Let’s face it: we all have a bad habit or two that we would like to get rid of! Whether it be smoking, biting our nails, overeating, or a host of other afflictions, it may be easier to eliminate it than you imagine.
First, Let’s Define the Word Habit
According to the dictionary, a habit is an acquired pattern of behavior that has become almost involuntary as a result of frequent repetition.
Even though your habit may seem automatic, behind it stands a thought, a choice, and a decision. You are going to be developing the skill of awareness throughout this empowerment course. You will be conscious of your choices and why you choose them. All actions have consequences. It’s time for new actions that bring new results.
With a little perseverance, willpower, and determination, you can be free from that nasty little habit!
Here are five strategies that can help:
1. Commitment. Make sure this is something you truly want to accomplish. It’s wonderful to “talk the talk,” but you’ll need to back that up by “walking the walk” as well. Be honest with yourself. Do you truly believe that this is the right time to kick your bad habit? Remember, it has to be done for the right reasons.
- Don’t let yourself be pressured by others.
2. Start a journal. Jot down every time you practice your bad habit. This isn’t to be used as a punishment, but to give you more of an idea when your undesired behavior is occurring, so that you can better devise ways to break it.
· Include your thoughts and feelings that precede or accompany the behavior.
3. Choose an alternative behavior. This behavior can either remind you of your desire to quit or be a permanent replacement of your bad behavior with a desirable one instead.
- One of the things I love to do is to take a walk. You can also try reading a book, singing a song, or cookomg. Any activity can be used as an alternative behavior. Of course, you don’t want to replace one bad habit with another one, but anything that can redirect your focus works well.
4. Start a replacement schedule right away. Start immediately replacing your bad habit with your alternative, but a gradual shift may work better for you than a complete change.
- Remember, this won’t happen overnight, so please practice patience. People learn different behaviors at a different pace. Don’t be discouraged if your best friend stopped smoking in three weeks and you’re on your fifth week and still craving a cigarette.
5. Don’t keep this a secret. If you’ve made the decision to break a habit, tell others. This is the time when you need the support of your family and friends to help you be successful.
· Whether you succeed or not, you’ve taken a major leap in a positive direction. That’s why it’s so important to share what you hope to accomplish with family and friends. Those who love you will be there to encourage you, offer support, and help you wherever they can.
Breaking a bad habit can be difficult, but it isn’t impossible. Use these techniques to make your journey easier, then celebrate your accomplishment when you’ve succeeded – you deserve it!