Habits are either good or bad for us. Of course, we like good habits and we strive to stick to them. But, it’s the bad ones that seem to stick the most. Bad habits tend to creep up on us, and before we know it, they are hard to stop. Don’t despair. With some effort, you can break and change bad habits for good.
Admit You Have A Bad Habit
Admitting to yourself that you have a bad habit is the first step. Once you are finally honest with yourself, then you can actually move towards change. It seems that no matter how many people tell you to stop your bad habit, you won’t. Stop smoking. Or, don’t drink so much. Stop overindulging on the office donuts. Or, whatever vice you might have. YOU have to be one to take that first baby step. Only then will progress be made.
Replace It With Something Better
Once you have admitted the bad habit to yourself, you will become more aware of it when it occurs. Inc.com mentions that habits are generally made of three stages — Cue, Trigger, Reward. So, consider what triggers your bad habit. Let’s say you’re dealing with work stress because your shipment was damaged during transit. Stress is the cue, which triggers your “de-stress” routine of taking a cigarette break to cool down. Your reward is the nicotine which gives you temporary relief.
So, what can you do? Consider replacing the bad habit with something else. When you think you want a cigarette, for example, perhaps think of an alternative. You can buy cheap e-liquid easily enough and it will cost you a lot less than smoking cigarettes. When you want a sugary soda, replace it with flavored sparkling water instead. The bubbles in the water will give you the sensation of the carbonation in soda, without the sugar. If you are obsessed with social media, turn off your digital device for one hour. Read a book or watch a film instead to give your wellness levels a boost. You may be surprised how little you have been missed when you do turn it back on. If you are a shopaholic, go to the gym or out for walk instead of the shops.
Set Yourself A Goal
Now that you’ve admitted and identified your bad habit, it is time to actually commit. Don’t tell yourself that you will not indulge in your bad habit ever again. Rather, set a small goal, and congratulate yourself when you achieve it. For instance, in the compulsive shopper scenario, tell yourself you will stay away from the shops for one full week. Then, increase the time interval to abstaining for a month. Soon, not only will you feel good with reaching each goal mark, but your bank balance will look healthier, too.
With social media, suspend your accounts for one week. Once you’ve made through the first week, try for two weeks, and so on. You may be surprised how many people do this from time to time. You will find that taking that break will help you engage in social situations in real life and not via a handheld screen. Maybe you will end up closing the accounts entirely. Whatever goals you set for yourself, make them achievable at each step and then reward yourself!
Everyone Fails Sometimes
Don’t let one bad day spoil your chance of achieving your overall goal. Everyone has relapses. In fact, you should expect it. You just have to put it behind you and keep on trying. It does not matter if it takes several (or more) attempts to make any significant progress. Just don’t give up on yourself! Think positive thoughts and keep encouraging yourself to stick to the plan. Eventually, you will get there. We believe in you!
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