Too Late to Change Your Bad Habits? I Don't Think So!
There are many reasons why you may want to break your bad habits - you are spending too much time on your phone or watching TV, you are overspending, or maybe you are eating too much fast food.
There are four simple things you can do to break free from your bad habits, each with its own challenges, but with a great chance of success:
- Overcoming the Critics
- just Do It
Breaking old bad habits is hard so most people give up at the start. But it isn't that hard: if you know how to follow through with the process. I will try my best to explain all the points highlighted - to inspire you to break your unhealthy habits.
Acknowledging Your Bad Habits
Before Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ become the greatest evangelist that ever lived - he had to first acknowledge his sins (in your cases bad habits).
His convictions forced him to see his faults for what they really were, sins!. Prior to that, he had no need to address his faults - they were normal for him.
This story highlights the importance of acknowledging your bad habits. But if you avoid this phase, chances of you breaking your bad habits are slim.
It's tempting to skip this step. But my experience has taught me that if you refuse to acknowledge your bad habits - you are like some people, fighting blindfolded.
Everyone who became great acknowledged their weaknesses - that they needed to change. So if you are ready to break free from your bad habits - start by acknowledging them.
Learning About Your Bad Habits
If you have completed the first step: Congratulations! You have made it to where most people haven't reached - you have overcome the pitfall that weary souls fall prey.
Knowledge! Why Knowledge? The Bible says that people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. What you don't know will destroy you: in your case, what you don't know about your bad habits will keep you bound and frustrated.
You want to stop, but you keep doing it anyway - and after you feel guilty and frustrated. Why do I keep doing this? Why do I give in so easily? Why are my bad habits so hard to break? Questions that need answers - getting the right information is key to answer these questions.
To learn a new habit whether good or bad takes between 18-254 days. A lot more is going on with the brain that what you can't see - what you see are the results from the working of your brain. So it's critical to seek the right knowledge about how the brain reacts in different situations and environments.
There's a lot to learn at this phase so here are a few things you can do to fast-track your learning:
- Talk with other people: join focus groups, share your experience with families and friends. You will be surprised how much you will learn from other people's experience, and what they did to break their old bad habits.
- Consult a professional: whether a psychologist or a doctor, they are called professional because they can help. So, consulting a specialist wouldn't be a bad idea.
- Read: if you are a "DIY" person - this is your best option. Read rigorously on the topic until you find the right answers to your questions.
Silent Your Critics
Your biggest critic is, you - your mind telling you that you can't do it, you will miss out if you don't spend long hours on your phone or you can't do without your favorite fast food.
This is all part of the process, so you need to follow through with this step. Apply what you learned in phase two to combat your mind's reluctance to change. Your other critics are people who don't believe you can follow through with your quest for change - ignore them, they will stop after a while. This phase can often feel lonely and hard but don't be discouraged and give up, you can make it. Here are two things you can do to help:
- Talking to yourself: this works! "You are not crazy but smart" talking to yourself amid critics keeps you calm, reminds you of what you are about, and it keeps your mind on the big picture.
- Focus on the final picture: it's like the dog and the bone - once the dog sees the bone, it will stay focus. Keep your mind on the big picture, visualize that you are eating healthy foods in place of unhealthy ones. Whatever your bad habits are - see yourself doing the opposite or whatever you are trying to accomplish.
Don't do it!
If you have completed the prior steps - now finish the process. If smoking is your bad habit - don't go buy any more cigarettes. If drinking too much alcohol is your bad habit - don't go out partying. If procrastination is your bad habit - don't sit idle. The same way you trained your mind to learn bad habits by practicing to do them - the same way you can train your mind to unlearn those bad habits by not practicing to do them.
© 2018 Dexter Whinfield