Breaking bad habits is something I work with my clients on all the time. Everyone has them. Some are worse than others. Maybe your bad habit is spending too much money and constantly being in debt because of it. Maybe your bad habit is spending too much time on Candy Crush. Each of us wishes we could break bad habits we have to improve our quality of life. And that’s where the big question comes in:
Is Breaking Bad Habits Possible?
A habit is an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary (Dictionary.com).
Do you identify with any of these bad habits?
- Belittling yourself
- Not exercising
- Poor eating
- Negative attitude
- Inconsistent action
The word involuntary in the definition makes the idea of breaking bad habits sound scary, if not impossible. But it isn’t. It is possible to break bad habits with a little effort (maybe a lot) and a lot of commitment.
Where to Start
Here are some tips to break bad habits:
You can’t break bad habits that you aren’t truly committed to breaking. If you don’t want it bad enough for your own selfish reasons, you won’t be successful long term.
Make a list of all the reasons you want to quit your bad habit. List the reasons why it is beneficial to you to break the habit and the reasons it is harmful not to. Review and add to this list frequently (at least once a day is best).
There is plenty of scientific research to indicate that habits can not be broken without a replacement habit to take its place. Choose a new, healthy habit to fill the void created by the lack of the old, bad habit.
Find a partner that will help you to stick to your new habits. Tell them your plan to break bad habits and share with them your updates and progress. This will help you to keep accountable to someone besides yourself.
BEWARE of IT!
There are many temptations that exist to challenge your willpower throughout your new habit creation. By being aware of the potential temptations and understanding them, it helps them to lose their power and helps you to quickly recoup should you fall prey. I highly recommend reading The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.
RECOMMIT to IT!
Tweet this! Very few of us will have success breaking bad habits on our first go around. Be prepared to consistently recommit to your goal knowing that you have only failed when you give up.
Choose a healthy way to celebrate your new found habits and give yourself the full acknowledgement you deserve!
Habits are hard to break, but not impossible. You can break bad habits with commitment, a good plan of action and the right mindset. There is some research that suggests a few key steps can be taken in order to break bad habits. If you’d like some extra help breaking your bad habits, contact us today.