This week, Counsellor Sarah Barr focuses on how to end bad habits and create new positive habits in our life.

Habits, we all have them, good ones and bad ones.

Firstly let’s define habits. Habits are the small decisions you make and actions you perform every day. According to research carried out at Duke University, habits contribute to 40 percent of our behaviours every day.

The formation of habits is a process by which new behaviours become automatic. Old habits are difficult to break, as these habits or types of behaviour are usually performed every day and therefore etched into our minds. However through repetition new habits can be formed.

All behaviour is driven by the want or desire to solve a problem.

Sometimes we want to gain something that feels good (such as that hot cup of coffee in the morning). Other times the problem is that you are experiencing pain and want to relieve it.

The above process is a loop that is happening continuously. We make these decisions based on past experiences and they are made so quickly. 

Awareness is key in this process. As we are not always aware of our habits, after years of mental programming we automatically fall into these patterns of thinking and behaving over and over again.

How to create positive habits:

  1. Make it obvious. Become aware of the habit you wish to break and the new habit you want to create.
  2. Make it attractive. Sell it to yourself, after all we don’t want to do something that does not make us feel good.
  3. Make it easy. If you are creating a new habit but it is difficult, chances are you will give up. Make sure your new habit is achievable.
  4. Make it satisfying. If you do not gain satisfaction or a sense of achievement from the new habit you are trying to create you may give up on following it through.

It is believed it can take up to 66 days to create a new habit, so give yourself time.

Take care, Sarah.


Don’t forget about the New Beginnings Mammy Retreat – coming to Letterkenny’s Silver Tassie Hotel in February 2019!