Bad habits are, at best, tough nuts to crack. At worst, they can be labyrinthine structures that keep you dissatisfied, even miserable. From habits that are destructive to your personal health and life like drinking, smoking, or gambling, to habits that have negative impacts on your professional life, we often don’t think about them until they are causing a problem in our lives.
Though I would never claim that breaking bad habits is easy, it’s not impossible. The first thing you have to do is admit that inaction will never break you of that habit. You will not wake up magically cured. Here are a few things you can do if you’re serious about breaking a bad habit.
Change your surroundings. People often don’t realize how affected they are by their surroundings. Whether it’s the dark room you do your work in or the social circle of heavy drinkers you hang out with after work, you are ultimately a product of your environment. Identify which environmental factors contribute to your bad habit, and start actively changing those factors.
Change your perspective. Perspective is everything. If you can change your perspective enough, you can make any dream a reality. In my years of coaching I have come across a tactic, or a philosophy really, that enables change-making to an incredible degree. It’s called kaizen (free ebook download here) and it focuses on making small, incremental, but defined changes, with a view towards achieving your ultimate big goal. Instead of trying to eat the elephant in one giant bite, you break it down into manageable bite-size chunks.
Treat yourself right. Sometimes you need to behave and treat yourself a little differently when there’s a particular behavior you’re trying to avoid. Don’t be afraid to set up some kind of reward system for sticking to your good behavior. Eventually, you’ll come to realize that your new, good habits are rewards in themselves.
If you have a specific bad habit you’d like to break, I hope these tactics have sparked some inspiration and ideas for how you can accomplish that. Want to talk about it further? Contact me directly at email@example.com.