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In today’s solo episode, Dr. Alex talks about her take on quitting habits.

In this episode we cover:

  • How to quit or replace habits.
  • Different strategies on quitting habits.
  • Acknowledging habits.
  • Applying the strategy to know someone else in our life.

Ready to learn more?? Let’s do this!

You can listen to the episodes on iTunes here.

You can listen to the episode on Spotify here.

You can listen to the episodes on Google Podcast here.

You can listen to the episode on YouTube here.

Dr. Alex Golden: Hello, hello, this is Dr. Alex with you here, I hope that you’re having a fabulous day evening night, wherever you are in the world, I am thrilled that you’re here with me. Today I’m going to be explaining my take on quitting habits, and how this actually looks like when I’m coaching people when Megan and I are in our Health Transformation accelerator. And we’re talking about habits with people. And that’s, of course, one of the seven steps that’s in our process. And this comes up all the time, and I in with my one on one clients, people are always having situations at one point or another that they want to stop or replace a habit such as, okay, coffee, I love coffee, coffee doesn’t love me bath or something like that, right. And we’ll get into something, the details of what happens here. Or maybe it’s a way of behaving, or a way of thinking that this can be applied to. So lots and lots of uses. And here’s the thing, once we can elicit the actual strategy of what this looks like, and you do it once, then it’s a rinse and repeat process of getting more and more tailored to how you work and what works for you. So this is why no matter what habit that just popped into your head, as you’re hearing me talk about this, it does not matter. It applies for any situation across the board. So we’re gonna dig into that today. So updates. In the meantime, we have lots of amazing things in the works. And one of the things coming up is our monthly coaches Connect is on May 24. It is at 7pm, Eastern 4pm Pacific time. And that is with me, I’m going to be doing the training and the coaches connect on how to protect your emotional and mental space while putting yourself online. So if you are, if you have any sort of business or teaching or guidance account at all, or if you do anything that teaches humans serves humans in any capacity, this call is for you, this training is for you is going to be really powerful and applicable no matter how you work with people. And then so that is on May 24. And you can check out in the show notes below a link directly to there. And we’ll also be having links to it on Instagram. So if you go to add zest Z underscore, ginger and our link bio, there’s always the monthly meetup will take you directly to there. So lots of ways to find that. But that’s awesome. And so we love bringing people together because there’s so many of you doing really cool things in the world coaching teaching, you name it, and when when all of you show up and we’re learning and we’re talking and we’re sharing some really cool magical things happen. So if you haven’t come to one of the coaches connect yet, please come is gonna be awesome. We’re we do it just about every single month of the year. Okay, so that is coming up. I personally have opened up a couple more spots out a couple of people wrap up a couple more spots for the one on one for my three month. Okay, so reach out to me, you can shoot us an email support as SC, if that’s something that you’re interested in. And then lastly, in October is our next level one practitioner training many of you saw just a couple of weeks ago, and on social media we are sharing in real time how that went. And you know, we had a ton of fun and the practitioners are off. I mean, we’ve had everything from my OCD is beginning to be under control, I traveled and I was able to do stuff there and my relationships are improving. I’m making more money than I have before. I’m putting myself out there and I’m closing sales like a boss. These are all the things we’re hearing even just a few short weeks after the training and that we know that that will continue to unfold for weeks and months and years to come. So we’re so excited about that if you want in I’m pretty sure you do reach out to us because to join us for the level one practitioner training. You need to talk with us so we can figure out if it’s a good fit. Okay, so reach out to us. We’d love to have you. Alright, so back to our topic. So how to quit something or replace a habit.

