Here's the rub. We can logically and rationally rant all we want about how we want to change. Unless we get down to those deep layers of thoughts and beliefs that drive our behaviors, though, it's not going to do any good.
YOUGOTTAWANNA is a poster we've had at our office. Applied to this column, it translates into "you have to want to quit the habit more than you want to keep doing it." This applies to all levels - not just those you can logically point to - and it involves a replacement mindset or activity.
Sometimes the "payoff" with procrastination is avoiding pain. We put off a task because we're afraid we'll fail. The fear takes over and pushes out the desire to get into action.
That's why it's so easy for people to "push our buttons." When they say something out loud that we're already internalizing in that chatterbox of our minds, it hits us like a ton of bricks.
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, though, "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission." This permission may or may not be granted. Trust me, though - it's there.
To successfully change a habit, research has shown we need to have a replacement activity ready when the urge hits. Although this is easier said than done, I want to devote the next couple of columns to this mission - with ideas gleaned from renowned psychologists Ellis, Beck and Prochaska - along with those of local professors Ed Woodall and Mary Jo Brick - and e-mails and notes from you about your experiences.
Here are a few of the things we'll be looking into next time:
Feel free to drop me a note or an e-mail about your experiences - or if you'd like a complementary copy of the behavioral chart.
Until next time, I'd like to leave you with two quotes. The ancient Roman poet Ovid noted that "Nothing is stronger than habit." Which brings to mind June Cleaver when she'd caution Ward, "Don't be too hard on the Beav."
Linda Arnold is a certified wellness instructor and founder and chairman of The Arnold Agency, an integrated marketing communications firm in Charleston. Reader comments or questions may be mailed to Linda Arnold, The Arnold Agency, 117 Summers St., Charleston, WV 25301, or e-mail livinglifefu...@arnoldagency.com.