Four quick steps to changing unhelpful habits

You can picture the scene; you made yourself a promise that you wouldn’t do/say that again. And yet, there it is again, that behaviour or thought pattern seemingly outwith your control. These old habits can die hard, no matter how many times we name them. So, how can you learn quickly and easily to change your response?

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) offers many effective solutions, most of which work best when you work alongside a qualified practitioner. However, I’ve written four quick steps below; when you follow them, it’s good to know you’ll find it easier to change these habits.

1. Think carefully about the unhealthy habit you’d like to change, really see the detail of it. This bit’s important, so take a moment to do this in depth. You might have to repeat the process to get it very clear. Give it a name (I’ll call it A here).

2. Once you’ve clearly got this, take your attention to the behaviour you’d like to replace it with. Again, feeling the colours and breadth of your new, helpful story, give it a name (I’ll call it B here). You’ll feel in a very positive state; really focus on yourself doing this new behaviour; see where you are, notice sensations in your body - what can you hear?

3. Put the two clear images side by side, as if on a screen.

4. Then, imagine A fading away really quickly, and B become even clearer, and stronger, moving to the place of A. Your whole ‘screen’ is now taken up with the thoughts and feelings and everything associated with B.

Have you noticed how good that feels yet? When you practice this a number of times, you’ll find that each time makes it quicker and easier to find a stronger and stronger B image. Over time, this new helpful habit will start to become automatic. 

If you’d like help running this swish pattern, a qualified NLP Practitioner will easily be able to help you.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Prudhoe, Northumberland, NE42
Written by Tracey Hutchinson, MSc, NLP MPrac, Happy Brain Coach/Trainer, Advanced Hypnosis
Prudhoe, Northumberland, NE42

Tracey is an experienced coach, trainer, and facilitator who is successfully helping people make positive and permanent change across all areas of life. When you're ready to find out how easily and quickly Tracey can help you find your best self, contact her @Tracey_Hutch or at or

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