I hope you’re in a mindset where you feel like you can and will change your habits. Only you can make that choice.
I also want you to realize that there are some things that are influencing your possibilities for habit-change in really negative ways—these things are really important to eliminate.
There are many different reasons why you may not have been able to change your habits like you’ve wanted to, to this point. One sticking point could be your environment—the things you’re surrounded with. Also consider the people you surround yourself with.
Let's talk about your environment first. Have you ever noticed that when you start something new, or travel, or start a new job, or move to a new home or a new city, that it's easier to start new habits? Maybe you found it difficult to concentrate in your pervious work environment, but you found your productivity skyrocket when you were able to work undisturbed from home.
Maybe you weren't exercising enough when you lived in a big city, but you found it easier once you moved out to the country. Or maybe the opposite was true for you... maybe you found it difficult to exercise when you had to drive everywhere, but living in the city has turned you fit because you have to walk everywhere and you have a whole new mindset about fitness.
The fact is that your environment has a lot to do with what you do each day and with how easy (or not) it is for you to reach your goals. While you might not be ready to move away or start a new job right now, there are some things you can do to shake up your environment so you can change your habits.
There are things in your environment that you can manipulate so you can change your habits. This can actually be pretty exciting. As hard as it is to deal with change, there are some things that will probably help you to change.
Maybe you find it really difficult to get all of your work done each day. What is it about your environment that's contributing to this? Maybe it's too loud and too many coworkers are stopping by to chat with you.
Maybe you can't concentrate because you often have to drop everything you're doing to attend meetings. There are definitely things about your environment in this scenario that you can change. You might first ask if you can telecommute from home some days. Then, you can consider getting headphones that have an external noise-muffling feature.
Perhaps you can choose to host or attend meetings just once a week, with the rest of the time focused on using email or instant messaging to discuss the little things that don't really warrant having their own meeting.
Are you a sports fan? I am. It happens so often that a player with great talent isn’t doing well for his team, and he gets traded from one team to another, and suddenly he catches fire. It’s often said that it was the “change of scenery” that made the difference for him, and that’s what I’m talking about here. Changing your scenery changes your mindset and opens up new and exciting opportunities and habits.
Maybe you can’t do that if you work for an employer, but you can do subtle things to change your scenery. Tidy up your work area and desk. Get a plant. Change the position of the furniture if there’s enough room, maybe you can look away from the doorway if it’s distracting rather than straight at it. Little things mean a lot sometimes.
If you change your environment, you can change your life. Make your workday less distracting and you'll probably be distracted less, as a habit. That can make it easier to break your habit of wandering around and chatting all day at work, or of wasting time on Internet sites because you're constantly finding your concentration broken.
Or, consider your health goals. Do you have a habit of grabbing a donut for breakfast every day or of eating a lot of junk food and candy when you really aren't supposed to because you’re so darn hungry and don’t have any self-control?
If you do, then you need to change your environment to make it easier for you to change your habits. If your habit is to eat that donut in the morning, don't buy the donuts and don't buy the junk food in the first place. If you don't make that food available in your environment, then you won't fall prey to it in your weakest moments.
There are a million different scenarios here. Consider which of your habits you're desperate to change. Consider which life goals are most important to you. When you do that, you can then figure out what it is about your environment that's contributing to the bad habits. Change those things about your environment right now while you're feeling strong and willing. Then, when you're feeling weak or even forget about all the habit change you're supposed to be attempting, you'll find it so much easier to keep going.
In addition to your environment, there are people in your life who affect your habit change. If you are surrounding yourself with negative people or people who don't think you can achieve your goals, then you're probably going to find it extremely difficult to change.
If people who are always slacking off at work and who are constantly distracting you surround you, then it's going to be more difficult to change your own habits. If people at work who are highly dedicated and productive surround you, it's going to be easier for you to change your habits for the better.
Just as when you examine your environment to figure out what you could change, you need to do the same when it comes to figuring out who you should be surrounding yourself with. There are big things you want to do in your life.
If someone doesn't want to support you or believe in you, then you simply can't let that person in. Don't let them in at all if you can help it. If they are a close family member or friend, then you need to limit your interactions related to your goals and habit change. You need to put up a barrier if it’s necessary.
Don't let someone with poor health and eating habits sabotage you when you're trying so desperately to change. Don't surround yourself with people who constantly think the sky is falling if you're trying to succeed with a new business.
Surround yourself with people who will encourage you. Read stories of people who have come from a position similar to your own to change their habits and do better in life. Seek motivational stories and strategies wherever you can. There are people online who are seeking to change their habits and better their life-- seek them out.
The environment you're in and the company you keep has a lot to do with how easy or difficult it is for you to change your habits. Be mindful of this as you move forward.
Change your environment to facilitate positive habit change. Surround yourself with people who motivate you and show you that it is possible to change. Surround yourself with people who are going to help you change and succeed. Ignore the negativity-- it's not worth letting it into your life.