Roadblocks to Change

As a teen, my mission in life was to never be like my father. The worst day of my life was the day I realized I was just like him. That was the day I realized I had to do more than think I wanted to be different…I had to do something to become different…and that is how my worst day has now become my best day. There are four Roadblocks to Change, the first being the 90% Rule; we have a 90% chance of being just like our parents. It is a combination of DNA and our childhood environment. Quotes like, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” “From one generation to the next,” and “History repeats itself,” all refer to the 90% rule.

When I decided to change, I put all my focus on my “habits,” which is the second Roadblock to Change. If we are going to change – this is the place where all change happens. You must change your habits. NASA discovered it takes between 27 – 29 days for the brain to rewire itself with a new habit or behavior. That’s where the idea that it takes thirty consecutive days to integrate a new habit comes from. The keyword here is — consecutive. NASA also discovered that if you miss a day (let’s say — day twenty-five), the system in the brain collapses, and you’ve got to start over. So how does one go about doing this successfully?

Make a 30-day checklist! 

As an example, let’s say you want to change the habit of procrastinating or putting things off until the last minute. The first step is to focus on what you want. The opposite of putting things off is to take action or do it now.” On my checklist would be a line or box that says, “Do It Now.” At the end of each day I check the box or put a number in the box to show me how many consecutive days I have completed. If I realize I did not follow through on my commitment, I now have the opportunity to do it now. We call this setting yourself up to win. You arrived at the end of your day and realized you still have a chance to do it now! I bet you will.

I need to close a loop here because some of you are thinking he said there were four roadblocks. Roadblock number three is the four-letter “F” word, and it is not food…it is fear. Which is the number one reason people don’t change and stay stuck. Rather than deal with the fear or anxiety, many use roadblock number four, which is distraction or medication. We have to ask ourselves, “How do I distract or medicate myself, so I do not have to deal with changing and becoming my best?” Success Tip: Put all your focus on Roadblock #2, for that is where change takes place.

 
 

The WOW Coalition is a prevention association that promotes safe and healthy choices and responds to problems caused by alcohol, marijuana and Rx abuse by implementing strategies to prevent and reduce youth substance use. For additional information visit wowcoalition.org or contact at (623) 208-3230 or email: larry.tracey@wowcoalition.org.

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