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Behavioral Patterns: This is why changing behavior is so difficult

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Behavioral patterns determine all of life

The time at which your alarm clock rings, what you have for breakfast, whether it is tea or coffee, which radio station is on, which way you take to work, which tasks you work on in which order, how you start your evening, whether and when you go to exercise or whether you are sitting on the couch at home, watching TV or reading something. All of these and countless other aspects of your daily routine will go through established behavior patterns certainly.

Such habits and routines are there to make your life easier. So you don't need to worry about many things anymore, the decisions are made unconsciously and you still feel good about them. On the other hand, this also means that the Behavior patterns you firmly in control to have.

Do not you believe? Even the smallest and most unimportant changes just feel wrong. Just try it out for yourself. At home, sit on the other side of the couch and not in the place where you always make yourself comfortable. Want even less important? Cross your fingers as if you were praying. The thumbs are crossed on top of each other - and now you swap the upper and lower thumb, contrary to your typical behavior.

Already this one smallest possible change causes discomfort for many people and the desire to bring the thumbs back into the usual position. It doesn't take much imagination to get an idea of ​​how difficult it is to make big changes in comparison, such as the desire to go from being a couch potato to a regular athlete, to change and improve your own diet over the long term, or to break new ground in your career go and leave the comfortably furnished comfort zone.

But why can we not from your own skin and change our behavior even after making the decision that we would like to?

Why is it so difficult to change behavior patterns?

Smokers like to be considered Prime example of bad behavior used because it can also demonstrate how seldom it is possible to break out of the routine. However, in this case addiction, i.e. an actual physical dependence, plays a major role that cannot simply be ignored. It is better to deal with real habits and behavior patterns that are just as difficult to get rid of.

The most common cause cited when trying to explain why behavior change just won't work is one Lack of self-discipline. If it didn't work out with good intentions and you have relapsed into old behavior, you have to listen to the fact that you did not have the necessary discipline and that it was entirely your fault.

Self-control and perseverance are only part of the truth, because you also need the right strategy and approach in order to be able to change behavior patterns in the long term. The biggest problem with this is that it is deeply anchored human endeavors for behavioral patterns and habits. These give structure and, above all, security. The unpredictable is avoided, we move on the paths we already know and have under control.

That even leads to the fact that we ourselves Manipulate changes in behaviorto be able to get back to the routine. Suddenly it is no longer possible to go to sport because something urgent has come up, there is simply no time for healthy cooking or new perspectives may open up in the job after all, so the change in job should not be rushed.

You subconsciously contribute to restoring the original status quo of security, stability and comfort and wellbeing. This is the starting point, yours very personal normalitythat makes up your life. Fortunately, there are ways to reach a new zero and still change behavior patterns sustainably.

Changing behavior patterns: reaching your goal step by step

Whoever wants to break his behavioral pattern has to be ironclad Sometimes things change drasticallyset yourself big goals and persevere even when there are difficulties. Motto: If you want to change something, do it quickly and stay on the ball. This can work, but requires even more discipline and carries the particularly high risk that you will fall back into familiar behavior after a short time.

That’s behind it Paradox of behavior change Here, too, the starting point mentioned above plays a major role. If you try to establish an enormous change in one fell swoop, you are moving very far away from what you have previously known as normal - also from the area in which you feel comfortable and secure. The stronger is the need and the urge to go back there and reverse the change.

An easy Example for clarification: Imagine you would like to start jogging in order to be more active and to build up a good condition. You are motivated, want to achieve the new lifestyle as quickly as possible and forget old patterns of behavior. This is how you lace up your running shoes for the first time and try to run a marathon right away. Will you go far? Hardly likely. You may even injure yourself, feel overwhelmed and give up in exasperation.

This representation is of course exaggerated, but the principle behind it still applies. You can achieve lasting changes in your behavioral patterns more easily if you don't start with a giant leap, but instead take small steps.

Take a look at your behavior so far and first set yourself a small goal that you can make your personal normality. So create a new starting point piece by piece and move closer to the big and long-term goal. At the same time, you keep the risk of slipping into old habits to a minimum.

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