Sunday, February 28, 2016 1:31:00 PM Australia/Sydney

How To Make Or Break A Habit For Life

They say that on average it takes 21 days to make habits stick. Self-hypnosis can help you get there much faster, but if you’re doing it on your own there are some pitfalls you need to be aware of.

When you make a decision to create or break a habit, you need to give yourself the best chance of success by examining your motivation, not biting off more than you can chew and understanding that setbacks aren’t a reason to give up.

If anything’s worth doing it’s worth doing well – so follow my top three steps to creating a new habit and you’ll change your life in no time at all.


ONE: Take Baby Steps

Why people fail to break bad habits

When I set goals with my weight loss clients, I start by asking them what they are willing to do in order to change their current situation.

Let’s take physical exercise, for example. If the client has never followed a consistent exercise regime before, I encourage them to use a gentle approach.

My client Rachel was 15 kilos overweight and feeling distraught as a result. In her early twenties she had been an avid exerciser, often going to the gym 5 or 6 times per week. Along came marriage and kids and it all went out the window, along with her healthy eating plan and pretty much everything that involved taking care of herself.

I said to her: ‘How many times are you willing to go to the gym?’ She replied: ‘Well, I should be going at least 4 times a week’. I said: ‘I don’t care how many times you think you ‘should’ be going, how many days can you reasonably do?’

Rachel was ‘shoulding’ herself and in the process, setting the bar too high. With two kids under 5, there was no way she was going to get to the gym four times a week. So we agreed on a more modest goal that she knew she would be able to stick to.

It’s great to have big dreams; but if they’re so big that you don’t have a hope of fulfilling them, you’ll give up too soon. Start with a modest goal and build up to the bigger one; this way you’re far more likely to create a habit that stands the test of time.

Listen to this short Podcast to learn more:

(Intro music by Longzijun)



TWO: Get Clear On Why You Want to Do This

There’s wanting to do something; and then there’s liking the idea of doing something. The difference between these two concepts is vastly significant.

For example; I like the idea of the beach. I like the smell, the sound of the waves and the beautiful view of the ocean from high up on a balcony.

Yet I don’t like the actual beach itself. It’s sticky and blowy and salty and altogether too much trouble in my opinion. Accordingly, I don't spend much time at the beach.

How to quit smoking with hypnotherapy

So let’s say you want to stop smoking. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why do I want to do this?
  • What is the benefit from doing this?
  • What is the cost of continuing to smoke?

At the end of the day you’ve got to really want it, because breaking a bad a habit can be hard and requires perseverance; therefore the potential gain must be greater than the comfort of staying where you are; otherwise you won’t commit.

Get clear on why you want to create or break your habit, and then commit to getting it done; no matter what.


THREE: Stop Beating Yourself Up

The thing about setting goals is that along the way, there’s no guarantee you won’t fall over. If you think beating yourself up when you experience a setback is going to help things, think again.

Often we think that if we’re not hard on ourselves we won’t achieve anything in life, but this is untrue. You can still be compassionate with yourself while at the same time, taking full responsibility for your life.

A healthy combination of self-compassion and wisdom is the best way to achieve lasting results. So instead of beating yourself up for your mistakes, dust yourself off and keep going.


If you really want to do something, you can. Your subconscious mind is your greatest ally for change, so use it to your advantage whenever you can.

Self-hypnosis is just about the best (and cheapest) tool available to help you make your habits stick for the rest of your life.

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