6 Steps to Ditch a Bad Habit for Good

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We all have our bad habits, don’t we? They can be bad for our health, both mentally and physically, and they can hold us back from achieving our full potential and accomplishing our dreams and ambitions. But why do we still have bad habits if we know they’re bad? The answer is easy: because they feel good at the time of their occurrence. They help us cope with whatever stressful situation we encounter. That being said, it is extremely challenging to lose a bad habit, but these are some tried and tested ways to make it happen!

1. Finding the Source

The first step in fixing a problem is admitting that there is one. Following that, it would be helpful to know why the problem exists. We can trace almost all bad habits down to two things: stress and boredom. From stress eating and smoking to excessive shopping and wasting time on social media, it all boils down to those two factors.

2. Becoming Self Aware

We need to be aware of our bad habits; how often they happen, when and where they happen, who they happen with and what triggers them. These are some of the questions we need to ask ourselves. The goal is not to feel guilty, but to understand our behavior and get ahead of the problem.

3. Substituting with Healthier Options

Finding an alternative habit that still combats the stress and boredom trigger is the best way to fight fire with fire. A compulsive smoker could try incorporating some breathing exercises instead. Those with a weakness for chips could try having a healthy rice cake as a less fattening option.

4. Incorporating the Buddy System

It’s always good to find someone who motivates us to incorporate healthy choices into our daily lifestyle. Teaming up with a gym buddy or joining forces with that work colleague who keeps saying that they need to quit smoking could be the best decision for both ends. When the two team up and hold each other accountable, this makes it easier to stay on track and celebrate milestones together.

5. Dreaming Big (But Starting Small)

As we get closer to 2018, most people are already starting to work on their New Year’s resolutions. However, most of them fall off the wagon pretty soon after they start. The reason behind this is that they have big dreams and no patience to see those dreams come to life. We have to realize that our bad habits have been seeping into our lives for months or even years. Reversing those bad habits and replacing them with good ones will take time. So instead of aiming to lose five kilograms a week, one could aim for something smaller and more reasonable. Small steps lead the way to a bigger victory down the road.

6. Preparing a Backup Plan

We are all human, after all is said and done. We all slip up from time to time down the road to self improvement. Instead of feeling guilty over the french fries we had for lunch or the workout we skipped this morning, we need to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and just keep going.

Breaking bad habits takes time and effort, but it just needs perseverance. Most people who end up breaking their bad habits try and fail multiple times before they make it work. We might not find success right away, but it’s important to remember that nothing is impossible.

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