We are creatures of habit.

We tend to do the same the things over and over. We tend to follow patterns and rituals. Traditions are a way of life for us.

Many of these habits are subconscious. We don’t think about them…any more. At first, we consciously do something. But, over time, it becomes second nature to us.

Take driving, for example. When you first started to learn to drive, you had to consciously think about each step in the process. You had to remind yourself to check your mirrors, put the car into drive, take your foot off of the brake, and press on the accelerator slowly (except for Chris LoCurto on the race track!)… After a little time, though, you didn’t have to think about those steps any more. You began to do those things subconsciously.

This is true for all of your habits. They start out hard. You have to do them on purpose if they are going to get done. But soon, it becomes a habit.

What about those bad habits we have? Those went through the same process. They took work at first. They were uncomfortable. But you started to get used to them.

But now you want to break that habit and start a new one. It’s not an easy process, but here’s some steps to help:

1. Acknowledge that it needs to change. They say that the first step to recovery is to acknowledge it. You may already be here, but it needs to be done.

2. Identify what specifically needs to change. You can’t change something that is vague. You must narrow it down. You need to know what it looks like and what triggers it. Figure out how to avoid it.

3. Get an accountability partner. It’s never easy trying to do this alone. Have someone help you. They may not have all the answers, but they can at least keep you accountable.

4. Get some advice and direction. You can get advice from someone directly or by reading blogs and books. I’ve started reading “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey to help me get some direction.

5. Keep at it! It’s not going to be easy. Changing habits takes hard work and dedication (Click to Tweet that!). So, don’t quit!

Are you needing to change some of your habits? Have you changed some habits recently? What has helped you?