Bad habits are ones that either obstruct or even undo the hard work it takes to push for what you truly want. You may be ambitious and talented, but bad habits can prevent you from making the most of your potential and finding success. If you would like to overcome your bad habits and improve yourself, take a look at these five simple strategies.
1. Pinpoint the Habit
Not all habits are bad. Only if you are experiencing negative consequences as a result of a habit does it become a bad one. Common examples of bad habits include:
- Biting your fingernails
- Overusing your phone
- Telling lies
- Leaving responsibilities until the last minute
- Running late
There are plenty more examples of bad habits, and how bad each of them might be depends on who experiences them and how they affect their lives. Determining which of your habits is going against your goals and values will help you to focus on the bad habits that need overcoming the most.
2. Replace Negative Habits with Positive Habits
Once you have identified some of the main bad habits that you would like to overcome, choose one to focus on and pair it with a related positive habit that you would like to have. For example, if you bite your fingernails, stop yourself when you catch the habit in action, then switch to a positive habit you want to develop, such as applying lotion to your hands. Not all bad habits will have a related positive one, but giving your mind something else to focus on is the important part.
3. Ask for Help
Changing something ingrained in your personality is a challenge, so having someone by your side to help can be extremely valuable. This might be a friend or loved one who supports you by joining you on your mission to eliminate your bad habit by eliminating one of theirs, too. You can also ask for help by contacting a mental health specialist who can give you advice on how to gain better control over your mind. Take a look at changefutures.org.au for further details.
4. Restrict Your Bad Habits
Sometimes trying to overcome a bad habit all at once is too much to expect from yourself. This is because habits are ingrained into the brain by repetitive pathways which are difficult to think your way out of. Instead of attempting to completely erase a bad habit, try limiting it in increments. For example, if you spend too much time watching videos online and it is getting in the way of your work, restrict yourself to one hour a day, then one hour a week, until you break the bad habit and have better control over your time.
5. Forgive Failures
Don’t punish yourself for accidentally falling back into bad habits. Rather than aiming for a streak of days where you don’t slip up, take it one day at a time and be optimistic about your progress.