Musings of a Museum Fanatic: 5 Tips to Help You Break a Bad Habit

10.11.2019

5 Tips to Help You Break a Bad Habit

Habits are a tough thing. They can be our best friend if they're good ones but if they're bad then habits can be really detrimental. The longer you continue to do bad habits the worse things can be for you. The smaller ones might not seem so bad but they really add up. 

Be aware

We can't fix something if we're not aware of the bad habit right? Becoming more self aware of what we need to improve and those bad habits we need to fix are the first steps. This is a good opportunity to enlist help from others too. Sometimes it's tough for us to see our worst habits.

Replace it with a better one

A lot of times our habits become habits without us even noticing! Say you always have a dish of M&Ms or small candy bars out on the counter, you like a little sweet treat when you get home from work. You get home from work and you don’t even realize you eat a few pieces or handfuls. Before you know it you’re eating a lot of extra calories each day and you are too full for a good dinner.

Instead of keeping that dish of unhealthy treats out put out some grapes. You still get that sweet treat but you’re creating a good habit. Soon you’ll start craving the grapes instead of the unhealthy sweets.
The hardest part is to have enough control over yourself to start the change. After the first few days, it will get easier and easier. This is a technique you can use for almost any bad habit. Like when you’re upset with someone like your spouse or friend instead of saying something mean in the heat of the moment take a few seconds to breath in and out then talk to them.

One at a time

I know we all want everything to be perfect immediately but really change takes time. I’ve found that if you try to take on everything all at once it’s very easy to get discouraged and quit. It takes will power to break a bad habit or start a new one to replace it with; we only have so much will power in a single day. Keep it simple and try to break one habit at a time. Be sure not to move on to breaking another habit until the first one is out of your life. The changes might take longer than you expect or want them to take but if you keep plugging along you will tackle that bad habit.

Know your bad habit triggers

You need to know what triggers a habit. If you’ve been doing a habit for a long time you might not know why you started doing the habit, but you need to find out what triggers it. The trigger is why you keeps you doing the habit. I know for me one of the biggest triggers is stress, I’m sure for most people that’s a big trigger. Really emotions in general tend to be big triggers. Be aware of what triggers your bad habits so you can catch yourself before you do the bad habit again.

Enlist help

Doing tough things like breaking habits on your own can be extremely difficult. You can lose your motivation and sometimes the habit is so ingrained it can be tough on your own. Telling someone else that you’re working on breaking a certain habit will give you accountability. Not only can they call you out on the bad habit if you’re doing it but they can also work to help you not have the triggers in your life. One of my bad habits I’m working on is to not have the TV on while I’m working on stuff since it distracts, and I don’t get stuff done as much as I would like. Kevin knows that I’m working on this habit so when he catches me with a TV show or movie on he’ll suggest I turn on music instead.


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