Anyone who has tried to break themselves of a habit understands how difficult it can be. There are psychological, physical, and chemical aspects involved. Sometimes separating ourselves from bad or undesired habits can be just a matter of education and awareness. Other times this separation can be absolutely torturous for mind and body. It has been shown in clinical studies that it takes about 3 or 4 weeks for our mind to accept a new behavior and make it part of our normative programming.
When I came across this notion of the necessity of "reprogramming" our minds to break us free from bad habits, it really was the first time that I thought about it in this light. In my life, when I have worked to break free of bad habits, my reprogramming normally takes several distinct steps:
- Awareness of the problem.
- Understanding of the impacts of the habit on my life.
- A resolve to make a change.
- Development of a strategy for victory.
- Attempt to change and subsequent setbacks.
- Modification of strategy.
- Vigilant personal monitoring and attention.
- Change accepted by mind and body.