Chances are you already know what’s holding you back, you just don’t know how to change it.
If you understand why you’re changing it, then you’re ahead of the pack, you can actually focus on how.
If you haven’t identified why, skip this article for now, come back to it after going through our purpose article.
From a physical perspective, finding a person’s limiting factor is what I spend the majority of my time looking for, and then addressing. What should someone physically be able to do?
Look for a future article on that, this one is for your mental blocks.
Write down the behaviors and habits you feel you have that are holding you back right now.
They can range in significance from smoking to your secret late night carb festivals or as simple as skipping or not skipping breakfast. Writing things down is important, but so is the next actionable step. Next to the limiting factor, write down what you would have to do next to change that behavior or habit.
Then assign it a number value on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being extremely committed, 1 being you can’t possibly see yourself doing it anytime soon) for the level of commitment you are willing to devote at this moment in time towards changing it.
If it’s a 9 out of 10 or higher, start with that behavior or skill according to the most importantly ranked item on your list.
If it’s 8 or lower, put it on the back burner for now.
With the high commitment behaviors/habits, make sure you pick one and one only, don’t attempt to change 2 or 3 things at once (this is a very common mistake that the majority of people make) or you’ll spoil your chances of really turning this thing around.
Changing too much at once overwhelms our subconscious. To protect ourselves, we shut down with a little protective mechanism called, ‘denial.’ At that moment in time, you’ll find yourself making numerous excuses, so don’t let yourself get there and just keep things simple by keeping your focus solely on the one thing you intend to change. Make that change as simple as possible.
At this point, most experts recommend giving yourself at least 21-30 days to create the change but in my experience it’s different for everybody.
It depends on how ingrained the former pattern is/was.
It depends on how significant a pattern is to the process.
It depends on the level of commitment, or the consistency of effort in the change.
Smoking by and large is a much more difficult habit to break than say not eating enough vegetables, and as a result will take you longer to break that pattern of behavior.
When you notice that you no longer need to remind yourself to do something regularly, it’s not yet a habit, though you may be tempted to believe so.
However, it may be safe to move onto something else on your list at that point, observing how well the previous change sticks and returning to it if necessary.
Changing Limiting Factor Considerations:
1) Change one thing at a time.
2) You need to substitute old behaviors with new positive behaviors.
Instead of trying to quit doing something, try doing something else that will force you to quit whatever it is that you want to quit doing. For instance, exercising regularly can often be a strong incentive to quit smoking or eat better.
3) Don’t move on, until you no longer consciously must think about the good behavior you are trying to instill.
4) Plan for relapse and accept adversity.
Know exactly what you’re going to do if by any chance you fall off the wagon (for instance your friend visits from out of town or you go away on holidays) and need to get back on.
Believe you won’t fall off the wagon, but have a plan B. Going through this process more than one time is a surefire way to succeed actually, it makes the new pattern far more ingrained.
*Everyone, in any pursuit has a block of some sort that is setting them back in some way shape or form. If you can identify that block, the behavior, that habit, that lack of skill or other limiting factor, then you can find strategies to overcome it.
This same approach, and the heart of the PIESSEO Theory, can be used for almost any bad habit.