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5 Steps to Change a Negative Pattern

Changing my pattern - removing the negative

5 Steps for Changing a Negaitve Pattern

Everyone has something that they want to be better at. Often times, making a positive change simply takes a push in the right direction. Here are five steps you can take to change the negative pattern in your life that is holding you back from success.

Over the Canada Day long weekend, I was listening to Anthony RobbinsGet the Edge audio program once again. Although I didn’t know at the time, I accidentally had my iPod on random which resulted in a very interesting order of the chapters. I started out from the beginning, but quickly jumped into a section about changing your pattern and identifying new behaviors. (Don’t worry, I did figure it out fairly quickly!)

One great example he had was of a person who changed their concept of food – identifying it simply as fuel for the body rather than purely for pleasure – and lost over 100 pounds in the process. Closer to home, one of my good friends has recently taken up running resulting in the loss of over 60 pounds. Amazing results from a small mind change.

For years I have enjoyed playing competitive sports so I recently signed up to join our corporate team in both Soccer (see my Monday Night Soccer Series) and Ultimate Frisbee. Last year, when I joined the team, it was extremely difficult play while feeling out of shape. I simply wasn’t performing at a high level. With this in mind, and adding further inspiration from my brother, I decided that it was time to add something more into my own life.

With a new motivation and using what I had heard in the audio program, I set out to get back into game shape. Often times on the weekend, I would come home and laziness would hit me. I would get really tired and be unable to concentrate (or even hold my eyes open.) My first instinct was to hit the couch, throw my arm up over my eyes and have a nice long sleep. Although it felt great, it sure wasn’t very motivating and actually drained my energy. There it was, I had identified one specific behavior – the afternoon nap – as an unproductive action that needed to change.

This one change has changed weak time into powerful, motivating time. It’s a simple replacement but an important first step.

I decided to replace that feeling of lazy sleepiness by doing the opposite. I added energy through running. Now, when I get the urge to lay down and rest, I turn it back around, go upstairs, put on my shoes and go for a run. Although I’ve started small, no more than 2 to 3 km, I know it’s just a starting point. Although I wouldn’t call it a habit yet, seeing how much better I feel and knowing how easy it is will help make this a regular part of my routine.

One big difference with this pattern change is that I’ve involved all of my family. With the support of my wife and kids, all it takes is one look from any of them and I’m shifted away from my old behavior and into my workout clothing. I’m actually looking forward to the day that my mind goes to running when I’m tired rather than straight to the couch.

Final thoughts

Making a change like this seems very difficult at first; however, once I realized that it was simply a replacement of a negative behavior with a positive one the transition seemed much easier. Even better, at one time, unless I set the timer, my naps could last 30 minutes to over an hour. Now, I’m able to go and run for anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes – saving time in the process – and make a huge positive influence in my health and in my life.

Go back through the list that I’ve just written, identify one negative action that’s wasting your time or not benefiting you physically or mentally. Next look for something that you really want to achieve, and make the swap. Just a little bit every day will make huge difference.