How do you recognize patterns of behaviour that you don’t really want?

If you listen carefully, you will hear yourself say: notagain.

I got up at 10:15 this morning.My alarm clock rang at 8:32 a.m.
What did I do between 8:32 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.?

I pressed the snooze button and extended my sleep by a few minutes until my alarm clock rang again.Then I pressed the snooze button again, again and again.

At 10:15 and 15 seconds I opened my eyes and finally managed to keep them open.

At 10:16 I took my ipad, went to Spotify and clicked Random Playback on the Viva Latino Playlist.

Seconds later, I enjoyed Spanish music and thought: life is beautiful.

To detect unwanted behavior patterns, I can give you two tips, both of which aim to make you more aware of yourself.

  • Meditation: The long-term way to better recognize your unwanted behavior patterns.

Meditation has gained popularity in recent years, thanks in part to the Internet.
I’ve been meditating for two years now.

Meditation helps me in everything:
I’m more focused.
I don’t think that much.
I live more in the moment.
I’m more relaxed.
I listen better to my body and to my inner voice and thus can detect, for example, unwanted behaviorpatterns.

But until you’re ready and can perceive your unwanted behavioral patterns through meditation, it’s likely to take a few weeks.The effort is still worth one hundred percent.

  • Gain clarity about your unwanted behavior patterns today with a white sheet of paper

To get clarity about your behavior patterns today, you should find a place where you won’t be disturbed, take a piece of paper and a pen with you, and especially leave your phone turned off in another room.

If you sit undisturbed with a white sheet of paper and a pen, note the following question:

What bothers me?

Because your behavioral pattern is undesirable, it is likely to have a problem.

I kind of don’t have time at all.

You realize that you are badly handling your time.

Now you just have to find out who or what is stealing your time or what.better formulated: by whom or by what you let yourself steal time.

Today’s world is full of distractions.
It is the mobile phone and social media that can steal time.
But it is always our own decision to spend too much time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Quora and co.

Maybe you need to minimize your social media consumption.

How do I feel?

I am tired.

This would be an indication, for example, that you are tormenting yourself, like me, while sleeping or getting up.

The feeling of discomfort indicates when we behave, how we don’t actually want to behave.

When do I say or feel “Not again.”?

As described at the beginning, this short reaction, the best way to recognize in the affect, is that the behavior I have just exercised is harmful to me.

If you ask yourself this question again and again in an undisturbed quiet hour and think about it, I bet with you that you will come up with some situations in which you have said, thought or felt “Not again”.

And so you realize that the previous behavior is undesirable.

I bet you’re already in the way of reading one or two situations where you’ve said “notagain.”

So I think you’ll agree with me:

  • The real problem is not to detect undesirable patterns of behavior, but to do something about them.

Often there is only a very small window of opportunity to detect unwanted behavior patterns.

In my opening example, it’s 60 seconds.

60 seconds ranged from:

“Oh shit.

Not again…. You got up an hour and a half later…”
“What’s going on with you??!”
“You know full well that snoozing doesn’t do you any good…!”
“Well… Today is Sunday.Still, you wanted to get up earlier…!”

and:

“Viva la vida.”
“Life is beautiful.”
“What’s an hour and a half??!”
“Somehow I feel quite fit.”

We resume our daily lives too quickly instead of immediately actively doing something about the undesirable behavioral pattern.

In times of digitalization, our lives are fast and full of distractions.

The next time you have an “Oh no, not again” moment, grab your phone and instead of replying to someone on Whats app (or making Spanish music…) you write down the following note:

Unwanted behavior: XY

For my example, this would be:
Unwanted behavior: snoozes/getting up too late

Once you’ve written this down, you’ll be aware of what you’re doing over and over again and don’t really want to do for a few seconds.

Then – in a quiet minute – you can fall back on the initial note and work on your unwanted behavior.

Step 1: What exactly is happening?

Since I practice the undesirable behavior alder X, Y happens and as a result, Z goes worse or completely wrong.

For my example, this would be:
Since I often snooze (=X), I get up later (=Y) and therefore stay awake longer to do everything I wanted to do in the time I snoozt (=Z).

Once you have defined step 1 to your satisfaction, you can now move to step 2:

Step 2: What is the real problem and what are the consequences of my behaviour?

(Now that it is becoming more specific, I will only give an answer for the example of snoozen)

With every morning when I don’t get up immediately and snooze instead, the next day I’ll find it harder to get up immediately.

On the one hand, because my body gets used to it and sees it as normal, and on the other hand, because I always have to stay awake for a long time to make up for everything I haven’t done in the time I’ve been lying in bed.

It is a vicious circle that is not healthy.

You have to change something!

Most of the time, you will notice at the latest in the description that the undesirable behavior pattern really harms you.

Man is a cozy being.
Since many behavioral patterns do not hurt at first sight and we continue to live cheerfully in the execution, it is enormous to realize that something is really wrong!

No one will die from snoozing.

At the same time, no one will be happy with it.

And by far no one will create what he/she is capable of.

Unwanted behavioral patterns harm our lives.
Our potential, our satisfaction and our happiness in life are decisively negatively affected by them.

I hope you can quickly detect your unwanted behavior patterns and switch them off soon!


The Ted Talk In the head of a professional push-up by Tim Urban about habits and postponing, maybe can help you.

Tim Urban shows why people often don’t do what they should do, even though they know full well that this behavior harms them.

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