Here are some simple ways to implementing & adopting New Healthy Behaviors by Breaking One Bad Habit at a Time
What keeps you from becoming the person you get excited about?
Yourself? Other people’s view of you? Your self talk? Smoking? Talking too much? Drinking? Untidiness? Unmotivated? Eating unhealthy?
You are not alone.
Within this article there are 5 simple reasons for breaking a bad habit.
Whether it’s a perpetual pile of clothes in the corner you’re waiting to someday turn into gold, a self-proclaimed disability which renders you unable to refrain from interrupting, or, a knack for timing your exit just so, so that someone else is continually left to pick up the dishes, now’s the time to extinguish these habits before they turn into next year’s resolutions.
1. It’s not fair to others
One of the great universal laws ruling our wonderful planet says that you get back what you put out there.
Want others to be kind and considerate to you?
Then start putting the considerate, kind vibes out there and pick up your clothes, your dishes, and stop interrupting or whatever it is you or a collective “others” define as a bad habit.
2. It’s not fair to you
If you are trying to be a nice person and pride yourself on having generous, warmhearted traits, then it’s not fair to you either that this simple, little, annoying thing you do can wield the power that it now, or will soon have.
These tiny culprits have been known to ruin marriages, friendships, and cause the downfall of many a mighty person.
Plus you’ll feel better about yourself.
3. Your success depends on it
Bad habits have a funny way of getting in the way of our happiness and success. Why is that? Because people notice these little things about us whether they tell us or not.
These behaviors only happen in certain situations and before you know it, you are talking 1000 words a minute trying to fill the dead air space or biting your nails in front of a potential client CEO.
Put an end to it now before situations that require your utmost polish become tarnished by these terribly annoying little critters.
4. You probably don’t like it when others do the same thing
Think about it. If someone did the same thing to you, would it bother you?
Sometimes all it takes is a simple exercise in empathy to find the motivation to quit whatever it is we could benefit from stopping.
5. List your own reasons
But be sincere.
What is it costing you to change these habits?
Whether it’s a moment of peace, seemingly never ending nagging, or simple anxiety resulting from anticipation of the next blow-up or negative comment, you owe it to yourself to commit to your ongoing personal development, and to the elimination of any behavior whose costs far outweigh the benefits.
So how does one begin?
Just like breaking a habit like drinking 3 sodas a day, bad habits have a way of creeping up on us and slowly over time becoming somewhat akin to an appendage like it’s an extra arm or something—i.e. they’re hard to get rid of.
Here are some tips for breaking these bad habits:
1. Start small:
While it might not be reasonable to expect that you can just stop whatever you’re doing overnight, identify what might constitute as a small step in the right direction?
Write down what that step is and carry it out over the next 21 days.
For example, if you are drinking a soda first thing in the morning on your way to work, replace the habit with a positive habit. Either choose a new healthier replacement to drink or change the behavior to something entirely different like listening to a positive podcast instead. Make it simple and make it fun. Only taking the habit away occupies some of the time. By replacing the bad habit with a positive one, it allows you to focus on building the new one, allowing your focus to escape the grasps of the sugary soda. Each time you cut back on the soda throughout the day, try to replace it with positive intentions to replace the soda drinking all together.
Promise yourself you’ll make this shift, and if reinforcement and punishment works—use it!
Figure out how you might reward yourself for making the change. Or, figure our how you might penalize yourself if you don’t.
For example, in our soda example. Put the money you would have spent on the soda in a jar and at the end of the 21 days add it all up and buy yourself a treat for example.
From cutting down to no sodas a day from 3 sodas a day, over a 21-day period at $2 a pop that will save you $42 in just 3 weeks!
Also, write two lists, one, of the reasons why you are doing this and also a list of the things that you will miss out on if you keep on doing your bad habit.
3. Identify alternatives:
What are some alternatives to the behavior you are demonstrating?
Is there a quick fix or solution that might help provide an alternative—e.g. put a laundry basket by the bedside (one to match with the décor) so that you don’t end up with a pile on the floor. Another example is every time you want to smoke, choose to replace it with something that gets both of your hands working on something to create a space which smoking doesn’t fit in. Occupy the “enjoyment space” of smoking with something of use or equal enjoyment.
4. Get help:
Ask someone to help keep you accountable.
If they’ve been victims of this bad habit, they’ll most likely be thrilled you asked!
Also, create a support team around you to reinforce your commitment and accountability to help during the hard times and times when you want to slide back to the bad habit.
5. Ask for feedback:
Asking for feedback is essential in reinforcing positive behaviors. Feedback drives behavior. We are human and understanding how we impact people is important to interacting successfully with others. Understanding how our bad habits and negative behaviors affect others as well as ourselves helps us create relationships that are supportive and valuable.
It is also important to celebrate when we accomplish a goal, even smaller focus goals, and to get praise when praise is due.
Everyone has bad habits and negative behaviors. We are all human. What’s important is what we do about these habits and behaviors. I hope this has given you some insight into how to change those “things” you don’t like about yourself. More importantly, I hope it gives you practical steps to changing those unwanted behaviors one step at a time.