How To Change A Bad Habit Permanently
Every one of us is a product of habits. Habits are formed unconsciously. Habits are your daily lifestyle. They are things you do spontaneously. It is what people identify you with. Apart from the way we cultivate personally habits, we could learn some habits from friends and the environment. Sometimes it is hereditary from our parents. Generally forming a habit is easier than changing to another one.
Changing bad habits, therefore, takes a deliberate and conscious effort. The expert believes it takes an average of 21 days to form a new habit. Sometimes what is termed a bad habit seems good on the surface as it solves other negative habits or situations. For instance, those people who drink alcohol or smoke when they are under stress or faces some emotional challenges. To them, a stick of a cigarette or a glass of alcohol suit their nerves and calm down their stress.
Unfortunately, the two solutions constitute a health challenge. Sometimes these easy solutions soon become an addiction. Notwithstanding, you can change a bad habit permanently following these workable plans.
Bad habits in various forms and shapes are inimical to a person’s value. It also depends on the individuals and the situation. But the good news is all forms of bad habits have a solution. Whether it is smoking, nail-biting or nose-picking, the following tips can help you out.
Tell yourself the truth:
The first step to breaking away from a bad habit is to admit it is bad. You can’t get over any addiction if you justify your reasons for involvement. This also implies you admit the negative result of that action. You wouldn’t act on a particular habit if you don’t admit it is bad. Some habits look innocent at the initial stage, but over time it gets out of hand. The first step to winning the battle over any bad habit is to see its implication both on you and others around you.
Identify what triggers the habit:
To change a bad habit permanently, you must understand what triggers such a habit. One man’s food is another man’s poison. Each person has what triggers his or her addiction. Two people in the same situation may react differently to a temptation. Thus, getting over any addiction requires you identifying who makes you react that way. Something you need to consider includes the time of the day you are prone to the addiction, the situation, and the environment that triggers the bad habit. All of these must be documented. A proper record will show your reaction to each of the situations or the environment. If you don’t know what triggers this bad habit and your previous responses, you can’t fashion a way to counter it. Once you identify what triggers a particular bad habit and you do away with it, you can be sure you are good to go about getting the victory over it.
Believe in your capacity:
Your belief system will determine your victory or otherwise over bad habits. You can change. You have the willpower to overcome any addiction. However, those who believe they can and those who believe they can’t are both right. So, if you believe you can, then you can. It is the result that proves which of the divide you belong to. Since there have been people who overcame such addiction in the past, yours cannot be an exception.
I utilized my belief power to overcome fear several years ago. Though I added something to this, and that was verbalizing my belief. I would constantly tell myself I have something in me greater than these challenges. As I continue to confess this statement, it began to replace the fear. Soon I became bold and daring!
Interchange your bad habit with a good one:
Your attempt at changing bad habits will be unrealistic if you didn’t replace it with a good one. In order not to slide back to your old self, you have to replace your old ways with the new one. For instance, if you find yourself reaching for a stick of a cigarette when you are stressed out replace that with a pack of chewing gum instead. In place of alcohol take a glass of water or other refreshing drinks. When you are tempted to watch porn movies reach out for a magazine.
You could install an application on your system that locks the pornography site. Say you watch television while eating; you could keep the remote in a separate room or from easy access. If you are addicted to sitting too long before your computer, set up your timer that will lock up your system at an interval.
If you an impulse spender, people who do not plan before they spend, there is a way out. Never go to the grocery or shopping mall with more money than what you intend to buy. Besides, leave your credit card behind when leaving home
Create a new order:
You are responsible for your life. Therefore change the pattern of the things to reflect your new lifestyle. For instance, change all suggestive wallpapers in your room, remove or delete all soft copy and hard copy pornographic album reflecting nudity at home and on your computer. If you are used to eating before your TV, change the position of your dining sets. If social media is your addiction, unfollow irrelevant people, pages and groups that will not add value to you or triggers your addiction.
To get over the bad habit associated with online and communication gadgets, follow the following tips: choose a particular period of the day to check your emails and reply to emails. If you’re addicted to cell phones which could take your best productive time, put your phone on the airplane or silent mode. You could altogether switch it off at a certain period of the day if that seems okay for you.
Don’t forget it takes time:
It takes time to change a bad habit. Breaking a bad habit is more than Nike’s motto: “just do it”. It is a myth to think you’ll overcome addiction in one swipe mode. What became an addiction today was a simple daily unconscious way of life. But, you’ll overcome the habit one step at a time. You shouldn’t be hard on yourself if you are not getting an obvious result quicker. A simple, conscious, and consistent step will gradually erode the bad habit.
Failure is inevitable:
Failure is a lesson in disguise. So, expect a degree of failure as you work out your plan to overcome your bad habit. Sometime, you’ll slide back to your old self. This is not abnormal. When this happens, don’t condemn or judge yourself as incapable. Don’t allow others to do so either. Just accept this as part of the process. If you fail, try again and again. In the beginning, it may seem impossible, but give it another shot. Over time, you will get over it. Remember, you didn’t develop a bad habit overnight. Therefore, it wouldn’t go the same day. The key to winning the battle is consistency.
You should be accountable to someone:
Getting over bad habits becomes easier with others in your team. At such a time, you need your spouse, family and friend’s understanding and support. Among acquaintances, you must have a few who can call you to questions about the habit you want to overcome. Such a person will caution you when you are about to fall into the habit. He or she will rebuke you when necessary. Also, such a person will praise you as you inch away from the addiction.
At times you shouldn’t go solo on the journey to your recovery. At this stage, look for someone who had passed through a similar route before who can be of any assistance. Sometimes the situation will warrant you going to places that trigger your bad habit. At such a time, take someone along with you where possible. Most likely, this person must be someone who is not involved in the same addiction. With that, your chances of falling back to your old habits become slimmer.
Watch your association:
The company you keep will in no small measures determine if you’ll overcome the bad habit or not. If you are a smoker or an alcohol refrain from the company that engages in these things. If you are prone to pornography, don’t go to cinemas for sex films or sit with those who watch such contents. In place of the people that will negatively influence you, change your friends. Begin to move with those who will influence you. Have a model of people who exhibit the habit you like. Don’t forget I said overcoming bad habits means to replace it with good ones. Someone who had overcome such a habit can help you.
Seek professional advice:
Sometimes your solution to addiction or a bad habit is to seek professional help. There are people specially trained to deal with certain emotional challenges. Their help could be in the form of medication, therapy or some other antidote.
Turn to divine if need be:
Though not everyone believes in a divine being if you do, that can also help. Deities are known to help those who believe in them. This is because the divine is believed to help where the human will power fails. This could be in the form of prayers, concoctions, meditation, and ritual. In other words, seek spiritual help where necessary
A bad habit inhibits good relationships and at times blocks opportunities. When most people around you complain bitterly about a certain aspect of your life, it is time to act on changing that habit. The above-listed tips are a time-tested solution that has helped several people not only to change a bad habit permanently but imbibe good ones. It is your turn. Give it a shot and you’ll be glad you did.