At several points in our life there is a dividing line, a fork in the road so to speak. When we come to that place we must make a decision. Believe it or not, though, the decision isn’t the part we should be most concerned about. Leaving the door open to return is what causes people to go back to old ways and habits. In order to never go back, we must learn to shut that door.
When it comes to choosing never to go back, how do we do this? Because there is going to be that temptation to go back, there are going to be those tendencies to go back to old behavior patterns. In the midst of all of those things we must remember no matter where we are at in the process, there is always a choice before us. Two different paths we can take. Think about that for a moment, in fact, close your eyes. Imagine a forest. Tall trees are swaying in the wind, you can see hints of blue sky peaking from the tops of the trees, leaves falling to the ground and turning to fall colors. And right in front of you there are two different paths. You can only choose one. Take a moment and think to yourself, which one would you choose?
It’s so difficult to choose a path and think its the right path, especially when we don’t know what the entire path looks like. But what if I told you that we could pick the right path to go down, and know that it’s the right path? The right path to choose is actually predicated on what we’ve done in our past. Think about that for a moment. What I mean by this is that as you go down a certain path, it will either look like your past of bad decisions or your recent past of making good decisions.
In essence, I am telling you that you can create the path in front of you based on recent decisions you’ve made. If you continue to make poor decisions, there is going to be a path ahead full of consequences of those decisions. But if you make quality, life changing, and healthy decisions, you will have a path in front of you full of the great consequences of those decisions.
Therefore, we need to make the latter decisions and mark out a path we can recognize as good for us to take. And believe it or not, there is a formula to make all of this happen. Even better, its as simple as ABC.
An antecedent is what happens before we do the certain habit or behavior. When it comes to doing an analysis on our habits, we must first look back on how it all played out and look at what we were doing before. Where was I at? What people was I with? Did I put myself in a situation that I knew wasn’t going to be beneficial?
B – Behavior
Next, we look at the actual habit that occurred, in this case the behavior that occurred. The key here is to take a hard, honest look at it and don’t make an excuse for it. It happened, you recognized it, now it’s time to move to C.
C – Consequence
For every action, there is an equal or greater reaction. So it is with our habits. What was the consequence of the behavior? How did it affect you and effect others? Is it long term or short term? By answering these questions, we can see the true results of how it affects our life.
The best way to figure out these habit patterns is to keep track of them. Write them down in your journal, notepad, even a spreadsheet if that’s your sort of thing. By tracking them, you can begin to become aware of the habit patterns and how they play out in your life. And this is the first step to making the changes you need.