Getting rid of your bad habits is important – this is something that has been regularly hammered into our minds. Why, though? It’s because bad habits can prevent women from doing the things they want to do in life. They can interrupt the course of your life and even jeopardize your mental and physical health. Bad habits are a huge waste of money, time, and energy, so why continue to let them interfere in our lives like that?
Changing bad habits isn’t all that easy. However, it can take some time for you to quit them and replace them with better habits. The bright side is that putting in the effort into developing better habits can be life-changing for you and your health. Here, we have a simple guide that can help you change your bad habits.
What Are The Causes of Bad Habits?
Bad habits usually develop due to two reasons: boredom and stress. A lot of the time, we form bad habits to cope with the boredom and stress we have in our everyday lives. Anything from drinking every evening or overspending while shopping online to simply biting nails and wasting time on the internet can constitute as a way to deal with boredom or stress.
However, it doesn’t have to stay that way. There are plenty of things that you can do to transform your life.
Of course, bad habits can also emerge out of deeper issues rather than just surface feelings of boredom or stress. It can be tough to think of these deeper issues, but it is also vital to be honest with yourself so that you can make the necessary changes. What are the reasons and beliefs behind your bad habits? Is there some belief, event, or fear that causes you to continue to hold onto the habit?
For women to attain true self-actualization and independence, it is important to overcome bad habits.
What Are Some Common Bad Habits?
Here are some common bad habits that you may have:
Eating too much fast food
Obsessively checking phone
Having too many sugary drinks
There can be other bad habits, but these are the most common ones that people have.
Replacing and Changing Bad Habits
One thing that you should remember is that eliminating bad habits often doesn’t work; instead, the way to go about this is by replacing them with other, better habits.
Sometimes, even bad habits can have certain perceivable ‘benefits,’ such as the biological impact of drugs or smoking. It can also be emotional, such as when you continue to stay in a toxic or abusive relationship. It may just be a bad habit that you have formed to cope with stress, like tapping your feet, biting your nails, or pulling your hair.
These benefits can also extend to any smaller bad habit that you may have too. For example, going on your social media accounts as soon as you turn on your work computer because social media makes you feel connected to the world. However, this harms your productivity, increases stress, and divides your attention. You may even end up staying late at work to complete your work because you were on social media for too long. However, you continue with the bad habit to prevent yourself from feeling FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
Since bad habits do have some perceived benefits, it can be quite difficult to eliminate them completely. This is why advice like ‘just stop’ doesn’t really work for anyone. Changing bad habits can only be done if you concentrate on forming a new habit that has the same amount of benefits.
For example, let’s say you smoke when you get stressed. If you only choose to stop smoking and don’t come up with a solid way to deal with the stress, you will just end up smoking again. Instead, you can utilize your old smoke breaks to meditate or do some breathing exercises.
Simply put, bad habits do tend to address some needs in life. This is why it is important to replace them with healthier, better habits that address the same needs for you. Simply cutting out bad habits without coming up with helpful replacements doesn’t work as well.
Breaking Bad Habits
Here are some simple ideas that you can follow that will help you get rid of bad habits and choose good ones instead.
Select a Substitute
There should be a plan in place for when you experience stress or boredom again in your life. What should you do when Instagram is calling you to waste time? You can instead write one more sentence for work. What should you do if you want to snack at odd times? Prepare some healthy snacks in advance so that you don’t want to eat junk food at strange times during the day.
No matter what bad habit you are dealing with, there is probably a good substitute for it that you should consider carefully.
Cut Out Triggers
If you are a social drinker, then avoid going to the bar. If you smoke with certain friends, tell them not to smoke around you or offer your cigarettes. If you tend to eat a lot of sugary foods at home while watching Netflix, don’t buy any snacks for the home. Make it easier on yourself to avoid bad habits since the presence of triggers can also cause you to indulge a little. The environment can also make it easier for you to continue with your bad habits. Changing the environment can help you deal with these negative habits.
Partner Up With Someone
Dieting in private or quitting drinking without telling anyone can also impact how well you are able to change your bad habits. Keeping it to yourself can lower the level of accountability that you face since no one will see you fail.
Pairing up with someone to quit together can be a wonderful idea. Holding each other accountable as well as celebrating small victories and milestones together can be a great motivator to change your habits. The fact that someone out there is expecting you to become a better person can help a huge deal.
Recognizing and surrounding yourself with role models is also a great idea. This doesn’t mean that you completely ditch your friends and family. It means that you should make some new friends to become better. Whether it’s the health-conscious woman in your yoga class or the 2-years sober colleague, it can be empowering to surround oneself with such individuals.
Visualize Your Success
The power of imagination should never be underestimated. Imagine exercising more, throwing away your smokes, buying healthier food, or even sleeping earlier.
It doesn’t matter what the bad habit is; you need to visualize that you are enjoying your success. If you see yourself being able to do it, it will be more likely for you to do it.
Returning to the Old
The thing about breaking bad habits is that you don’t have to think that you’re becoming a completely new person. Instead, you’re just returning to the person you were before you formed the bad habit.
Overcoming Negative Self-Talks
We can often judge ourselves for not being better. Each time you make a mistake or slip up in your mission, you may start to put yourself down, which can be really bad for your mental health and motivation. The important thing is to add a little ‘but’ at the end of it:
• “I am so fat, but I can become fit a year from now.”
• “Nobody respects my contribution at work, but they will when I nail this presentation.”
• “I failed, but everyone tends to fail sometimes.”
Failing makes us human, so it doesn’t matter if you screw up while attempting to get better. Everyone else does it too, and you will continue to make mistakes. Instead of beating yourself up for making mistakes, you can also plan ahead for future mistakes.
For example, you tend to skip workouts after work because you have social activities planned often in the evenings. Talk to your gym and ask them to let you work out in the mornings on some days. By planning your day ahead, you will be able to work out and still meet up with your friends.
Being aware of your bad habits is as important as admitting they exist. Changing bad habits is vital if you want to be free again. Here is the formula to your freedom: bad habit – realize – admit – contemplate – change – freedom! Enjoing the new you!