Old Habits Die Hard, and Bad Habits are Harder to Kill. On the brighter side though, it only takes a little willpower, determination and, of course, enlightenment to overcome otherwise self-imposed odds that impede your progress.
Bad habits can affect your life in infinite rather malignant ways. These habits can take a severe toll on your mental/physical wellbeing, financial stability, relationships, social impression, professional/personal productivity, creativity and much more.
Ever wondered what it would be like to ‘Be Your Best’? Getting rid of bad habits and revamping your life is the first step to find out, and here’s how you can get the wheel spinning.
How To Revamp Your Life And Get Rid Of The Bad Habits?
Identify the ‘Bad Habits in Your Life
Bad habits are difficult to identify mainly because no one realizes it’s a bad habit till the damage is done. So, what exactly qualifies as a bad habit?
Basically, it is just about any action/activity that has become part and parcel of your routine but does not contribute to your productivity, health, mental/psychological wellness, creativity, relationships and financial wellbeing in any way whatsoever.
From chain-smoking and frequent take-out dinners to overspending on non-essentials, binge-watching sit-coms, staying up late at night, spending hours scrolling through social media, procrastination, stress eating etc., are only a few to mention.
Ask Yourself ‘Why You Engage In These Bad Habits?’
‘Why’ is the first and perhaps the most powerful question that can open up portals to self-discovery and self-improvement.
Why do you smoke so much? Is this the only way you cope with stress?
Why do you binge eat even when you are not hungry? Are you subconsciously trying to fill in for a serious lack of love or self-worth in your life?
Why do you divert otherwise productive hours scrolling through social media? Is it because you are trying to figure out your true purpose in life or where you fit in?
Why do you overspend on useless non-essentials rather than saving money? Is retail therapy your key to dealing with personal inadequacies?
Why do you repeatedly procrastinate and feel guilty about it later? Is it because subconsciously, you are not sure if you really like doing what you are doing?
Honest answers to the ‘Whys’ behind your bad habits can help you deal with them effectively with motivation and purpose.
Shortlist a Routine Excluding these ‘Bad Habits’
Having identified your bad habits and why you engage in them, it is time to work on their permanent elimination.
Shortlisting a routine that ‘does not include these habits’ is a must to begin with.
For example, this is your time to slouch on the couch on a typical day and get glued to Netflix for 4 hours.
What you can do instead is replacing this unproductive routine with stepping out with your dog and playing fetch. Or, sign up to volunteer at a local animal shelter or cook a healthy meal from scratch Or helping the elderly with his / her daily chores.
The exponential boost in self-worth that you are bound to experience with this one little decision is worth the first day of effort.
Ever Heard of the 21/90 Rule?
It takes 21 days to build a habit and 90 days to make it permanent. Therefore, when you are trying to break free of a bad habit, try to hold on to the efforts for 3 weeks straight, no excuses, no lapses, no distractions, and you will have a whole new life full of potential and productivity in no time.
Set Mini-Goals and Congratulate Yourself on Achieving them
Setting goals is important when it comes to breaking free of bad habits. For example, if you are trying to stop overspending on things you don’t need, replacing online shopping sites for a day with infotainment can be a good short step to start with.
Setting daily goals is always more achievable and rewarding than monthly or yearly goals because you don’t have the option of procrastinating your plans until tomorrow. Congratulating yourself on your daily achievements can keep you motivated to repeat the process day after day.
Distractions Vs Creative Detour
Distractions are temporary; therefore, they can seldom help in breaking bad habits. In fact, they can introduce other bad habits that may not have existed in your life before. Smoking to stop binge eating is a perfect example of this vicious circle.
Creative detour, on the other hand, is a more effective and positive remedy. If you are planning to stop binge eating, try replacing junk food with fiber-rich fruits for the first week.
The following week, cut down on the portions of the fruits to half. Chew longer instead. The following week, sip on a glass of water.
Week 4, your binge eating habit will no longer exist.
Appoint a Friend to Keep You on Track
It is usually not easy to break a bad habit alone. You need help and support from your near and dear ones to keep you motivated and on track.
However, over interference from people can often be counterproductive.
Therefore, choose a friend or two, confide in them your plans to break free of your bad habits and empower them with authority to interfere in case you divert from your goals.
Embrace Journaling and even Social Media
Journaling is a very creative way to use your time for self-improvement and discovery. This is, thus, a valuable input in mapping your progress towards breaking bad habits and revamping your life productively and purposefully.
Posting your mini achievements on social media for friends and followers to see can be very motivating not only for you but your followers as well. It is a wonderful feeling to be encouraged and encouraging others at the same time by setting worthy examples.
The Bottom Line
The journey to quitting bad habits is often long and arduous. But it is also enlightening, uplifting and undeniably enjoyable.
There are times you may trip, and there are times when you may divert, but your story lies in getting back on track and transforming your life for the better.
Also read: Why You Should Choose Your Friends Wisely?