“Bad habits are easier to abandon today than tomorrow.”
“Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.”
Most of us have one or a few habits that we consider bad and we’d like to get rid of. But how do you do it?
Today I’d like to share I have a few suggestions that have helped me and people around me greatly.
Here are 8 tips that can help you to finally get rid of that bad habit once and for all.
- Tell your friends and family. If you tell people around you that you will stop smoking or start working out three times a week then they will check up on you. And you will feel a social pressure to keep up with your promise now that it is let out into the world. I would recommend only telling people who you think will support you or be neutral. Negative people make things so much more difficult.
- Make it painful to not go through with it. This may not be for everyone but you could consider making a promise to someone. For example, if you stray off the path to better health by having French fries or a cigarette then you will give your friend 100 or 500 dollars. The point is to add some possible pain to keep yourself in check on days when you may feel a bit tempted.
- Listen to those who have gone where you want to go. Not to people who have no practical or real idea about what your challenge entails. It is important to get the best advice that actually works in real life. Seek it out in people around you, in the best books on the topic (check for the number of stars and read reviews on a site like amazon.com) and on blogs and forums that seem reliable.
- What will this lead to in 5 and 10 years? See your future self vividly in your mind. Where are you going? Towards massive debt, a heart attack, serious illness and severe restrictions in your future? Do you want go to that place where it is very likely that you will wind up if you don’t make a change? Then see your future self where you have made the positive change. What positive and awesome things has it brought you in 5 years and in 10 years? See it all in your mind. And remind yourself of the positive and negative consequences by writing them down and reviewing them whenever you feel like quitting and going back to your old ways.
- Avoid temptations. Know what usually triggers your bad habit. Places where you are likely to spend too much money. Things in your cupboard that will not help you to get healthier and you should not have at home at all. And people that drag you down and back into your old ways.
- Replace it. If you stop doing one thing then it can leave a vacuum in your life. It’s easier to not relapse if you replace that space with a new habit. If you had chips and candy at home to snack on then have fruits and nuts to snack on when you feel the cravings. If you stopped checking social media and the internet for many hours each evening then replace that habit and space with reading more books or joining a club, sport or evening class.
- Don’t remove more than one habit at a time. It may seem like a good idea to overhaul your life all at once. When regular life, stress and lack of energy interfere it usually leads to failure. Don’t try to be Superman or Wonder Woman. Take it easy and change one habit at a time to dramatically increase the odds of real life success.
- Don’t make a huge deal out of it. If you think about it and talk about it all the time then it will feel like a huge deal to get rid of that habit. This will make each day much harder mentally and you may feel overwhelmed. Instead, keep it simple and realize that whatever habit you want to get rid of thousands if not millions of people have done so before. Yes, things do get tough from time to time. But there is no need to create a lot of extra drama around it and in the longer run make things more difficult than they need to be.