Bad Habits…

Let’s face it, they come in all forms, shapes, and sizes.  They can be as bad as a horrible drug addiction or as simple as continuously not tidying up after yourself.  Bad habits can take you from venting out your problems all the way to becoming a chronic complainer.  However these “bad habits” came to be, just as they came to exist, there are solutions to putting an end to them.

Let’s say for instance that you have a bad habit (Generally speaking, of course; and you can replace this with any bad habit.). Saying “I’ll do it tomorrow” aka the popular unpopular art of procrastination, is probably the number one worse habit of mankind.  It takes all of your bad habits and lets you face them with the hope of resolving “tomorrow”.  This tricks your brain to enjoy being miserable in your bad habit today because you’ll  fix it tomorrow, right?  Unfortunately, in reality, the popular unpopular art of procrastination can turn tomorrow into next month and that next month into next year and so on.

Since a habit alone is merely a repetition of a pattern done when you’re not quite conscientious of doing it, a bad habit is a habit with negative effects.   Other popular unpopular bad habits include smoking, nail biting, skin picking, overspending, gossiping, fidgeting, stereotyping, and even spending too much time watching tv.  Again, there are solutions.

Here are 7 awesome ways to get rid of your bad habits for good.

1) AWARENESS IS KEY
How can we know we’re doing anything wrong unless we’re made aware of it?  In James Claiborn’s “The Habit Change Workbook: How to break bad habits and form good ones“, you’re taken on a journey to find out what your negative habits are.  Many times, we know we hurt ourselves and continue to do harm.  However, once we know if we’re harming those we love, that knowledge alone may make us change for the better! Try to take notice of anything you may habitually be doing that is harming your relationships, your financial situation, your physical appearance, your mental stability, and even how you handle stressful events in any way. 

2) BECOME CONSCIENTIOUS
Another good way to become aware of our bad habits with the intention of stopping them in their tracks is to simply “Log it” down.  According to New York psychologist and author of “What to Do When He Has a Headache: Renewing Desire and Intimacy in Your Relationship“, Janet L. Wolfe states that by creating a log of your daily habit you just might be able to note what triggers your negative patterned behavior.  It is with this knowledge that you can intercept and eventually obliterate your bad habit. Try to keep a daily journal of your bad habits. After at least a week’s worth, you should have a bird’s eye view of what’s really going on!

3) THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS
Or perhaps put yourself in less stressful situations.  This might be easier said than done.  However, a study done in the late 1970’s, a Canadian scientist by the name of Bruce K. Alexander conducted an experiment called Rat Park.  In this controlled study, they found that rats who were given living conditions where they could live and thrive positively were less likely to go for the drug-laden water than those of their counterparts who were in controlled environments that did not allow positive mental growth.  This experiment gave the scientist proof that addictions, as well as bad habits, can be controlled.  Try your best to live a stress-free life and remove things or yourself from situations that cause stress in your life.

4) CREATE AN “IF-THEN” PLAN
Dr. Peter Gollwitzer who’s an author of many books including “The Psychology of Action: Linking Cognition and Motivation to Behavior” and a professor of psychology at New York University created the “If-Then” Plan in the late 1990’s.  The “If-then” plan takes the road to success of reaching your goals from the straight and narrow that often leads to failure to the wide open easy back road.  Having this fall back plan allows you to alter your path but stay the course.  For example, If I press that snooze button, I’ll kick off my blankets.  The result of this may eventually break the habit of sleeping in.  Another example could be, If I go to the mall, I will not spend more than $10.  The result of mindful spending may eventually break the habit of overspending. Try creating your own “If-Then” Plan for any of your bad habits!

5) REASSOCIATE
In many Anthony Robbins teachings of self-mastery, like in his: “Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial“, he talks about being able to reassociate negative situations in your life.  If you think habitually complaining is becoming less appealing, then you might want to start not complaining so much.  The best way would be to reassociate it with something painful and not want to have anything to do with it anymore.  For instance, if you’re a chronic complainer, try instead of seeing who or what you’re complaining about by stepping outside of yourself to see if you can view the situation differently from their point of view.  Everyone has a story, and perhaps we just have to be a little understanding.  If you are a chronic skin picker or nail biter, try to associate those habits with germs and bugs that will enter your body if you keep exposing your body by opening it up to the elements.  Try to reassociate the comfort in your bad habits to discomfort; find comfort in not doing those things in your life.

6) BLAST OFF YOUR BAD HABIT!
Author of “The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage“, Mel Robbins, teaches you to take what you really want in your mind to eventually holding it in your hands despite your debilitating fears.  She uses the method of counting down and letting go.  Say for instance you’re a smoker or a drug addict.  You’re about to take a hit and know in your heart that you really want to quit.  Begin to countdown starting with 5, knowing that when you get to 1 you are just going to stop.  You’re just going to throw that cigarette away.  That’s right! The next time you catch yourself doing something you’re trying to break from doing, start counting down. Get to 1, then stop what you’re doing and go do something positively productive!

7) JUST SAY NO
Dr. Vanessa Patrick is a Professor of Marketing and Director of the PhD Program in Marketing and Faculty Advisor to the Bauer Women’s Society at the University of Houston.  Her research teaches that we should just say NO or “I don’t” instead of “I can’t”.  For instance, let’s say you’re trying to workout every day but you can’t seem to get out of bed or “I’ll do it tomorrow” is becoming a daily habit (bad!), try saying “I don’t miss my workouts”.  Her study has found that this small verbal change in our minds creates the necessary self-motivation to say no to ill temptation.  Try it! Instead of saying “I can’t eat healthily.”, try saying “I don’t eat fast food!” Instead of saying “I can’t save money”, say “I don’t overspend!”  Instead of saying I can’t work out for the life of me!”, say “I don’t miss a workout!” Say, “I don’t do anything that will hurt my mind or body.” Instead of I can’t.” try “I don’t ______ (fill in the blank.).”

We’d love to hear your tips on how to stop bad habits or what you did to stop a bad habit of your own!

Please share in the comment section below 🙂

In good health, love, and light…