When under pressure, people adopt some bad habits to deal with their stress. Like drinking too much alcohol or smoking, eating too much junk food, etc. Later they realize that they have developed so and so bad habits. Then they focus on changing those bad habits to good so hard that they increase their stress level.
People get accustomed to bad habits very easily. If they don’t follow clearly, their good habits may turn into bad within no time and they realize when it’s already too late.
For example, if you want to start having doughnuts and chocolate milk daily in the morning. Just go to any coffee shop or doughnut store with your friend on Monday and Tuesday and order sugary doughnut and chocolate milk. On Wednesday, you would want to go again to order chocolate milk and doughnuts. While it is difficult to break the bad habit and convert them into good ones. Fact is, habits are difficult to change, and that’s why developing a good habit is really worth the fight;
On the other hand, changing bad habits to good isn’t a piece of cake. It requires a lot of workarounds to do so. To do that you need to fight with many obstacles.
Remember, our personality is made up of our habits. We achieve these habits over a period of time from our environment or our repeated actions. To be a successful person, we need to watch our bad habits and always keep good habits. Every person on the earth has one or the other bad habit, which sometimes they are aware of, sometimes unknown to them.
So how to recognize and replace those bad habits which are unknown? It is difficult to acknowledge and replace bad habits which are unknown. But with the help of family and friends, such bad habits can be traced and slowly worked upon to replace with good ones.
Develop a habit of thinking positive all the time.
Our happiness mostly depends upon our correct and positive thinking process. It includes our belief system what we attach to the situations or thought, which leads to behavior and physical symptoms in our body. So we need to develop the habit of thinking positively, which is very difficult to acquire since negative habits are very easy to adopt. I have explained this in the above example of the sugary doughnut and chocolate mil.
Similarly, negative thinking habit is easily developed and difficult to let go. Let the habit of positive thinking be part of daily life. It will help to build strong believe in yourself.
Believe it, you can do it.
Believe you can achieve it and you will. Remember, believing is the first step to achieve any goal when backed with strategies and action plans. Believing in oneself gives enough momentum to work and achieve the defined goal. This is a tool that helps you achieve what you have ever imagined. Believe it, you can eliminate your bad habits. With some course of action, some frequent changes, with following the records, and measuring the progress, you will do it.
Build a positive mindset
Imagine the positive mindset, can give many of us a life full of accomplishment, achieving the goals over goals and it can reach to the mars and beyond. The only thing a person needs to develop is positive thinking now and every time. On contradictory, a person with negative thinking can dig his own grave, not only dig the grave but can go and sleep inside and put sand on himself to bury in a miserable fashion.
Building a positive mindset is key to replace any bad habit with a good one. In the workplace, many times people unknowingly build a habit of degrading other coworkers. In order to achieve quick goals, some discredit their colleagues for their slow outputs or their lack of knowledge on the subject. This in return destroys their relationship with other coworkers. With a positive attitude and discussion, listening to their point of view and being in their shoes can make them understand the situation better. But this can be achieved only if a person is aware of such a bad habit of theirs. Daily reviewing and keeping track of such incidents can help improve the behavior.
Don’t wish for it, work for it.
Many of my colleagues at my office are smokers, some of them are chain smokers. They acknowledge that this habit is bad and is affecting their health badly. Some of them wish to eliminate this bad habit from their life. But their wish doesn’t come true or never complete, because this wish of theirs is not backed by determination and action plans. They keep wishing and nothing changes, the bad habit remains.
Don’t challenge your will power.
Some of my office colleagues, who were smokers tried to quit smoking. They did it by reducing its quantity in the beginning, and slowly they left smoking completely. But soon they accompanied themselves with other smoker colleagues, they could not stop themselves from smoldering one cigarette with them, which eventually made them return back to that routine again. When they returned to that habit, they craved for more. Their will power could not help them.
In this blog, I have approached to behavioral changes, instead of challenging our will power to change our negative behavior to positive ones. I found it in my personal life that when I want to change any negative habits to a positive one if I take on my will power and start working on it immediately, after a couple of days I gave up and gone back to my old bad habits.
So I took another approach as “behavioral change”, which I found to be very effective. In this case, we make an effort to change our bad habit to good one by adopting positive behavior and slowly when it is part of our conduct, the old habit is replaced by a new one.
Take one step at a time.
I found from many sources that say, it takes 21 days to change the habit. But when I was working on changing my habits, I found these numbers are not correct. It depends on person to person on how many days it may take.
Habits are not like helium balloons, just leave the string and it goes away and disappears in the sky. If you want to change it, you need to bring it to the earth one step at a time.
Many of my habits took months to change, while some took a couple of days. In order to change bad habits into good ones, the person must have strong desires to achieve goals of life. And each time we want to change our habits from bad to good, we need to attach it to our goal of life and this will help in the process.
Be you, don’t try to be someone else
The first step to replace your bad habits with a good one is you need to be “You”. You do not need to imitate someone else in order to change your bad habits to good ones. Don’t try to change bad habits by simply following what your close friends and family members do. Everyone’s capacity to handle the situation is different.
Call to action
Keep a journal of bad habits that are identified and need to be replaced. I will recommend you to write in this journal to ensure you are serious about achieving the objective of the text what you have intended to achieve and moreover, with writing, it is easy to remember and follow the practices throughout life. Keep this notebook and a pen available all the time on the side table to your bed, or on the desk in your office, so that it is easily accessible to you. Because if you keep this notebook far from you or hidden from your eyes, it will not be easier to get to that book and write down your daily exercise, which may delay the benefit of these exercises and the sole purpose of this exercise may not be achieved. The easier to reach to this notebook and pen, the easier to chive the purpose of these workouts. Shawn Achor has mentioned 20 seconds rule in his book “The Happiness Advantage, the 20-Second Rule isn’t just about altering the time it takes to do things. Limiting the choices we have to make can also help lower the barrier to positive change.”
Write a minimum of 3 bad habits which you think you need to replace in a month’s timeframe. Use the following table to keep track of it.
|Write bad habit which you want to eliminate in a month’s timeframe
|Explain, why do you think this habit is bad?
|write a new habit you would like to develop, which you think will help you to be productive.
|Write, what actions do you think will help to remove this bad habit and adopt a good one?