Most people just like establishing habits. Most people are trying to use willpower to stop doing something or replace something I would like to actually just use the habit of starting to drink coffee, or and then stopping the as the example because it’s clear and quantifiable, but please know that as we go, this can be applicable throughout for a lot of different things, virtually everything that you get started up. But let’s say you have coffee. And you’re like, honestly, right now in this season of life, I’m not vilifying coffee, but coffee is not working for me, it’s taking up my anxiety and making my symptoms, whereas whatever, whatever. So it’s not working. Because most people will try to either pull something out willy nilly, or they’re like, I have a drink or replace it with another drink. And those are often the two strategies that I see people falling back on. And like I say, just ad nauseam on here is that we have no problem with having lots of strategies. So those are not bad strategies to have. But they’re often ill equipped for the the task at hand. And because many of us are finding that they’re not working well, it causes a lot of frustration and anger and, and shame and all sorts of stuff. The reason that just stopping often doesn’t work or replacing with something else doesn’t work, unless it’s well thought out, is that it’s missing the acknowledgment of the needs being met by that activity or habit. So I’ll say that again. Most of the time, those strategies don’t work, because they do not acknowledge the needs that that habit is meeting. So let me give you an example. Because I’ve seen this time and time again. And you’ve heard you’ve heard Megan’s chai tea latte story, right? We use that a lot, because that’s just been a bugaboo for her, and has formed and transformed and become something completely different over the years, Chai lattes teas, this can even Well, in this particular example won’t work for alcohol the way I’m going to talk about it. But this absolutely does apply for alcohol as well. So when people have tried to stop drinking coffee, or a chai tea, right, if you actually ask them, What are the exact steps that you do that gets you the coffee? That’s the first question asked, which is an interesting question. Because most people are like, well, let’s focus on why you don’t want to start drinking the coffee. And honestly, once you decide, it doesn’t really matter why if you want it gone for no reason at all. And just because you feel like it. And that’s where your intuition is guiding you, you get to do that. So that’s totally fine.

These steps are for, for some people, they’re going to say, I have my coffee, because it starts my day, and it has a certain rhythm to the flow of it. There’s a sequence of events that allows me to have time making the coffee, I get to wake up and that time listening to something and I’m cooking breakfast and the same time or I’m doing my affirmations or I listen to Abraham Hicks, right? There’s a whole sequence of your world that’s wrapped around in the making of coffee. So potentially, the act of waking up and getting the day started is tied to the coffee making it’s part of the process, right? So just your alarm going off, then kicks off the start a coffee, but that’s not everybody’s flow, right? Sometimes it’s I don’t have coffee every day, or I wake up and I have tea. And it’s only when let’s say, Oh, I’m getting a little stressed I have a lot to do. Things seem kind of overwhelming. Well, I would like to get a cup of coffee, right? And that means that I get in the car. There’s quiet time in the car. I don’t need to talk to anybody in the car, I can just listen to music and have the windows down and you’re driving over there. Maybe you walk in and you’re ordering your coffee. And that’s the time to talk chitchat with strangers. Be Seen as I have the house you know, be wearing regular clothes, and you kind of get that break, you get the interaction. You get your coffee, you have the quiet time in the car again, and then back you come right? Both of these scenarios, there’s a lot more to it than the actual intake of coffee. Because in each scenario, not only was there a different sequence of events, but what necessitated the launching of the sequence of events are completely different for some One who it’s their morning routine, and they have things tied to the act of making coffee. That’s one thing. And then there’s other people who are using cues in their life that it’s not at all, you know, every single day of the year, but only on days when x happens, right? Lonely, tired, overwhelmed, stressed, you name it, it does not matter what the answer is, as long as we are acknowledging what actually triggers that, right? A lot of times sugar for people is like that, when they’re like, everything’s going fine. And then it’s like, their day gets really rocky, and they feel tired, and they feel overwhelmed. And they’re like, gosh, I can make myself feel better with a treat, right, and they go to a desert, which, in the grand scheme of things, not single handedly a problem, right? It’s not that act is not a problem. But oftentimes, when they’re trying to quit sugar, not acknowledging the thing that kicks off the interest in the sugar in the first place, will, in my opinion, get you into trouble, because here’s the deal. Why even go through the process of thinking, what the steps are, and what triggers the steps that happen in the first place is that those are the exact things that represent the needs being met at the time, that are tied to that habit. For example, the mom who goes and gets into her car, when she’s overwhelmed, and goes and has a quiet moment to herself to get coffee, talk to other human adults, get back in the car and have uninterrupted time for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, whatever it is, that is meeting many, many more needs than just coffee, right? That’s the need to step away to prioritize self care and alone time with quiet thoughts. And, you know, taking a break from other people’s energy and their desires and their needs. And it’s the desire to connect with other adults outside of the house and make polite chitchat, you know, and then there can be the ability to say, Hey, I get to say, when I’m too overwhelmed, and step away, right, there’s the need for control and the need for significance and the need for connection and the need for quiet time, all of these things are then wrapped in to the experience of coffee.

