Saying Goodbye to Unwanted Habits

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Saying Goodbye to Unwanted Habits

By: Janae Deshanelle

Habit (noun): A settled or regular tendency or practice especially one that is hard to give up. Habits form over time and most of the time we are unaware of our own habits. Bad habits interrupt your life sometimes prevent yours from accomplishing certain goals. Breaking a routine or habit you are used to sometimes feels like a change of lifestyle which you may be uncomfortable with.

On average, it takes a minimum of twenty-one days to break an old habit and form a new one. The work is never easy but if breaking a habit or finding a new one is something you wish to accomplish, it will take consistency and dedication.

Most bad habits are the result of stress or boredom. They address certain needs in your life and it is more beneficial to replace your bad habits with a healthier behavior. In order to break the habit, you should visualize yourself succeeding. It is much easier to accomplish a goal when you can envision the success. Breaking the habit does not mean become a new person, you probably have the healthier behavior in you, you just have to find it. Truth is, you have already lived without the bad habit and it is unlikely that you’ve had the same habit your entire life. You have already lived without the bad habit once before which means you can definitely do it again!

Whether the habit may be procrastination, overextending yourself, or even something so simple like biting your nails, once you figure out the problem, it is easier to fix. After identifying the problem you must decide what triggers the bad habits. At first, it will not be easy to just quit right away but going slow and making minor changes will allow you to figure out what your exact triggers are. Sometimes your triggers may be people, environments or even a recollection of a former incident. No matter what they are, slowing removing them from your life can be extremely beneficial.

Questions you should ask yourself are:

  • When does your bad habit actually happen?
  • How many times do you do it each day?
  • Where are you?
  • Who are you with?
  • What triggers the behavior and causes it to start?

Once identified, writing down the problem and what provokes the bad habit will allow you to see it right in front of you. Writing down a plan and keeping a record of your progress is a great way to envision saying goodbye to the habit. The plan may vary from weeks to months but as long as you have the consistency you will meet your goal. At times you will be pressured to go back to old ways but once you start seeing results you are less likely to revert to old habits.