• M. M. Dillon

Kick A Bad Habit To The Curb With These 9 Tips.

Updated: Nov 5, 2020

A bad habit is a negative behavior that hinders your quality of life in one way or another.

This is a guide I have used myself and offer to my clients to help ensure success. You can do this!

1. You are ready to make the change.

I need to be super clear on this one. Nothing will truly work until you are ready. It does not matter how bad this habit is or how much it is playing negatively in your life. Until you are truly ready inside all the tips and tricks in the world will be there waiting. Waiting for the moment where you just know by feeling it. That knowing can be triggered by a huge towering moment in your life or it can come as a quiet little voice in your head.

2. Replace your bad habit with a preferred action.

Energy is energy. The energy you exerted into the bad habit needs to go somewhere. So it is best if you put that energy into actions that will enhance your quality of life.

3. Put a reward into place when you are successful.

Decide what your reward will be before you begin. The reward needs to be greater than the "reward" you feel you get from the bad habit. This is important. For years I was a nail biter and when I worked on stopping and succeeded I rewarded myself with not just a mani-pedi but with a whole spa afternoon complete with massage and facial. I say go as big as you can!

4. Go slow by breaking up your time.

In the beginning, break up your time depending on how often you perform your bad habit. For example, if it's an hourly thing then you plan accordingly. When I quit smoking at first I went by a couple of hours at a time. Then gradually it went to days and then weeks. When we break down the task it doesn't seem so overwhelming. Forever is a big long time but four hours or even a day seems a little more doable.

5. Be aware of your cues/triggers.

These can be people, places, things or actions. Whatever takes place right before the want or need to perform the bad habit. For example, a cup of coffee in the morning would spark my urge for a smoke because I was accustomed to doing those things together. Talking to a certain person would trigger my nail-biting. A work break would cue me it was time for a smoke. Some things we can change and some we can't. I still had a work break but I needed to change what I did and where I went on that break for awhile.

6. Change your language.

Your brain knows only what you tell it. So, if you say "I can't" your brain hears deprivation. If you say "I don't" your brain says okay we do not want that. Instead of saying "I can't have cake for dessert" You can say "I don't want cake. I would rather have this fruit salad with whipped cream...Yum!"

7. Forgive yourself.

There is no good served by beating yourself up over having acquired a bad habit. We are human! We are messy, imperfect, wonderful beings. Show yourself forgiveness if you slip. Just get back up and try again.

8. Ask for support.

We get by with a little help from our friends! There is nothing wrong and everything right with asking for help. This can be a friend, a group, a coach or a therapist. Having others who can cheer you on and hold you accountable is a great thing! These peeps may have already kicked the habit you are working on or they can be right there in the trenches with you. Power is in numbers baby!

9. Be patient and show yourself love.

It takes about 21 days to make a behavior into a habit, however it takes much longer to break a habit. Every once in a while stop and give yourself kudos for the great job you are doing. Giving yourself some patience and love is important for you to be successful.

I hope this helps if you are looking to curbside something that is no longer serving you.

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