If that person were to say, I’m going to stop drinking coffee, and I’m going to make it tea at home, the reason that they would not be successful, potentially, is not because they don’t like tea, it would be because making the tea at home didn’t meet any of those other needs. And therefore the incentive is not there to stick with it at all. So in the grand scheme of things in that scenario, we want to keep at least a start as much of the other sequencing similar and only swap out the one piece of it, that can be modified without modifying the rest. Now as you go, then the expression of this can shift however you want. No one says you have to keep it exactly what it is. But in the beginning, when you’re shifting to another habit or another choice that we’re making, continuing to either set it up in the same land only modify that piece, or if you’re going to modify many aspects of the sequencing, then being clear on what need did the old pattern meet? And how can I establish that again? So for example, making tea at home can be modified further as well. If tea time, let’s say, let’s say this person has a shed or something that she can go hang out at, or guest house doesn’t matter, patio somewhere where no one else can be right? And she’s like, Okay, I overwhelmed. I’m gonna go have a specific area where I can make my tea. It’s kind of a ritual, I’m glad that means that it’s in a place where no one can come talk to me. I am not available for interaction right now. This is my quiet time. It’s my time to think this is the time where I’m going to call a friend and drink my tea and have connection with an adult and talk about adult things and not things around the house and not things about kids and whatever. And then there’s going to be 15 to 30 minutes of the same time meeting all those needs but in a slightly different way, then that is way more likely to be successful. And then of course once you’ve established that as a habit, that T becomes the new thing. And you can further modify it. So you’re always moving things along in life. But to just stop doing something, not ask about what all those moving parts, what needs they were meeting and expect yourself to stick with it is usually quite dicey. This way where you’re really truly considering the needs that are being met. And giving yourself to giving yourself them irrespective of the actual bite size habit, like the coffee itself, that then you can modify, right. And so you can do this. You can go as deep or as broad as you want. Because sometimes it’s the smell of something that really matters and need to need maybe it’s the temperature or something maybe that the warmth of it represents something to you, right, maybe it’s the the mug that it comes with, maybe it’s how you feel when you’re doing it, maybe it’s the choice to initiate doing the habit, whatever it is,

consider it, I would write down if you had to, this is how I think about it. And I always keep the stuff like this fairly light hearted. But like if I had to explain to an alien who’s never been on the planet before, how I know that it’s time to go pick up coffee, right? Those are the steps that they would need to know, hey, these are my cues. And then this is the actual sequence, that once the cue is triggered, the sequence gets fired off, it’s step one, and then step two, and then step three, and step four, then I my coffee, step five is coming back, you know, and all the way back. Once you have the sequence of events written out, and exactly what is happening, then underneath each component, right out which need is that meeting. And needs are foundational things right there is connection is the need to be seen and acknowledged that were significant. The need for certainty, the need for uncertainty, right? All of us have a certain ratio that we like in terms of, here’s things I like knowing and having my comfort day in and day out, I can fall back on these things. And then there’s the fun new things about life. And some of us just want a little bit of certainty and a lot of uncertainty because we you know, love exploring and new and fun and all that and then there’s some people were like, No, really, I want to have most days be exactly how I set and then the summer, then certainty just throws in the extra fun on the surface. So all of that it does not matter how you fall out or what your preference is, that’s just up to you to fully decide your needs and what you make them mean. But really sitting down and thinking, what needs is this meeting? And then what are creative ways that I can meet those needs while messing with the the actual, nitty gritty aspects of it right? Then we can become so successful in knowing that. And we we had a great chat about this and our health transformation accelerator program. So the, the aspect of the program on habits and actually stepping fully into them and, and being intentional about them. We were having a discussion about how well this also applies for partners, right? Because oftentimes we’re like, okay, I’m good at setting. I’m good at asking for what I need now,

