Everyone on a self-improvement journey knows how difficult it is to form new habits or eliminate bad ones.

The obvious traits that we use are willpower and discipline. Some YouTube self-improvement gurus may also give us cognitive strategies backed by science. However, these take time to implement and sustain continuously. If you can exercise them to change your habits, then let them be a plus or nice to have. We need other powerful ways that are intrinsic to us and that we can tap into.

Fighting the path up the evolutionary spiral

At the deepest levels within us, the spiritual layer, we need to understand how we are set up for self-improvement. Each of our optimal or positive traits and tendencies is embedded within our chakras—or at least, the potential to exhibit or strengthen these exist within them. The real test nature has set for us is how we leverage that potential in our lifetimes.

A spiral arrangement for evolution also means that unless we keep up our efforts to retain positivity and good habits, the negative forces will keep pushing us down the spiral, or at least gravity will drag us down in the absence of any concerted efforts.

Understanding the spiritual construct and subtle system of self-improvement

The Kundalini energy is in the form of strands of energy, once again representative of the spiral structure. The health of our chakras paves the way for more strands of this energy to rise. As we exhibit stronger and more positive traits and tendencies, the energy finds it easier to rise strongly and achieve a stronger connection of our spiritual self with the all-pervading power of the divine in the universe. Once this happens, our chakras are strengthened and in turn, this helps establish more positivity and better habits. We enter the positive upward spiral of spiritual self-improvement.

A downward spiral journey in life works exactly in the opposite manner. Our chakras get weaker as we accumulate more undesirable habits, the Kundalini energy finds it harder to rise, and our lives begin to regress.

Therefore, the fight for self-improvement and improving our habits includes spiritual efforts, such as meditation, and conscious and cognitive efforts to work on our habits and tendencies. Each aids the other.

Spiritual efforts to change our habits

Once we have established a schedule of regular meditation, both individual and collective, early morning meditation and clearing can effectively establish a solid foundation for positively changing our habits.

More specifically, clearing our chakras and channels helps keep negativity and negative tendencies at bay, clears the path for more positive spiritual energy to flow through us, and hence, exhibit positive traits and habits much more quickly.

Another crucial spiritual construct that greatly helps change our habits is the use of our left and right energy channels. Undesirable habits tend to shift our balance more towards lethargic and negative tendencies. Our left channel tends to dominate in such situations. If we want to make a substantial improvement, then consciously shifting our balance more towards the right energy channel – the channel of action helps significantly in establishing new habits and overcoming the bad ones. It increases determination and focus and spurs more activity toward solving our problems.

Cognitive strategies for changing our habits

Ensuring accountability and allotting time

Our commitment to change is only realistic and confirmed when we identify a specific plan of action and a specific time and timeframe for improvement. If we are too busy and still want to improve, then the strategies involve getting help, such as through a coach, trainer, or helper or signing up for a program. We need to get to this point of precise action in order to change anything, especially our habits, which, arguably, is one of the most difficult challenges we face.

The 1% rule

The 1% rule states that if you improve 1% each day, you will improve 37 times in a year. But, of course, even though 1% seems very small, it is still hard to keep working on improvement every single day. So we can modify that rule to say a little bit of improvement every week and ensure that the trend of improvement is in place.

We should be mindful about not seeking perfection and fully expect to regress at times, but as long as the trend is upward, we are on course.

It is also reasonable to prepare ourselves for those challenging moments when we feel like quitting or falling off the wagon as long as we anticipate those and remind ourselves that we’re committed to longer-term self-improvement and will stay the course, no matter what.

Fighting the inertia to commence an activity, habit, or change

One of the greatest challenges everyone faces when trying to change our habits is to get started. This inertia comes from the spiral structure and demand for self-improvement, which is to lift ourselves higher. It may likely come from shying away from change. Or fear of failure or the lack of confidence.

A few strategies can help with this. Associating ourselves with inspiring people or friends we admire or skilled coaches and teachers can help. From a meditation standpoint, the power of collective meditation can help overcome this inertia.

Marking a specific day and time to commence or work on a new habit is a proven way to overcome the inertia to get started. If we cannot schedule time to make the change with a clear set of goals, it can be tough to commence the journey of self-improvement.

Fighting the reversion to mean

Even more difficult than starting or sustaining an improvement plan is resisting the reversion to older habits. The slow but constant reversion is a negative force that constantly weighs on us. We need a powerful and positive countering force to avoid falling back into our old habits or tendencies.

Sometimes, negative forces can be really powerful, applying an equal opposing or dragging down effect no matter how much progress we make. Nature has designed our self-improvement as a test against resisting force, and only those who are really deserving to get to a better state, even though complete freedom of will is given to human beings to work on their self-improvement.

Of particular importance is how past experiences and memories can be recalled into our attention and lure us back to our old ways and habits. Putting up a fight in those moments can be the hardest of all. However, meditation helps with attention control and the ability to witness our temptation objectively and, over time, to avoid the reversion to mean.