The “Habit Change” Challenge


Have you ever stopped momentarily and thought something like, “I’d better stop doing ‘that’ OR my relationship/my career/my friendship/my bank balance may not be able to sustain itself!”?  I have to admit that I have BUT only seriously done anything about ‘it’ when the situation has become intolerably painful – for me!  Even then I’ve thought things like, “This is ME take me or leave me!” or even, “Why must I change, this is who I am!”

And,  to be frankly honest, I have never seen these ‘little’ thoughts and behaviours as ‘habits’ – well not until I was introduced to a book titled “The Habit Change Workbook” (authors Claiborn and Pedrick).


The ‘Workbook’ quotes the following definition of ‘habit’ found in Webster’s New World Dictionary (1991):

a)   A thing done often and hence, usually, done easily; practice; custom;

b)   Pattern of action that is acquired and has become so automatic that it is difficult to break.


Then to make matters even more intense it seems we’re rather an interesting mix of both ‘good’ and ‘bad/negative’ habits … and our ‘good’ habits could become ‘bad’ if taken to excess and then some ‘bad’ habits could be seen as acceptable, even helpful!


Golly, we humans are an interesting lot! Even more interesting are those ‘thoughts’ that seem to ‘secretly’ and ‘silently’ race around our heads  … we’re seldom even aware we have these ‘automatic’ thoughts, never mind pausing long enough to challenge them. It seems that these ‘thoughts’ just could be the ‘habit’ that is stopping us from

  • overcoming our negative, automatic actions/behaviours;
  • achieving our goals;
  • realising our dreams.

I’m not sure about you but IF you are anything like me and want to enjoy life more and want to be  the best ‘you’ that you can be – body, mind and soul/spirit – then allowing unwanted, unrecognised, unchallenged habits to high-jack your chances is just plain silly!


So, where to start? And, believe me, this is no simple exercise but since I find it ‘fun’ finding out what makes me ‘tick’  identifying my ‘habits’ was a good place to have a chuckle at myself… and I am going pass on this challenge to you.

The “Discover Your Habits” Challenge

  1. Get yourself a little pocket book that fits easily into your handbag (if you are a ‘girl’) or that pocket  in your jacket or back of your trousers (if you are a ‘guy’).
  2. Consciously become aware of those repetitive thoughts and/or behaviours .  How?
    1. You could spend some time in prayer or meditation;
    2. You could wake half an hour earlier than you usually do, sit with your journal open and write your thoughts and as they pop into your ‘awareness’;
    3. You could ask someone you trust! Someone who won’t see this as an opportunity to rip your character apart!
    4. Don’t analyse; justify; become defensive  or play the ‘blame-game’ … JUST WRITE!