I always say that humans are creatures of habit—especially bad habits! We all have them, no matter who you are, where you live, or how much money you make. Maybe you have a small habit that doesn’t really interfere with your life, or perhaps you have one that’s creating obstacles for you on a daily basis. The good news is you can remove a bad habit with surprising ease—if you’re determined to change.
First, you’ll need to make a list of your habits. Better yet, ask a close friend or family member to point them out. Trust me, they’ll have a more objective view of your actions than you will. Try not to flinch or get defensive as they run down your list of habits. Some may seem obvious, while others you may be completely unaware of. Maybe you bite your nails, fly off the handle easily, or drink three cans of soda a day. Choose to work on one at a time. The key is facing your bad habit head-on.
Now, how do you actually go about breaking these habits? The reason they ARE habits are because they’re subconscious actions or reactions that you don’t even think about. You’re operating on autopilot. Just like breathing and blinking, these habits are followed without thought day in and day out.
Becoming aware of the habit and making the decision to get rid of it is the first step. Some people are so addicted to their bad habit they can’t imagine life without it! Think about alcoholics, food addicts, and smokers. Although they KNOW their habits are bad for their health and may even lead to death, they don’t really want to give them up. If they did, they would. No, it’s not easy, but success is 50% determination and 50% perspiration. You have to want to make changes, really, really want them or you’ll never remove the bad habit.
Now, do it! Of course you’ll have setbacks, but take this one hour at a time, one day at a time. If you slip back into the bad habit, don’t declare yourself a loser and simply jump back into it. Forgive yourself for falling off the wagon and get right back on. Some people need to take small steps every day and work their way up to total change. Say you want to start exercising. Instead of going out and spending extra money on expensive equipment or a gym membership, commit to walking for half an hour three days a week. Once you’ve made that a habit, build up to something else such as doing some crunches and push-ups.
By making things easy on yourself and going step-by-step into building a new and positive habit while leaving negative habits behind, you have a much greater chance of changing for good! These steps may seem simple, but they work if you put them into practice.