Just the other day, I drove my family down to the Canadaguia National Bank to make some transactions. To me this bank is not your everyday banking institution. It truly is a community oriented bank that prides itself on its customer service. In fact the exterior and the interior reminds you of someone’s home and screams, “welcome,” to all who enter. I walked up to the teller’s window and sat down to conduct my business. If you’ve never banked at one of its branches, there are chairs at each teller’s window. Imagine that you don’t have to stand; that’s what I mean about home. No sooner had I completed my transactions, I realized that I needed to speak with a customer service representative regarding my monthly statement. I approached the Branch Managers office and was immediately welcome by her. She told me to make myself comfortable and I did just that. I was so comfortable that I helped myself to a handful of candies from her desk. I told her that a needed to make some changes to my account, and as she was looking up my information on her ciomputer, I asked if she minded if we exchanged business cards. I take every opportunity to share Wade In The Word with as many people as I come in contact with. In fact, that’s the heading on my business cards, “Spread The Word.”
Our exchanging of business cards sparked up a conversation about last week’s post on the New Year’s resolutions that people make each year. I ask if she thought that most people kept their resolutions and we both agreed that we didn’t think so. I shared that most people’s New Year’s resolutions center around breaking bad habits. That’s when she told me about STOP, START and CONTINUE. She went on to explain how their branch uses this method to encouraged their employees to STOP what’s not working; START what is; and then CONTINUE it. What an amazing, yet simple, strategy for breaking the current of bad habits. This sparked me to then share,my example of the BAIT, the TRAP and the TRIGGER. And, how easily we can be BAITED into unhealthy behaviors, known as TRIGGERS, in an attempt to get our needs met. We can end up becoming TRAPPED in these behaviors that we thought would give us joy, comfort, peace, friendships, _______, _______, _______ … you can fill in the blanks. We hope for freedom but became enslaved instead. Have you ever attempted to break a bad habit and for some time you were doing well but over time you find yourself right back where you started? We so frequently return to these bad habits because when things start getting too tough for us, we tend to return to our default; old behaviors that trapped us in the first place.
If you have decided to make a New Year’s resolution, to change for the better and to break those patterns that have impacted you negatively, you’re making a wise decision. It’s important for us to give serious thought to what started the bad habit in the first place and center our goals around replacing the bad habit with a good one which will meets our needs in a healthy way. Willpower will aide you in reaching your long term goals, but ultimately stopping bad habits requires a change of heart to break free from the trap. To help you along your way, I’d like to share how you can change those bad habits by developing good habits in their place.