Forming Positive Habits Is Easier When You Break Negative Ones
People develop bad habits during their lifetime. Some are really difficult to break. But if the bad habits can be broken it will make forming positive habits that much easier.
Take smoking, for instance. There aren’t too many people that will disagree that this is a really bad habit. This includes smokers. Exercising is a good habit, as long as you approach it correctly. Yet, it will be very difficult for smokers to adopt the good habit of exercise because the smoking interferes with their ability to breathe. This is a crucial aspect to exercising properly.
Another example is procrastination. Most people universally agree that this is not a great habit. While it’s not as life-threatening as smoking, it can be a cause for companies to fire someone who engages in it. If people want to be more productive and they tend to procrastinate, they will need to break that bad habit. The good news is that procrastination is much easier to break than smoking. Also, just the nature of breaking it makes someone automatically more productive.
Of course, not every bad habit is going to be offset by a good one. There are certainly plenty of bad habits that may not have any effect on good ones. They can easily coexist. For instance, if someone is a smoker, that doesn’t automatically make them a procrastinator. Therefore, they could already be very productive in their work. Some may argue that taking several breaks for smoking can have the equivalent outcome as one who procrastinates. But not everyone who smokes takes multiple breaks per day, so it is a weak argument at best.
One way to approach positive habit formation is to think about how many hours you spend awake every day. If you increase the number of positive habits, something has to give. Let it be the negative ones. Unless those negative habits are done in your sleep, like snoring, in your waking hours, you either have to forgo those negative habits or you simply cannot add any more of the positive ones. The rewards for taking on more positive habits should easily overtake the loss of the negative habits.
You shouldn’t try to change your habits all at once. It takes time for your brain to adjust to new behaviors. Do it one habit at a time or perhaps lose one bad habit while gaining a good one, etc. As you feel you have mastered the good habits, add others into the mix.