Sunday, November 20, 2011

How To Break Bad Habits

As part of changing your life, one of things that you will probably need to learn how to do is how to break bad habits. Bad habits sometimes set in when we are not happy with things in our lives. They can also be rooted in routines we had when we were younger. One of the things that I learned when I was in school was cramming. I was smart enough that it didn't matter if I waited to the last minute, I could always wait until the last minute and pull out a good score.

With life though, it's tougher. Mainly because for a lot of our goals, we have no deadlines. Since there is no sense of urgency to get it done today it never gets done.

Regardless of the reasons behind my bad habits, they still affect my life. Either through procrastination or just lack of following through on important things, I feel the brunt of it probably just like you do.

So, if bad habits affect you, what should you do to deal with them.

First, I would accept the fact that there are things that you'd like to improve about your situation. I'd realize that it's human nature to have vices. It doesn't make you a bad person. I wouldn't beat myself up about it.

Second, I would have to suggest to you that you must "want" to change. If you don't want to change, it doesn't really matter how many strategies you employ. If you don't want to you won't - pure and simple.

Next, I would isolate each bad habit and try and change it on it's own. Because these traits are so ingrained, wholesale changes where you try and fix 20 or 30 things at one time often don't work. Focus on one issue at a time.

After you decide on what habit you want to break, start studying it. When do you start it? When do you do it? Is there anything that triggers it? How often do you do it? Was there ever a time in your life when you didn't do it? How did that feel?

This information can prove very valuable in changing habits you don't want to have.

Once you have taken a good long look at why you engage in a bad habit, it's time to figure out a way to stop it.

One of my bad habits is eating late. I would really like to stop eating so late. Not so much that I want to change it completely. But enough that it does bother me. I feel like it is a roadblock to losing some of the extra weight I am carrying around.

The first thing that I did was realize that it was a problem and decide to figure out a way to stop it.

So I then studied it a little further. I figured out that I don't eat breakfast very often and because of that I am trying to get in needed calories that I missed out on early in the day. I also figured out that I often ate late at night by either going to a drive thru or stopping at a gas station to pick up a snack.

While I could have decided to just not eat after a certain time, it didn't work because I was hungry. What I did instead was give up one thing that I ate late - fried food. I then made it a thirty day challenge and have carried it on to this day. Next, I noticed that when I stopped at a gas station, I would pick up one of my favorite treats, nutty bars. Then I decided that I would give up snacks wrapped in plastic another thirty day challenge.

I did these things because it was an easier first step for me than saying I can't eat after a certain time.

I'm am slowly eating around the edges of the bad habit and removing it - one piece at at time.

Start looking at your bad habits. Which ones do you think you would like to change? Why not start working on them, one piece at a time.
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