How to Break Bad Habits

A habit is behavior that has been repeated so many times until it becomes automatic. Habits can be either good or bad. Good habits such as being optimistic or keeping time can be very beneficial for your career. However, bad habits are likely to destroy your career as well as personal life. The following are some examples of bad habits:

  • Gossiping
  • Making rash decisions
  • Being late for meetings or work
  • Multitasking
  • Resisting change
  • Procrastinating
  • Being defensive
  • Micromanaging
  • Engaging in self-sabotage

So how can you overcome such bad habits?

1. Have a plan

Bad habits cannot be overcome simply through wishful thinking. For example, you cannot just say ‘I will stop getting late for work’ and expect things to change. You will need to create a plan to make this a reality. One of the best ways of doing this is by setting habit-breaking goals. For instance, you could decide to be waking up earlier than usual so that you can get to work on time. Remember to monitor your progress on a regular basis.

2. Become self-aware

To break a bad habit, it is very important to be self-vigilant. Keep reminding yourself of the reasons for breaking the bad habit. You should also continually watch yourself for any lapses. To succeed in your habit-breaking, you need to be self-disciplined and exercise strong willpower. This will enable you to stay motivated and develop persistence.

3. Select the right approach

Whereas some people are able to quit a bad habit easily, others can only overcome the behavior gradually over time. Therefore, you need to identify the right approach for y our situation. Your choice is likely to be influenced by the kind of habit you are dealing with. For instance, if you spend too much time online, you could gradually limit the time spent online.

4. Use obstacles

You could consider putting obstacles in place to hinder the bad habit you would like to break. For instance, if you are addicted to social media, you could use tools such as Anti-Social and Freedom to restrict access to social media sites. If you have the habit of gossiping at work, you could avoid your colleagues who indulge in this behavior. Having such obstacles will make it easier for you to overcome the bad habit.

5. Reward yourself

Whenever you break a bad habit, you need to reward yourself with something that you love. For instance, if you arrive to work on time, you could reward yourself with coffee at your favorite restaurant. To be effective, the reward should immediately follow the good behavior. However, once the positive behavior is established, frequent rewards will not be necessary.

6. Involve others

Having other people holding you accountable will enhance your chances of breaking your bad habits. This could be colleagues, friends or family members. Let them know what you want to achieve and ask them to correct you if you fall back into your bad habits.

Overcoming a bad habit can take time. However, applying the strategies above will significantly enhance your chances of success.

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