Breaking bad habits can be difficult, especially if you’ve had them for a long time, but understanding how habits form from the beginning is the first thing you can do to start breaking them.
This may seem obvious, but many people remain in denial about their habits long after they’ve been established. They deny that their bad habit exists and they deny that they need to change. However, like it or not, bad habits are a fact of life. If you don’t take full responsibility for your bad habits and go to the root of the problem, you’ll probably go on making them and resenting yourself for it. You may not have any immediate gratification at the moment, but in the long-term, you’ll enjoy many more rewards than you do now.
Scrutinize Your Actions
One important step in this plan is to scrutinize your actions. Who are the people you surround yourself with? Are they positive influences? Does your professional life reflect your character? What behaviors do you display with your friends and family? What consequences are you giving yourself by failing to break your bad habits? What consequences are you setting for yourself by continuing to use a harmful product? If you’re feeling hopeless, that’s okay. You can always come back to this article if you find yourself right back at step one. So what’s stopping you?
Consider The Consequences
Know that no matter how dramatic your past experiences, they are no reason to establish bad habits. It’s the here and now that has the most influence over your future. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t require forever of sacrifice, determination, or effort. A successful lifestyle does. There’s no better time to begin than now. It’s important to understand that every habit is like an athlete in training.
Break One Habit At A Time
Breaking any habit takes time and dedication, and it will not happen overnight. But once you’ve started making small changes in your life, you’ll see that positive change quickly becomes the norm. The good news is that most habits are so ingrained in our lives that it’s relatively easy to break them. The only real challenge is not getting discouraged.
“A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time.”
Take Your Setbacks Lightly
Be positive when you set your goals. Make your goal as specific as possible. Start small. Take it slow. Make your goal sustainable for the long term. Know the scientific reasons for the habit’s formation. Use the science of habit formation and successful behavior change to your advantage. Engage Your Mind Only keep in your mind the change that you are trying to make. Focus on what you want to happen rather than on what you don’t want to happen. Keep an open mind as you think through the change. Resist making drastic decisions. Stop comparing yourself to others. Use visual reminders, such as photos or calendars, to help you with your goal. Take your time, but also move quickly. Get your friends and family involved.
Most habits are hard to break because they’re ingrained deep within the mind. You can start to form new habits if you take some time to examine and improve the ones you already have. By changing your mind you can also improve your life and get rid of bad habits forever.