9 Unusual Tips for Breaking Bad Habits
Bad habits can be hard to break. After all, there’s a reason that we all have things that we’d like to change about ourselves.
Here are 9 somewhat unusual or counterintuitive tips for breaking bad habits:
1. Increase Awareness of the Habit
Common sense to many might entail ignoring a bad habit to rid oneself of it, but increasing awareness of it, documenting when it happens, might be most effective. One method of documentation is making a checklist of how often you’re doing unwanted things, and in what circumstances you do them.
After introspection, you will hopefully be able to define any culprits, and find replacement habits.
Getting rid of temptations in your environment is essential in stopping bad habits. The idea that it is “cheating” to completely get rid of a distraction or temptation is hogwash. Anything is fair game when trying to rid oneself of a habit, including the bane of everyone’s life – clutter. And if you think a cluttered environment makes no difference, think again. It does.
3. Think Negatively
Okay, don’t think negatively per se, but be realistic and engage the doubting mechanisms inherent in your being. Look at what can go wrong in attempting to change a habit, and try to tackle those potential problems. Looking at circumstances in a pragmatic manner is the only to change bad habits.
Although mentioned earlier, replacement is very effective. Find another hobby, such as playing an instrument or exercising. It will take time, but it can work!
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5. Cutting Down Piecemeal
While going cold turkey is an option for many, cutting down a bad habit in steps, or piecemeal, is often a more realistic goal. This might mean having three cigarettes a day, rather than an entire pack. This piecemeal approach will work over time.
6. Know the Benefits
Knowing the benefits of what you want to achieve by breaking a bad habit will greatly enhance your motivation. You need to know why you’re doing something if you want to change.
Although our decisions should have a rational basis, most of us react emotionally. With this being said, it is imperative that we tie our decisions to something emotionally-driven. Rational thinking alone won’t inspire change.
8. Tell a Friend or Someone Who Sees You Often
Telling a friend or family member about your decision to change a bad habit can help tremendously in actually inspiring change. This is because this individual will hold you accountable for actually falling through on your goals.
9. Be Around Inspiring People
Associating with people who are doing what you are aiming to do can help tremendously with motivation. This applies to both individuals and larger groups of people.