Sometimes, a behavior that feels positive and rewarding to us at first, can ultimately be bad for our health, our focus, or our goals for the future. But, as many of us may know, trying to break a bad habit can feel next to impossible.
If you are having a hard time keeping yourself from repeating actions you‘ll eventually regret, there are thankfully tips that people find helpful when they want to say goodbye to a bad habit for good:
- Identify and Avoid Cues: Are there certain smells, settings, or activities that send a signal to your brain and make you want to do the thing you are trying to avoid? For example, if you tend to make splurge purchases on your credit card when you see there’s a sale at the mall, or ads on your favorite websites and apps, consider reducing the amount that you go near those stores and sites. Additionally, delete any saved credit card information from sites that make this shopping habit all too easy.
- Replace, Don’t Just Say No: No matter how many times we write “I will not smoke,” or tell ourselves we will say no to binge watching TV instead of going to the gym, the act of saying “no” is not usually enough to stop us from relapsing into a habit. This is because the “no” statement also includes the idea of the thing that we want to avoid, which is just another way of thinking about what we are not supposed to think about! Instead, replace this “I won’t…” with an action. For example, people who replace “I won’t smoke” with “I’ll chew gum,” and then do so, will begin to jump right to their healthier habit when they have the urge to light up.
- Find Support: Chances are, each of us has a list of things that we would like to improve about ourselves. It doesn’t hurt to speak to your friends and colleagues about the habits you are trying to move away from: you may find that you can swap tips for avoiding these habits, as well as provide each other helpful reminders to stay on an agreed-upon path. For example, if you are trying to save and stay on budget, spend time with your frugal and financially minded friends!
- Breathe: Make time for your mind and body to reset every day. Don’t wrap yourself up in guilt if you repeat a habit, and don’t let daily stress push you into making impulsive decisions. While it is not an easy feat in today’s busy society, make a point of staying present. Even better, keep positive, or at least bring awareness to the negative thoughts that push you into bad habits. Negativity is like rolling down a hill. Rather than move downward, catch yourself at the top!
While it’s not easy to make a change, growth IS possible. To learn more ways to grow in the ways you want, visit the Syncis blog at www.syncis.com/blog/ .