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How To Change A Behavior In 5 Simple Steps

Addiction and alcoholism are often referred to as behavioral disorders, along with many disorders which can be co-occurring. Behaviors are not permanent defects of character but challenges to be changed and overcome.

  1. Become Aware Of What Needs To Change:Our behaviors are multifaceted and multilayered. Few things about human beings, what they do, how they feel, and the ways they behave, are surface level. We are complex beings who are being imprinted upon from the moment they are conceived. You can probably recognize on the surface what needs to change in your life. Frustratingly, you try to change it time and again to no avail. Trying to change a tree by cutting off its leaves will never work. You have to uproot the tree and plant an entirely new one. Such is the case with changing a behavior. Simply trimming around the surface of the behavior won’t get to the root of the problem where the true change can take place. Take time to investigate what this behavior is, where you think it came from, and why you’ve held onto it for so long. Often, behaviors, even negative ones, have some kind of a reward. Despite the fact that these behaviors cause us harm and hurt in some way, we persist in continuing to execute them. Working with a therapist can help you identify these behaviors and conduct a thorough investigation into them.
  2. Challenge The Behavior As It Is:Using the example of the tree, without heavy machinery, it is hard to uproot an entire tree. Before you start digging, take a look at the tree as it is and start to challenge it. Though you’ll have to get to the roots, pulling the tree apart will be effective in changing it entirely, as a step by step process. Start with the words you use, the reactions you have, the feelings you notice before, during, and after this behavior. One branch at a time, you’ll dissect the behavior and begin to change.
  3. Synthesize Your Intentions With Your Actions:Unbeknownst to most who engage in self-help or life-changing books, programs, and even recovery, is that intentions are equally important to change as the actions. Without an authentic and concise intention, you’ll be doing all this work for the wrong reasons. When there isn’t a solid connection between intention and action, the action tends to fall short of its potential. What are your intentions about changing this behavior? Is it self-centered or is it for the better good of everyone in your life? Are you making this change for yourself or are you making it for someone else? Do you feel you need to change because someone told you or because you recognize a fault in your character?
  4. Make The Change:Change doesn’t happen all at once, but action does. You can spend months, even years, talking about making a change, investigating a behavior, and lamenting about how badly this behavioral change needs to occur. It will only start to change once you start to change it.
  5. Reflect On What Happens When You Take Action:The results will commence immediately once you start to take action with your behaviors. Remember how resistant you were to change? How hard you thought it might be? Your fears about never really changing? Reflect on how drastically you have seen changes in yourself and keep in mind that you have the capacity to grow, change, and evolve.

Are you ready to make a change in your life? Addiction and alcoholism can become dangerous behaviors if they continue to grow. It is possible to make this change. Enlightened Solutions has the way. For information on our partial care programs for men and women, contact us today.

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