right? I’m gonna speak up and ask for what I need in life. And then we ask and the person doesn’t do it. And we’re like, what the heck I you weren’t it was okay. When you weren’t doing when I wasn’t asking. But now that I’m asking, it’s really hurtful, that you’re not doing it? Well. This plays out in everybody. So a lot of times when we come to people, and we ask them to change things, they’re dealing with the same stuff that I’m talking about here, right? They have a certain way of doing things, because it’s meeting certain needs. Now, they may not be intentional about that, but that’s true nonetheless. So if we were to ask someone to do something for us in a certain way, and we it’s really important for us that they actually do that. Well then one of the most powerful things is to first understand why the person’s doing, what they’re doing and what needs isn’t meeting. Because if we can help them get their needs met, most people are completely happy to execute it and modify it in ways that work for us. Right and then the most people are willing to flow with it. But what people aren’t willing to flow with is hey, I need to Do To do this, forget about the needs that it’s meeting and do it my way, right? Most people, us or someone not listening to podcasts are like, I don’t want to I that doesn’t feel good to me, there’s no reason that they’re going to be motivated to do the thing. So, this kind of thinking, not only helps us so much change aspects of ourselves that we want to be intentional about, but having the understanding for yourself in this. And then thinking in that same way, and applying the strategy to understand someone else in our life, what they need, how they think, what is true for them, what needs they have, and how they go about meeting them. And if we can all align with each other on that, then we’re really in business, right? This is how we take boundaries and awareness and merge it all together to improve our relations to shifts to have healthier dynamics within partnerships, within families within work communities, all of these really important things, right, we’re all talking about now. It’s like, Oh, we’re so divided, there’s so much less unity, right? We’re all at odds, well, this is the kind of thing that when we do it for ourselves, and we become well versed in it, and we model it for other people. And we ask them the important questions, and we make them feel seen and loved and heard. That is what will bring us all back together one person at a time, one day at a time, one hug at a time, one need met at a time, right? Truly seeing ourselves and other people for who we are. And saying I elect to figure out what your needs are. And I’m going to do my best to help you meet them in a way that serves both of us for this beautiful relationship that we’re going to have. Right? This becomes much more beautiful and much more aligned, much more loving, in my opinion, then, you know, leaving it as state your boundaries, they don’t do it and they don’t care about you. Right? There’s a lot of that going around. And by golly, that is just not true. Ask the right questions, and people will tell you exactly what they need. And there’s a way to make it work for everybody involved. If the desire to do so is there. And if it’s not, after that it’s a pretty clear determination on what should happen next. Right? And and for that, then that often as people know exactly what to do for that. Once you have your answer, there’s no more questions. It might require some courage, but you at least know what the answer is. Right? Alright, so I would love to hear your Ha’s and takeaways or if you actually go do and apply it, I would love to hear from you to take a screenshot of this tag me and Instagrams, SC underscore, ginger, or you can DM us as well with your aha moments and kind of how it went. Because as with most things on here, I like to do bite sized topics on it. And then as you all share with me what’s relevant for you, I will dig in even further. So let me know and we’ll chat even more about this because needs and values are a big, big topic. Alright, sending you lots love and I’ll talk to you soon