In life, we develop habits that shape the quality of life. These habits can be good or bad and may create behavioral patterns. How do we know which these habits are? We just need to take a look into our responses to situations regarding our relationships, transitions, goals, or life in general. Do we tend to repeat the same behavior over and over? Do we wonder why we tend to do the same thing even knowing it is not conducive to a positive outcome?

If that is your situation you may have developed a habit which may need your attention. The good news is that you may transform your bad habit into a positive one. It takes 21 days to break a bad habit or develop a new one. What about if you give it a try?

I invite you to write down outcomes in your life which you are not happy about and see if you have developed a pattern in your actions. Remember to revise all your dimensions. Those of you who have worked with me individually or have attended any of my seminars, know that I always include the four dimensions: physical, social, emotional, or spiritual to evaluate the quality of your life.

Once you have identified a pattern, visualize the new habit you want to acquire and focus on the new outcome. Pay attention to each time your old habit is triggered. Take a pause before acting and notice what you are thinking. It may just start by changing your thought process. There are several ways to change a habit. For example, there is a technique we use in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) which is called “Swish” and it helps to destroy the old habit and establish a new one.

The philosophy behind NLP is that as human beings we are moved either by pain or pleasure. As Robert Kilgore says: Two of the main principles of NLP are "We Will Do More to Avoid Pain Than to Obtain Pleasure" and "We Move Toward Pleasure and Away From Pain."

What makes it more interesting is there are two types of people. Those, whose actions are motivated by staying away from pain and others who move towards pleasure. Which kind of person are you? This could give you insights for discovering your behavioral patterns.

The more we know about ourselves the better we can understand our own behaviors.

If we do not understand ourselves, then how would other people understand us?

And Remember...Your Life has Meaning!


Author's Bio: 

Ligia Houben is a specialist in life transitions and transformation. She is a coach, speaker, and certified grief counselor. Ligia has a passion for life and believes all of us are able to fulfill our purpose if we can only change our attitude and beliefs. Her work has been centered in the area of grief and loss, expanding into meaning and growth. Ligia has delivered her message from corporations to hospitals. She works with the bereaved, the person who needs to face a new stage in life, children of aging parents, or people searching for more meaning in their lives. Ligia has appeared in numerous radial and TV shows, including CNN Español, NPR, NBC, and Univisión.

Ligia obtained her B.A. from the University of Miami in Psychology and Religious Studies and a Masters Degree in Religious Studies and Gerontology from Florida International University. She also has a graduate certificate in Loss and Healing from St. Thomas University, a certificate in Thanatology and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Grief Counseling. She is also adjunct professor of Kaplan University, Florida International University, and Miami Dade College where she teaches courses on Ethics, Religion and Death and Dying.
Ligia is the author of the self-help book Transform your Loss. Your Guide to Strength and Hope/ This book contains "The Eleven Principles of Transformation™" which is a system that involves the emotional, spiritual, and cognitive aspects of the person as they face a transition or loss. Ligia created this system of transformation to help people transform their losses and change their lives.