They say that it takes 21 days to create a new habit and break the old habit.
There are good habits that help you in your life and career but there’s also bad habits that have a negative impact on your life.
Do you have bad habits that prevent you from achieving your goals or even dreams? Like smoking, gossiping, thinking negatively, always being late or absent from work and school, eating junk foods, procrastinating, etc.
Maybe those bad habits can affect your career and even your life?
Habits are like walls. You built each block at a time until it forms a wall. And when they are strong and hard you keep on adding them. Either bad or good habit are built with a foundation.
Why do we have those?
We make bad decisions sometimes including developing bad habits. I am just like you, I too have bad habits. It really takes me years to really pave my way to replace those with the good one. I was stubborn, maybe, I am. When I was in college. I really had bad issues about procrastinating up until I was working. I don’t know why I do that and why I fall into different kinds of bad habits. I discover that behind those bad habits are crying for help and for understanding. There is a deeper meaning to what you are doing right now. You don’t do it because you like it; sometimes it’s more than liking what you do that makes you do it (like your past experiences, disappointments, failure, etc.) It is what you are doing to make you feel better. Maybe there are benefits that you get from doing your bad habits, but those benefits might affect your emotional and physical self.
Eliminating bad habits is really a process that takes time especially when the bad habit become your lifestyle. So you might stick to your routine once you replace that bad habit with a good one.
Today, you can break the bad habit that is making you sick. If you remove a bad habit there will be void. And we need to replace it with the good one.
I know it takes me years to break all of the bad habits I have. I won’t discover if I didn’t fall. I will not learn if didn’t make mistakes. I will share the things that help me overcome my bad habits. It’s still you that make the decision to breakthrough. What I do know works, is your mindset that you are willing to break the bad habit and replace it with a good one. Since there is a deeper issue behind those bad habits, it’s really important to be honest with yourself.
Why we do “Bad Habits”
What are the reasons why we do bad habits? There are some causes why we do bad habits. The common reasons of bad habits are being bored or stress. I explained to you last week that procrastination might lead to bad habits. Mel Robbins said, “Procrastination is a stress reliever.” And when we procrastinate we are creating a habit of delaying things rather than doing the important things.
For example a smoker: when a smoker is in a stress mode, they tend to smoke more cigarettes. And when they become bored that habit of smoking will always trigger. Like also overeating, sleeping too much, spending too much on the couch watching TV, drinking too much alcohol, spending too much on non-important things leading to debt, overdosing yourself from painkillers or sedatives, skipping breakfast, biting your nails when stress, and isolating yourself when stress that will lead to depression.
No matter what the reason for you stress and boredom. Anything that destroys you emotionally, physically and your overall health you need to stop.
Other reasons are:
Fear is one of the reasons why we do our bad habits. Procrastination is also caused by fear. When you feel fear, you don’t want to show up to all the works you are doing. We all have fears and we need those fears to make the right decision in our life. According to Mel Robbins, Fear and excitement have the same pattern. So when you fear, it’s your mind that has the power if you will accept it as a fear or as an excitement to do your work. It’s all in your mind. Fear will always be there. It’s a matter how you will think of it as a fear or how you will face it in the middle of a decision.
Lack of Self-Confidence and Social Acceptance
Being accepted is what common in us. We tried to please everyone around us. When we see that we are rejected, criticize for who we are, we tend to change ourselves to the person we are really not. We think that being other people is being accepted. So, we fall into the world of fakes where our beliefs are not important. We think that if we smoke, if we use drugs or if we do what others are doing we will be accepted for who we are in which we are destroying our own self in the process. Self-Confidence can also be a factor why most people have bad habits. If people started to lose confidence, they will start to not trust themselves and find something that will make them feel good and feel important and understand.
Lack of Awareness and understanding
The thinking of everybody is doing it. So, it’s okay if I also do it. Understanding what triggers the bad habit will help you on the first step of awareness. Understanding that bad habit has a negative effect on you: emotionally, physically, and overall health. Because of lack of awareness and understanding in what we do, we tend to fall in the wrong crowd.
