Bad habits are bad news. We’re getting to that time of year when we are going to be making new year resolutions to get rid of some bad habits. What you are going to get today is some techniques to give you a head start.
There isn’t anyone who doesn’t have at least one bad habit. Some sort of behaviour that we really want to stop, but seem stuck and unable to do so. While some bad habits are annoying, others are downright dangerous. Some bad habits have serious consequences such as destroying relationships or your health.
So if you understand that the bad habit is hurting you, why can’t you seem to stop it?
While reading up on this subject, I came across some great information about overcoming a bad habit in five simple steps.
How to Achieve Your New Year Resolutions in Five Steps
1. Identify – Decide – Convince
The first step is to identify that you have a problem. If you don’t do that, you will not feel the need to change or keep your new year resolutions in the first place. However, when you are willing to admit that a bad habit is becoming out of control or hurting you in some way, it’s a good sign.
You’ll need to be very honest with yourself, and it may be hard to focus on your bad habits, as this can make you feel bad about yourself. But admitting that you need to change something about yourself is a very healthy first step.
Once you identify the bad habit and how it’s negatively affecting you, decide to change the behaviour. You really have to want to change in order to put in the work and take action towards replacing the bad habit with a good one.
Keep a journal of how often you engage in the bad habit, or talk to close friends about their observations of your bad habit. This will give you valuable insight as to how others see you and how your bad habit affects yourself and others.
Once you decide to change, you really need to CONVINCE yourself that you have the power to actually change the bad behaviour. You need to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are capable of achieving your goal of eliminating the bad habit.
2. The Cause
Once you identify the bad habit, give thought as to what benefit you feel you are gaining from it. In other words, what keeps you stuck in the bad habit? What pay-off do you get from it?
If you’re always late, is it because you want to be in control of the time and schedules of others? Do you somehow feel entitled to show up whenever you want to (arrogance)? Or are you trying to set yourself up to fail because you don’t feel worthy of success?
Be very honest with your thoughts about the bad habit and why you want to resolve it in the new year. Does the bad habit make you feel good, important, provide relief from stress? What sort of reactions do you get from others? Are they tolerating or reinforcing the bad behaviour? Does the bad habit give you attention or excitement?
3. Set Some Goals
At this point, it’s time to set some goals to change the bad behaviour. It may require baby steps at first, but any positive step towards change is better than ignoring the problem.
Don’t set lofty or unrealistic goals because you are sure to fail. Bad habits are deeply rooted in your mind, and you won’t be able to change overnight.
Start with small goals and increase the positive action steps towards change at a slow, steady pace. You’ll get there in time and it’s not a race. Small victories go a lot further than unrealistic goals met with failure.
4. Measuring Progress
Keep a daily record of how you’re doing with breaking the bad habit. Keep a journal of positive action steps you’ve successfully achieved. Part of changing the habit is to feel good about the progress you’re making.
If you slip up or backslide, don’t beat yourself up or worse yet, give up. Simply pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back on board with your goals and achieving your new year resolutions.
Not hitting your goal for the day doesn’t mean you can’t change the behaviour, it’s just a small bump on your journey to change and fulfil those resolutions. Be sure to pat yourself on the back and feel good about yourself when you do hit your goals.
5. Get Help
If, despite your best efforts, you just cannot make the changes by yourself, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Talk to trusted friends, family members or join support groups in your effort to destroy the bad habit.
Sometimes the actions you need to take are bigger than what you thought, which is why you keep struggling with it. It’s important that you admit it if this is the case.
Being totally honest that you are stuck doesn’t mean you’re a failure, it just means you need support and help from those who have been through a similar experience. Remember that admitting you are weak can make you strong in the long run, and this can only happen by getting the additional help you may need.
Taking the time to discover what the bad habits are and where they are coming from are the first steps to stopping them. It’s very important to take the time to figure out why you have the need to continue in the bad behaviour. Once you can identify the source of the problem, you can take the action steps to conquer your bad habits and replace them with healthier, more empowering behaviours once and for all.
I hope you found that helpful in helping to achieve your new year resolutions and making 2017 your most successful year yet.
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