All of us have had bad habits at some point in our lives. You could overcome some and others are still in your list of bad habits.
However, these bad habits have the power to
- Waste your time
- Drown you in frustration and darkness
- Leave you unhealthy
- Disturb your mental peace
- Make you unorganized
- Reduce your productivity
- Waste your money
And the list goes on!
Bad habits can get deeply wired and addictive making it difficult for us to get rid of them. That’s why breaking such habits requires a lot of efforts, understandings, mindfulness and strength. It can be using social media too much, smoking, nail biting, watching television too often, leaving your room untidy, excessive drinking, taking drugs, speaking bad words, not taking care of your health and many more.
If you want to break any bad habit that’s been bothering you so far, start by follow these five easy steps.
1. Identify the bad habit and be clear why you want to break it
Just knowing it’s a bad habit doesn’t inspire us enough to completely break it in long run. That’s why you should have a strong and deep understanding about the importance of breaking it. You have to clearly identify its’ bad influences.
Study about the impacts of this bad habit. Talk to yourself, use articles, videos, podcasts and be crystal clear about why you must break it, how important it is to break it and all the positive outcomes you will gain by breaking it.
2. Plan how to break the bad habit by replacement it with a good habit
Now that you are clear about why you should break it, focus on “how to break”. It’s always beneficial to replace your bad habit with a good habit than avoiding or just giving up on it. Reason is, if you don’t have a replacement, there’s a possibility of you falling back into that bad habit again with both situational and environmental influences.
Therefore make sure you come up with a good habit as a replacement so that the time you spent on bad habit can now be spent with the good one.
3. Give yourself a goal of breaking the habit (with a specific time frame)
This is like a trail of shifting into your new life. Reason for setting a time frame is, when your goal has a limited time period, it usually inspires you to achieve it. You have a goal, a time frame, you want to know how it feels to live without this bad habit and now you are all excited about completion of this time frame. (Decide the time frame as you wish. Just don’t make it too short or too long)
4. Put it into action, break the bad habit
Replace the bad habit with good one. Experience it yourself. Enjoy the benefits of breaking it. These benefits will be both physical and mental. And complete the time frame.
5. Review progress, make necessary changes and set yourself free from the bad habit
At this point you have either successfully spent time frame or failed in between. If you were successful, GREAT! If failed, you have figured out what needs to be improved with the replaced habit. Just be patient with yourself, learn from the mistakes, don’t get stressed if you failed. Accept the failure and grow from it. Failure is another chance to begin again.
With that, the time has come to sharpen your courage, determination, understandings and to move forward. This journey may not be easy, but it’s all possible. According to “European Journal of Phycology” it takes average of 66 days for a behavior to change (time varies from 18 to 254 days) http://repositorio.ispa.pt/bitstream/10400.12/3364/1/IJSP_998-1009.pdf
Moreover, if you think you need professional support in this process, just obtain it. It can be a doctor who prescribes medicine, a counselor or any other professional. On the other hand, support from loved ones may also benefit. One good friend who’d truly listen to you, motivate you and guide you will make it easier for you to break your bad habits.
So starting from today, follow the five steps, make the first move, give it a try, split your bad habit/habits, experience the benefits and give yourself the happiness you deserve.
Stay determined. Stay strong. You are stronger than all the excuses you have. Change your life for the better. Yes you can!