Let’s face it–we all have a bad habit or two that we would like to get rid of! Whether it be smoking, biting our nails, overeating, or a whole host of other human afflictions that plague us all, it may be easier to eliminate it than you imagine.
With a little perseverance, willpower, and determination, you can be free from that nasty little habit!
5 strategies that can help you get started:
Make sure this is something you truly want to accomplish. It’s great to “talk the talk,” but you will need to back that talk up by “walking the walk” as well.
Be honest with yourself. Do you truly believe that this is the right time to kick your bad habit?
It has to be done for the right reasons.
Do not let yourself be pressured by others. Search your soul and be certain that you are doing this for only one person – you!
It is your personal time and energy that you will be using to make your goal a reality. So, make your decision carefully.
2. Start a journal.
Jot down every time you practice your bad habit. This is not to be used as a punishment. You do this to give yourself a better idea about your triggers, and when your undesired behavior is occurring. In this way you can better devise ways to break it.
Include your thoughts and feelings that precede or accompany the behavior. This can give you an idea if you are doing this when you are under stress, bored, tired, and so on.
Though it may seem time-consuming at first, making the time to record these thoughts and actions can be a wonderful tool to speed up your success in breaking the habit.
3. Choose an alternative behavior.
This behavior can either remind you of your desire to quit or be a permanent replacement of your bad behavior with a desirable one instead.
For example, a friend of mine once put a rubber band on her wrist when she was quitting smoking. Each time she had the urge to light up a cigarette, she would snap the rubber band on her wrist instead. Naturally, this was only temporary to remind her not to smoke.
Some other ideas are to take a walk, read a book, sing a song, or cook.
Any activity can be used as an alternative behavior.
Of course, you do not want to replace one bad habit with another one, but anything that can redirect your focus works well.
4. Start a replacement schedule right away.
Begin immediately replacing your bad habit with your alternative. But remember that a gradual shift may work better for you than a complete change.
You may want to start with once a week, then maybe twice a week, then three times, until you are consistently practicing your alternative behavior instead of the bad habit.
Remember that none of this will happen overnight, so please practice patience.
People learn different behaviors at a different pace, therefore, do not be discouraged if your best friend stopped smoking in three weeks and you are on your sixth week and still craving a cigarette.
5. Do not keep it a secret.
If you have made the decision to break a habit, tell others.
This is the time when you need the support of your family and friends to help you be successful.
Whether you ultimately succeed or not, you have taken a major leap in a positive direction. That is why it is so important to share what you hope to accomplish with family and friends.
Those who love you will be there to encourage you, offer support, and help you wherever they can.
Breaking a bad habit can be difficult, but it is not impossible. Try a few, or all, of these techniques to make your journey easier. Then celebrate your accomplishment when you have succeeded. You deserve it!