5 Ways To Ditch Those Bad Habits

We are creatures of habit.  They bring us comfort and help us get through the week.  But those bad habits that we all have can also be the bane to achieving our goals.  Dropping these habits cold turkey, however, isn’t always the most effective way to break free of them. 

Here are five tips to help you curb your bad habits: 

Accountability

The first bit of advice is finding someone who can help keep you on track.  For small habits, your friends can be a great resource to call on.  Want to quit watching TV once a week?  Ask your friend to check up on you by giving you a call or coming by your place.  It might seem a bit extreme, but if you have had a hard time dropping habits on your own, it’s a simple way to bring a little accountability into your life.  For more personal habits, there are many resources available for getting accountability from people outside your life.  Whether it is from a website designed to support your efforts, or even finding a anonymous group of individuals in a similar predicament, talking to people and having accountability for you is the tried and tested method of dropping habits.

Tip: Reddit has many communities dedicated towards encouraging people and keep others accountable.

Replace

Another method is to exchange one habit for another.  Drinking too much soda?  Carbonated water may help you curb those cravings.  What is difficult about this method is convincing yourself that this new habit is worth taking up.  When you are in the store about to buy chips, you need to decide that you would rather buy trail mix or cashews.  For a short time, your body is probably not going to be too happy about these new habits, but it won’t take long for your body to adjust to, and even enjoy the change, which will make you feel more content with these healthier alternatives.  Use caution, however, to ensure that you do not exchange one bad habit for another.  Deciding to have a beer instead of a cigarette, for example, might break one habit, but you have also inadvertently taken up a habit that can be just as detrimental to your health as the former. 

Staying Motivated

Staying positive will be the key to your success.  Cutting a habit that you’ve held on to can bring your mood down.  When you crave something, it suddenly feels far more important than it ever did prior to you decision to remove it from your life.  Find books, articles, quotes, podcasts, and anything else that you need to keep your thinking positive.  It will help put you in the right mindset to say no to the habits when the time comes, and after a while you will not need to bombard your mind with motivational media.

Understand Your Goals

A big part of why people do not succeed in dropping habits and picking up better ones is because their motivations for doing so are not clear.  Are you going to the gym simply because it is a new year?  Are you going to stop drinking soda because it is bad for you?  If we do not explore our own motivations for doing things, than we are doing ourselves a disservice.  Humans are all very complex beings, and ignoring your reasoning for why you wish to be a certain way will not help you.  Deciding that you want to be healthier to live longer for your family is going to keep you on track more than a vague notion of whether or not soda is bad for you. 

Staying Committed

The last bit of advice is sticking to your goals, even after messing up.  No one is perfect.  You are likely going to skip out on going to the gym every now and then, and sneak an extra soda into your day, but do not let this discourage you.  If you keep working at it, keep yourself motivated, and keep reminding yourself why you are doing these things, you will accomplish your goal.

You can be the individual you desire to be. You can drop those bad habits, big or small, which you feel are negatively impacting your life.  Do not let yourself become so discouraged that you want to quit.  Taking a few steps back does not mean you have to completely give up your goals.  Know that people are around who want to help you become the best you can be.

If you have any tips for people on how they can drop habits, I would love to hear about them in the comments below.