Elicit subconscious resources in order to change a habit by producing alternative behaviors. The Advanced Visual Squash has a similar purpose to this pattern.
Select the behavior.
Select a behavior of yours that you would like to stop or change. The behavior should be one for which you can say, “I need to stop (behavior)’ing,” or “I want do to (behavior X) but I just can’t get myself to start.”
Establish the signal.
Ask the part that creates the behavior to give you a signal (such as lifting a finger) that will mean yes. If the part does not provide a signal, trust for now that there are positive underlying motives for the problem behavior.
Elicit the positive intentions.
Ask the part to bring to mind the positive intentions of the behavior that you’d like to change.
Produce alternative behaviors.
Ask your creative part to produce three alternative behaviors that would fulfill the needs revealed in the prior step.
Solicit the signal that the behaviors are selected.
Ask your part that produces the problem behavior to give the signal when it is satisfied that there are three behaviors that will fill the needs it revealed in step three. If the part did not cooperate in step two, then ask it now if it will participate by providing a yes signal. If not, then assume for now that you have come up with better alternatives that you will test in the next step.
Future Pace and ecology check.
a. Future Pace the behaviors several times each. Detect and mitigate for any ecological difficulties. Re-run this technique as needed.
b. Try out the behaviors in real life and see if the behavior change you desire takes place. If not, think in terms of ecology (such as parts conflicts) and re-try this technique in order to refine your behavior change work.
If you would like to do a version of this technique that is more conscious (less “new code”) because of the circumstances or because you’d like to do more intensive brainstorming, then you can write down the motives (from step two) and alternatives (in step three) as quickly as possible, until you feel you have satisfied each step. As soon as you are done with the basic pattern, you should jot down the new behaviors and place the note someplace where it will remind you to try them out. Perhaps it belongs in your appointment book or on the refrigerator.