Breaking bad habits is one of the hardest things we face as human beings. Research has shown that memories of habits remain in our brains and if the right conditions exist, the habit returns quickly and with a vengeance. Anyone who has struggled with weight or addiction issues grapples with this on a regular basis. There are steps you can take though to develop healthy habits while eliminating the unhealthy ones.
Define your goal. Be specific about what it is that you want to change or overcome. Keeping your goals in mind helps create new habits whether it is a new job, a weight loss goal or to quit smoking.
See yourself succeeding. Visualizing yourself reaching your goal, changing a habit and developing a new productive, healthy one will go a long way to helping you achieve it. If you can see yourself succeeding, you can stay on course.
One day at a time. Remember that you developed this habit over time, so it is not going to disappear overnight. Devise a plan with specific steps you can take to move toward changing that behavior. If you want to quit smoking for example, start by setting a quit date. Then you can begin to formulate next steps.
Give yourself a break. If you deviate from the path or fall back into an old behavior or habit temporarily, give yourself permission to make a mistake and then move on. Slipping gives you experience and tools to face the challenge in the days ahead.
Check your behavior. If you want to change a habit make sure your behaviors are in line with your goals. If you want to stop drinking, don’t hang out in the bar. If you don’t like your job, look for something else instead of watching television. Focus on making new healthy habits.
Share your story. Let your friends and family know what you are doing, the changes you are trying to make or the habits you are trying to break. Chances are they will support you in your quest and may even offer suggestions or ideas to make your journey a little easier.
Change the scenery. Do something fun and exciting to commemorate the change like a new hair cut or outfit. Maybe rearrange the furniture or sit in a different spot. Change your scenery to get a new perspective on your life minus the bad habit!
Celebrate your success. Making new habits is difficult and each step toward achieving that change should be celebrated. When you reach a goal, reward yourself and you’ll find that making new habits becomes easier and quite rewarding.
No magic potion exists to break bad habits, but there are ways to overcome them and if you follow some of the ideas outlined above, you will be well on your way to developing good habits and breaking those bad, destructive habits that keep you feeling defeated and controlled. Take back the power and change your life. It is hard, but can be done. The rewards are plenty.