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Friday, March 2, 2012

Need to Break a Bad Habit?

How to Break Bad Habits

What are your bad habits?

Smoking? Talking too much? Drinking? Untidiness?

We’ve all got them - To be honest, I have tried most of them!
Within this article are 5 simple reasons for breaking a bad habit.

If it ain’t broke, break it, and if it won’t break, then bend it

Bad habits. 

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.

  1. It’s not fair to you
    I’m sure you’re a nice person, and you pride yourself on having generous, warmhearted traits. 
           So, 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.

  1. Your success depends on it
            Bad habits have a funny way of scope and context creep. 

 First they only happen in certain situations, and the next thing you know, you’re at a business function swirling your fingers through the chip dip.

Put an end to it now before situations that require your utmost polish become tarnished by these terribly annoying little critters.

  1. 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.

  1. List your own reasons

What is it costing you to perpetuate these habits? 

Whether it’s a moment of peace, seemingly perpetual 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 smoking habit, bad habits have a way of creeping up on us and slowly over time becoming somewhat akin to an appendage—i.e. they’re hard to get rid of. 

Here are some tips for breaking these bad habits:

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.

 Fore example, if you are smoking 40 a day, cut that down to 20 for the next 21 days.

 Make that behaviour a habit before you cut that down to 15 for the next 21 days and then 10 and so on.


 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.

            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.

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.

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!

Ask for feedback: 

Because human nature dictates that we will only complain when you offend, rather than amend, ask for feedback frequently. 

Don’t assume, no news is good news, but be sure to get praise when praise is due.

Good luck!

1 comment:

  1. I heard somewhere that when you really listen to the excuses you make for not doing something you should, you actually really sound like a 6 year old. :)
    It takes your adult self to own up to things and make the tougher choice.