Just the other day, I was thinking about how easy life would be if we were able to replace all of our bad habits with positive ones.
If that could really happen, life wouldn’t be complicated as it is now. It will be a simple and joyful ride.
Unfortunately, that’s not the reality at all. For many of us, life is a constant struggle.
And the main culprit for this struggle is – Our Destructive Habits
If you’re struggling in an area of your life, it’s usually because you have a destructive habit in that area that is affecting your progress.
Entrepreneur struggling to create consistency in business: His bad habits may include – poor focus on marketing or procrastination
Corporate executive struggling to meet deadlines and does not receive any recognition at his office – His bad habits may include poor prioritization and lack of soft skills
40 year old woman struggling to lose weight – Her bad habits may include emotional eating and not exercising consistently
And so on.
Some of us are aware of our destructive habits and then there are others that are completely unaware.
Knowing that you have a destructive habit doesn’t help much either. You have to replace it with a constructive, positive one that supports you in your goals.
How do you accomplish that?
Identify the bad habit:
First things first, let’s be honest with ourselves and identify the bad habit without any prejudice.
Once we are in sync with the habits that are pulling us down financially or emotionally, then we can start working on it.
The solution always lies in identifying the problem first and it is no different here.
Identifying the trigger:
Almost all habits are activated by a trigger that precedes the event. In order to replace your bad habit, you have to identify the trigger that activates it.
For example – When I used to be a chronic smoker, there were certain triggers that made me light up such as:
- Sitting with my friends for a drink or cup of coffee
- Taking a walk outside my office for a break
- Smoking a few cigarettes after lunch
- And so on
Once I realized what triggered the habit, I took the necessary precautions to avoid such situations. Now it’s been more than a decade since I last smoked a cigarette.
So if you have a bad habit that doesn’t seem to go away, look at identifying the trigger first.
Replace those triggers with a positive habit:
Once you identify the trigger, it’s easy to replace it with a positive habit. For example, let’s say that you have a bad habit of watching TV and falling asleep late in the night.
When you have the urge to watch TV, you can replace it with positive habits such as reading a good book or listening to music on the radio.
Whatever it is, make sure that it’s something creative.
It’ll be easier to replace your urges for the old habit when the new habit that you’re building is a creative one.
Be consistent for a month with your positive habits:
In order for you to feel normal with your new habits, it will take you anywhere from 3 – 4 weeks. Therefore, it is essential that you stick to any new habit consciously for a month.
When I first tried to wake up early, I was a wreck for the first month. There were many days I failed miserably.
But I stuck to it and that’s why I’m able to wake up at the same time every day now.
Avoid situations that will get you into your old habits:
Once you have made a decision to stick to the new habit, it’s important to avoid situations which will make you return to your old habits.
If you tend to drink or smoke when you go out with your friends, I strongly recommend not hanging out with your friends for a few weeks or so.
I used to smoke during my breaks and after my lunch. It was during my lunch time that my urge to smoke was overbearing.
So here’s what I did…
- Cut down my breaks and stopped going outside my office
- Scheduled all of my meetings immediately after my lunch
That helped me reduce my cravings significantly. If I can do it, so can you. You just have to come up with your own game plan to stay with the new habit.
Realize that the urges will be strong but will eventually fade away:
Initially, when you try to get rid of the old habit, the urge to indulge it in will be strong. It will come out like a Tsunami wave and cause all kinds of turbulence in your mind.
But don’t fear it. It doesn’t have any power over you. The urge will go away on its own eventually. You can resist and release the pressure it has on you by doing activities like:
- Deep breathing
- And so on.
Ask for help:
Get your family and friends to help and support you in your new habit. Even seeking support from an online forum and reaching out to people who have overcome similar bad habits will give you new insights.
With technology at our fingertips, reaching out to people who are facing the same predicament is extremely easy.
But here’s the important thing to remember – Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but is a sign of taking responsibility for ourselves and the people who care for us.
Whenever you have negative thoughts, replace it with powerful, positive thoughts. If you’re thinking of going out with your friends for a night out, then replace the urge with the positive thought of exercising or spending time with your loved one.
There will be many instances where you will be tempted but if you stick to your ideal, you will eventually come out of your shell.
Failure is not the end of the road:
With any new endeavor, failure is natural and normal. You can expect to fail several times before you reach your objective. But it’s important to learn from your failures and try again.
Almost everyone who beats the odds failed numerous times before they succeeded. The key is to accept failure gracefully and move on with a positive, can-do attitude.
If you’re serious about overcoming your bad habits and creating the life you want, go here right now:
Working with a professional coach who can listen to your frustrations non-judgmentally and support you will help you get results faster.
Besides working with clients 1 on 1, I also engage with corporate teams through our Group Coaching Sessions.
Through these sessions, your team will learn to make powerful changes to their current engagement and improve performance. In my personal Intervention, I will teach them how to…
- Develop a die-hard attitude for their personal and professional lives
- Create an empowering Successful Road-map
- Double, triple or even quintuple their productivity
Are you an executive who’s looking to increase your team’s overall productivity? Then go here right now to get in touch with me…
PS: If you find this article helpful, I’d appreciate if you can spread the message with your friends and co-workers.