Whether we realize it or even admit it, habits drive our lives. What we do each day in and out of our routines is what makes up our lives and whether we feel fulfilled by the efforts we make. Changing those daily habits is often a point of frustration as we try to do better things and shed those bad habits that keep us from improving or succeeding.
There have been seemingly countless books written on the topic of habits. And for good reason. Breaking bad habits is largely what people tend to focus on when they want to get better. Stopping eating bad foods or taking in damaging things into our bodies. Smoking, excessive alcohol, and other vices are the most publicized, but people are realizing the same to be true of other “lesser” vices like sugary sodas or fake sugar drinks and processed foods. All too often we also focus on what we are not doing like not getting enough exercise each day. And while we need to recognize what we need to remove from our lives in the way of bad habits, this negative approach is often demotivating and all too hard to overcome by itself.
What Causes Bad Habits?
Most of the time bad habits come as a response to stress and boredom. Ever hear of the term stress eating? How about wasting time surfing the Internet because you are avoiding work or just simply bored with what you should be doing. This short term answer to stress may feel good in the moment, but in the long term you slip into these unproductive and damaging habits that you repeat time and again. They may be a way also of avoiding deeper issues you are holding on to rather than solving and moving past them.
Bad habits can also seem to happen out of the blue and take no time to become cemented into your life. The reality is they happen over time just like it takes to make good habits, but we don’t tend to notice them being created. One day of indulgent eating can quickly become two, then a regular routine before we know it as we “need” that sugar fix or bump to get through the day. With this in mind, remember that making good habits will take time and a conscious effort to put in that effort before it truly becomes a familiar and easy habit.
It’s easy to get caught up in how you feel about your bad habits and how they bring you down. You can be driven by guilt or self loathing about the bad habits, which will in reality do nothing good toward breaking those habits. Sure you may feel bad or even worse about the habits, motivating a desire to change them, but rarely will those negative feelings actually bring about a lasting change. Instead, try to be aware of what causes them. What started or brings about the bad habit? How many times a day do you engage in that habit? Where are you, who are you with, or what are you doing when the habit comes about? Be aware and track these issues as a first step in understanding those habits so you can fix them.
Replace Bad Habits with Good Ones
Rather than just thinking of what we shouldn’t do, you’ll most often find success in breaking a bad habit by replacing it with a something better. Establishing a good habit as a substitute for your bad habit is a more positive approach, and is potentially the only real way you can finding lasting success in your effort. First figure out what triggers your bad habit. Are you responding to a specific stress or discomfort? Are you simply doing something out of boredom? Figure out what is underneath your bad habit and address that trigger rather than the habit itself. When you feel or experience the trigger, instead of going to your bad habit instead activate the new habit you are doing to replace the bad. Instead of eating some unhealthy food on a regular basis, have on hand a healthy alternative. Instead of wasting time figure out a good task you can engage to be productive.
Whatever your habits may be and what you’re dealing with, you need to have a plan for what you will do instead of your bad habit. Plan to avoid as many triggers as possible that enact your bad habits. Remove the bad foods or vices from easy access and replace them with the good alternatives. Make a conscious plan of what you will do when you experience the trigger, then act on that plan. Even if it’s as easy as putting the remote to your TV in a hard to reach place so you don’t just plop down on the couch and waste hours doing nothing but surf the channels. Make it easier on yourself to break bad habits by avoiding the little elements in your routine that make it easy. Choose to do the new responses to triggers that may seem harder now but become the building blocks to good habits of the future.
Visualize Success, Then DO It
With your plan in mind knowing what is at the root of your bad habits and what you will do in response to those things, then see yourself accomplishing the plan. Visualize your success and each step you will take along the way to get there. See yourself throwing out those vices and replacing them with better alternatives. Visualize the better version of yourself, returning to what you know you have had before and what you want to become again and even better. Whatever bad habits you are looking to to break visualize yourself destroying those and replacing them with the good habits you are establishing or reestablishing in your life. With this positive vision cemented in the forefront of our thinking, you are ready to find that success and nothing will stop you.
Realize this will be a process, but in the power of positive thinking you can overcome any missteps and failures along the way. Accept small moments of discouragement as opportunities to reset and build again from wherever you are at. Celebrate every success and keep yourself looking forward, putting mistakes quickly behind you.
Always remember that your success is entirely up to you. Finding success is a result of taking responsibility for your own life and doing the work it takes to get where you want to be. Figure out what it takes to shed yourself of bad habits and replace them with the good habits that will put you on the path to that success, and get to work. You can do it, and every day you work to get there is a step in the right direction.
— Jeremy Hall
Founded in 2008 as Organo Gold, ORGANO™ is dedicated to bringing the benefits of the earth’s nutritional riches to people throughout the world via its premium products that can be used daily to help to achieve a more energetic and healthier lifestyle.