change, the keys to creating a good habit:

  • Make it obvious
  • Make it attractive
  • Make it easy
  • Make it satisfying

He then invites us to work backwards and make our bad habits invisible, ugly, difficult, and unrewarding. This will make it far easier to choose a new, good habit instead.

Weinschenk shared an example along these lines in her Psychology Today article of someone who wants to go for walks after work instead of slumping on the couch with a soda. Her advice is to put the walking clothes and shoes right by the door, and to change immediately after getting home from work. Doing this for a week will recondition your response to walking through the door and help you forget the couch and soda. Do it longer, and you might just be on your way to a habit.

Of course, setting goals and changing habits is easier with structure and a clear, written plan you can refer to, something physical to look at. If that sounds helpful to you, consider downloading our Goals-Setting Guide and Worksheet to put some shape around what’s next in your personal or professional growth.

Did you know you can sell all or a portion of a life insurance policy, even term insurance? Selling an unwanted life insurance policy is no different than selling your car, home or any other valuable asset that will create immediate cash. Contact us today to learn more.

Leo LaGrotte
Life Settlement Advisors
llagrotte@lsa-llc.com
1-888-849-0887

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