Break Up with your Bad Habit
Awareness (Identify what triggers)
We know what’s right or wrong. Bad habits are unhealthy to us. Sometimes we are just denying the fall that we are doing it. Acknowledge that you are struggling with your bad habits. We are defending ourselves that it is the reason of our bad habit. Understand it and be conscious about what your actions. “Is it causing me trouble?”, “Is it affecting my relationship with my family?”, or “Is it making me unhealthy emotionally and physically?” Identify what is your bad habit.
Do It Now
Just do it now. There’s no other day than to do action but today, at this every moment. Don’t wait for the perfect time or day to take action on your bad habit. Just do it now and you will get better.
Cut Out “Negative Self Talk” – Bring Back Your True Self
Often time when we are in our journey of cutting our bad habit, we oftentimes fall again because if we already did a lot of things to replace bad to good it doesn’t work. Then we might tend to think to ourselves that “this is how we are, we’re never going to breakthrough.” It’s easy to judge ourselves when we fall and make mistakes. Instead of telling ourselves how bad we are, why don’t we say, “I’m doing the best I can…”, “I am improving as I go into the process of removing my bad habit.”, “I am a winner.” Affirming yourself positively will make you feel better about yourself and about what you are doing.
You may fail a lot of times. In reality, everybody fails in their lives that’s how we learned and grow. You don’t need to be someone else; you just need to return your old you – the person that is not smoking, that is not drinking alcohol, not worrying too much. You don’t need to change. You just need to return the old you. If you are not smoking, you just need to return being a non-smoker.
Ask For Help – Build A Support System
Surround yourself with people that do not drink (your habit)… Go with the right crowd of people who will help you and give out the best in you, not the worst.
You can ask people for help if you don’t know how to start or not sure what you’re going to do. It’s better to be clear with yourself to accomplish your goals.
Reward Yourself For Small Progress
One habit at a time. Don’t be in a hurry. But always do your best. Focus on one habit at a time. Take it slow. Enjoy the moment. Don’t push yourself, just take it slow. If you have multiple habits… When it triggers, do replace it with the good one. Reward yourself for small progress by treating yourself to a delicious lunch or dinner. Pampering yourself but not too much. There are so many things to do.
Even if you fail, just keep going. Forgive yourself every time you fall. And then starts again. When I try to eliminate my habit of procrastinating. There’s some fall along the run. You will fall and be prepared for it. Don’t forget yourself to forgive every time you fall. Don’t give up. Start a new day. Until you make it. Don’t throw your hands up and say I give up. You are beaten if you give up.
Trick Your Mind
Our mind can control us if we didn’t take charge of ourselves. Trick your mind. Control yourself by tricking your mind. You know better. Just like when you feel to procrastinate. Our mind can tell we are not good enough for that task that we don’t have the right resources or enough time to do it. It’s a matter of tricking your mind and getting into action.
Bad Habit (Replace it with new one)
Since a habit was already created and done always. When you remove it, you will feel there’s something void in your life. Tendency, if you don’t replace it with another one, you will just fall again to doing it. Think something that you like to do or good at something. Do what you love. Do what you curious about. “Don’t follow your passion. Let your passion follow you”, as Terri Trespicio said in her Ted Talk about ‘Passion’. It’s not about following your passion. Somehow you don’t know yet your passion. It’s about following your curiosity. Like what Liz Gilbert said about letting go of passion and following your curiosity, “…your curiosity just might lead you to your passion.” Just follow what you are curious about a good habit like meditation, writing on a grateful notebook everyday, taking photography, painting… What do you like to do? Probably, you will discover your passion.
Find Something Or A Hobby You’re Interested In (Do What You Love)
I always think of what I have that I always love that even though I was not paid for it, I will still do it. For me, it’s writing. Even I was not given any credit for what I do. I will still do it because this is what I want to do. It’s what I love to do. I love sharing my writings and when people read it and comment that they were helped through my writing. It’s very fulfilling on my part.
NOTE: We make decisions everyday. Your decisions will make an impact on your future. At the end of the day, it will always be your choice – A decision to change.
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