When we think of bad habits, different things come to mind. Whether it is binge eating, smoking too much, being late or investing in people and relationships that do not serve us, we all have our own bad habits. And whether we care to admit it or not, we all just want to magically get rid of them.
However, wishing for something is not enough, because we cannot reap the benefits if we do not do the work!
Bad habits are habits we know are bad for us and yet we choose to hang on to them. For instance, I know watching too much TV and skipping my workout is not the greatest thing to do and yet I sometimes find my way back to these habits. And while doing it every now and then is not so bad, once it turns into a habit, it can become quite unhealthy. The good news is that we have the power to change!
Sometimes making big changes to our habits can be scary, but if big things scare you, then all you have to do is break them down into small steps. It is important that you set small achievable goals so that you do not get demotivated, here is how:
– Identify your bad habits and triggers
Admitting and acknowledging that you are human and have your share of bad habits is the first step. Awareness is the first key to opening the door for change. Becoming aware means that you know what your bad habits are and the triggers behind them. And since we already agreed that we are all human and imperfect in our own way, here are an example from yours truly:
“Stress eating was one of the ways that helped me fill my emotional void. It was a distraction. No, let me correct that, it was an unhealthy distraction that soon became a bad habit that I still struggle to get rid of.”
– Know why you want to break this habit
A habit is usually bad when it does not serve us, and so work on looking at the bigger picture and why you want to change it. Writing down the reasons you want to break this habit can act as a motivation for you to keep going.
– Set small and realistic goals
Breaking a habit is no piece of cake, so it is crucial that you set small and realistic goals. You do not have to have it all figured out. Falling back into old habits and patterns is very tempting and that is why you need to be careful with the goals you set. Overwhelming yourself is not the way to go, and if you do end up slipping, it is okay. Learn from it. Find out the cause behind that setback and work through it.
– Let go of the all-or-nothing mindset
We all fall for the trap of wanting to do it all, and that can be quite taxing. The all-or-nothing approach means you are telling yourself that a month’s worth of work means absolutely nothing because you slipped up that one time. And that is not true! Growth and change is anything but linear, and therefore, it is important to shift your focus towards your wins.
– Ask for help
Ask for the support of family and friends. Having someone hold you accountable really helps. And there is absolutely no shame in it!
– Find yourself a new habit
When breaking a habit, many people struggle with finding something to fill its space. That is why it can be useful to start building a new habit. The great thing about building new habits is that now you are aware of things that serve you, and therefore, you can focus on building habits that you know are healthy.
Unlearning something is not easy, but it is a necessary prerequisite for change. Getting rid of old habits means that you are making space for new healthy ones to come to life.
So let us start breaking the bad and giving space for building the good!