Making Good Plans To Break Bad Habits

Most people know that in order to achieve a goal, they need a plan, but the way they plan is all wrong. Typical plans might look something like this:

  1. Number 1: Save more
  2. Number 2: Spend less

It’s a plan, but it’s a one that’s doomed to failure. It’s too general, too lax, more of a wish than a strategy. Plans that actually help a person realize a goal need to be more detailed. But the beautiful thing is they only need to be slightly more detailed. We’re not talking about a business plan here, complete with pie charts and profit margins, ready to show a banker. A plan for success can be as simple as one sentence.

In the book Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals, Heidi Grant Halvorson Ph.D. writes about the power of if/then statements. Simply put, an if/then statement is a simple plan designed to help you avoid the pitfalls and temptations that get in the way when trying to reach a goal. Instead of simply saying what you want to happen, you spell out exactly how, when, and where you will take the steps necessary to make it happen.

For instance, “I will quit smoking,” becomes, “I will walk around the block when I have a craving for a cigarette.” “Watch less television,” turns into, “At 7:00 pm I will pick up my book and go into the living room to read it.”

Studies show that simple, but specific plans like these have a huge impact on the likelihood of success vs. failure. If you are ready to change your life, then make a specific if/then plan. It is one of the simplest, most effective things you can do to break bad habits, achieve difficult, worthwhile goals, and change your life for the better.

Needed a little mental push and focus to break those habits. How about using some subliminal messages to make those changes last!