If 6 simple tips were all that stood in front of you and ending a less than ideal habit, how quickly would you hop on that train? If ending a bad behavior run-around sounds like something you need in your life this month read ahead for our 6 simple tips for breaking a bad habit.
Recognize Your Bad Habit
If you’re reading this blog then you’ve already admitted to yourself that you have a mannerism, routine, or quirk that you’d rather just leave behind like last year’s bad Pinspirations (we’re looking at you, ill-advised Mason jar décor!). Go ahead and add “procrastination” to that list and write out the habits you want to squash. Write a little letter or list to yourself of the habit and when/why you do it. For example, if eating before bed has had your heartburn more pronounced than a forehead pimple on your wedding day, then make an admission, “I always end up snacking when I watch my shows right before bed.”
One of the biggest causes for bad habits is boredom. From the first time you create a resume, you’re taught multi-tasking is the highest art form achievable by the standard job seeker. For your personal life, you’ll find more success being a specialist. Start by recognizing FOCUS isn’t a bad thing, and retrain your brain to embrace the world around you rather than immediately looking for a distraction.
Likewise, if your habit involves your hands, fill them with something useful! The late night snacker above would benefit from a simple craft to keep digits busy (and away from the chip bowl!). Snag an adult coloring book, channel your artistic side and snag a sketch book, or learn a fabric art like knitting.
Hone Your Tone
Once your habit and its causes are listed, next you’ll want to hone your tone. We’re talking your INNER dialogue. These are the phrases that need to be gone from your vocabulary:
- Once more won’t hurt.
- I already messed up; I’ll just have to start new later.
- I always do this.
- I never do this.
You are developing an inner dialog of “no excuses.” Your end game should be to eliminate the negativity and embrace your successes when dealing with your habit. Don’t torment yourself about setbacks, but likewise don’t allow yourself wiggle room if one happens.
Let’s refer back to your “recognition” list. Those bad habit causes you listed out just need to go—like stat. If smoking is your vice and you seem to sneak one in during happy hour, opt for smoke-free establishments or those that require you to exit the action to partake. If you’re desperately trying to stay away from sugar, erase it from your grocery list. This step is best tackled with friends and family members, so have a discussion prior about what habit you’re trying to quit and communicate how they can help.
Break Down Barriers
Eliminate the barriers that make your bad habit the easy option with a bit of preparation. Consider your bad habit excuses, and give yourself actions or answers as to why they just don’t work for your new lifestyle. For example, are you trying to be more punctual to work and other appointments? Keep your “go items” like car keys, purse, and phone in one spot near the door to eliminate last minute search scrambles. Likewise, set alarms in your phone for 5 minute and “must leave” alarms.