10 ways to break bad habits
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You may have a few vices you would like to be rid of, but it is important that you don’t try to break all your bad habits at once. You’re not superhuman and trying to kick a smoking habit, give up chocolate and stop biting your nails all at the same time is probably going to be hard to achieve. Instead, prioritize and pick the habit you most urgently need to change first. Also, try to set a definite goal to work towards rather than a vague “I’m going to stop being so unhealthy”. Identify what exactly it is you need to do (or stop doing) and make that your focus.
Break your bad habits, tip 2: Take it one day at a time
Setting out to break a bad habit with the thought of “I can never do so-and-so ever again” can be extremely daunting; instead, tell yourself, “I won’t eat junk food/ smoke a cigarette/ have a gossip for the rest of today”. Concentrating on kicking your habit one day at a time makes it seem a lot more achievable, and each day that you beat that habit will inspire you to try again tomorrow. For added motivation, try charting your success on a calendar, marking each day that you have resisted your habit.
Break your bad habits, tip 3: Go public
When trying to kick a bad habit, it is important to tell at least one person about it so that you have somebody to be accountable to. When you are craving a cigarette on your lunch hour it is far easier to give in to your craving if you have nobody to answer to than if you know your colleague is going to quiz you later. You could even consider starting up a blog so that others can follow your progress – having to write about your lapses for others’ viewing may help you think twice about giving in.
Break your bad habits, tip 4: Recruit a friend
Even better than just telling someone about your goal, if you know someone who’s been talking about giving up the same bad habit for a while, or who has been inspired by your decision, why not talk them into getting onboard too? Having someone else who knows what you’re going through is great motivation as you will always have someone to call for a moan or some support when the going gets tough.
Break your bad habits, tip 5: Prepare for weak moments
Although it is great to go into this positively, being too confident – and failing to prepare for those moments of weakness – could be your biggest mistake. Don’t rely on being too disciplined to fail; instead accept that we all lack willpower at times and try removing temptation to prepare for those weak moments. Clear the cupboards of chocolate, stay out of stressful situations, or get some distance from friends who encourage you to drink, for example – make it as difficult for yourself to indulge your habit as you can.
Break your bad habits, tip 6: Replace your bad habit with a good one
Break your bad habits, tip 7: Set regular reminders
Break your bad habits, tip 8: Reward your success
Break your bad habits, tip 9: Don’t let setbacks get you down
Break your bad habits, tip 10: Remind yourself why you’re doing
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