If you’ve spent any amount of time with me, you know that I love a good discussion about habits. Whether good or bad, we all have them. If you’ve clicked on this post today though, you know we are talking about habits you want to break...habits that are no longer serving the person you want to become.
Bad habits are something that have evolved within our life that usually have some sort of pay off that we find rewarding. Maybe it’s the feeling of a lazy day spent on the couch avoiding chores, or avoiding that sense of anxiety by procrastinating on a big work project. Either way, the immediate gratification of embracing that bad habit is so enticing that we find ourselves doing it over and over.
But news flash! All those bad habits don’t offer any rewards! They continue to just bring short term “happiness,” causing you to miss out on all the goodness that is otherwise out there.
So how do you break bad habits? It’s not as difficult as you may think!
To start, take some time to brainstorm all your bad habits. I know, this may sound a little tedious. But if you don’t take inventory of all the habits that you’d like to stop, you’re going to have a difficult time breaking them!
List all the obvious habits you want to break, then take a little extra time reflecting on your habits, in general. Are some of them actually not as good or healthy as you want them to be? Now’s the time to take notice.
After you’ve identified your bad habits, it’s time to interrupt it and replace it with something else. That’s right, you aren’t going to just quit cold turkey! You’re going to take that negative behavior and redirect it into something that is positive and worthwhile.
But first, you’re going to need to figure out the emotions that are tied to that bad habit.
Brendon Burchard discusses this very topic and how taking time to identify the behavior behind the bad habit is key. Rather than just removing a potential trigger all together, like getting rid of food so you won’t overeat or cutting off your long nails so you won’t bite them, it’s important to understand why you are turning to those behaviors in the first place.
Whether it’s anxiety, fear, sadness or any other strong emotion, now’s the time to see how your bad habit is linked to the emotion. Instead of continually embracing that habit, now you can replace it with a healthy version.
Maybe that means talking it out with a coach, writing in a journal, or getting out of the house to get a breather. Practice stopping the bad habit, inserting a healthy one and then reap the rewards!
The important thing here is to practice. There will be times when your bad habits resurface–– we’re human after all. Taking time to rehearse or practice how you will respond when you come face to face with a trigger will take you a long way in overcoming that habit for good.
No matter how successful you become, reflecting on habits is a healthy way to further your personal development. I’d love to talk to you about my 90-Day Habit Reset to help you optimize your mindset, business, and relationships.