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How to kick a bad habit

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How to kick a bad habit

Most of us can easily think of a bad habit (or more likely, a few) we could break – the hard part is actually breaking it.

Often, people attempt to break bad habits by guilt-tripping themselves or going completely cold turkey, which seldom work. Or, they procrastinate and tell themselves they’ll do it tomorrow / someday / when the situation changes. And somehow “someday” never really arrives.

Is there a better way to get rid of a bad habit?

Whatever your bad habit, here are some tips that most successful habit-kickers would agree are key to kicking a habit.

Address the underlying problem

Many bad habits are formed as a way to escape or distract one’s self from other issues or problems going on. Ask yourself what is triggering this bad habit and what steps you can take to address it. Ignoring it won’t make it disappear, and trying to kick just the habit is like treating the symptoms of a disease but not the disease itself. Have the courage to face up to your problems.

Small steps at a time

Starting small and building up slowly, even though progress might seem slow at first, is the best way to ensure you don’t get too gung-ho at the beginning only to crash and burn when the going gets tough. Whether it’s dieting or quitting cigarettes, cold turkey is never a pleasant way to quit, and very seldom effective either. Instead, be persistent, and incorporate realistic, achievable changes into your daily routine and after some time, it will become second nature.

Repetition

Some people adhere to the 40-day rule, some to 30 days, but whatever it is, the underlying principle is that to form a new habit or break an old one requires constant repetition of the new behaviour you want to enforce.

Visualise the rewards

While negative motivation may yield more urgent, instant results driven by fear, positive motivation is what will keep you going. Instead of telling yourself you won’t be able to fit into your wedding dress if you don’t lose weight, tell yourself how healthy, energised, and vibrant you’ll feel when you start eating healthier. Instead of reminding yourself that your partner has been nagging you to stop working so late, remind yourself of how much more peaceful and balanced you’ll feel by managing your time and work better.

Image: Some rights reserved by lanier67

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