Breaking the Bad Habit Habit
We all know that by forming good habits and following through on them everyday, we can get a lot more done and feel better about ourselves. Sometimes before we can form those life changing good habits, we have to break some bad ones first.
Whether your bad habits are as small as checking Facebook every morning instead of getting on with things that will actually benefit your life or as large as an inability to break with a procrastination addiction we’ve got some strategies here that can help.
Break the connections
Often a bad habit is connected to another aspect of your life. For instance you may start your day with a coffee and a scan through Facebook, which takes you down the rabbit hole of cat videos, political tirades and celebrity gossip instead of that morning mediation you say you want to start, or that morning run, or the time you want to spend creating a game plan for the rest of your day.
Once you recognize your Facebook/coffee connection you can take steps to break it. You know that if you turn on the computer you’ll immediately want to check Facebook and then you’ll get sucked in. So make a point of not turning it on in the morning at all. The best way to do that is to replace the morning computer time with something else.
Make a pact with yourself. For the next week - instead of turning the computer on in the morning I will mediate first thing. Or go the gym. Every day that you replace the negative habit with the positive one you’ll feel better about yourself and you’ll be motivated to keep it going for another day. If you simply can’t face having coffee without Facebook, maybe you can delay the coffee until your morning commute – to the gym.
Get to the bottom of the habit
If you have a procrastination problem instead of beating yourself up every time you end up with a looming deadline making your life a misery, try and figure out why you have so much trouble settling down. Are you afraid of failure? Are you afraid of success? Would you prefer to have less responsibility? Is the work beyond your skills? Is it really what you want to be doing with your life?
Sit down and do a serious self-evaluation. Ask yourself how you really feel about the projects you keep putting off. Is the issue the task at hand or how you feel about yourself? It may take some time to get to the issue underlying the bad habit, but once you do, and take steps to remedy it, you’ll have taken great strides toward eliminating the habit altogether.
Don’t give up
Sometimes you’ll go for days or weeks without engaging in your bad habit, then something happens, your habit rears its ugly head and suddenly it feels like you’re right back where you started. Before you give up and decide the bad habit is going to be with you for life, remember you are stronger than your habits.
Just because your habit broke through your good intentions once or twice or ten times, that doesn’t mean it always will. Remind yourself exactly why the habit is a detriment to your life, and continue with your efforts at self-evaluation and replacing negative behaviours with positive ones. Eventually you’ll kick those habits to the curb once and for all.